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Penguin books hop off digital libraries

Icy reception to device security
Tue Nov 22 2011, 14:51

BOOK PUBLISHER Penguin is reviewing the way that it offers its content to digital lending libraries and for now will cease to release its books to those operations.

Penguin is a considerably large publisher and has raised some concerns about the terms and security of digital lending libraries and has cooled to them.

This was revealed in a blog post from a firm called Overdrive that supports public lending library services for Kindle, and services 11,000 US academic institutions with content.

"Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks," says the blog post from Overdrive.

"In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin eBook titles from our library catalog and disable 'Get for Kindle' functionality for all Penguin eBooks. We apologize for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier. We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible."

The Penguin pullout should not affect books already on devices, according to the blog post. Penguin offers its own ebooks for download, of course, but not on a loan basis. It will continue to digitally publish its books, but it told us that they would not be made available to libraries.

In a statement emailed to the INQUIRER, Penguin Books explained that while it supports digital editions of its titles, it did have some concerns about the security of its content and suggested that it could lose out through illegal copying.

"Penguin has been a long-time supporter of libraries with both physical and digital editions of our books. We have always placed a high value on the role that libraries can play in connecting our authors with our readers. However, due to new concerns about the security of our digital editions, we find it necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners," it said.

"Penguin's aim is to always connect writers and readers, and with that goal in mind, we remain committed to working closely with our business partners and the library community to forge a distribution model that is secure and viable. In the meantime, we want to assure you that physical editions of our new titles will continue to be available in libraries everywhere."

We are expecting comment from Amazon. µ


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