Libraries Enlist States in Fight Over ebook Rules

Libraries are successfully convincing state legislatures to help them win better terms for ebook licenses from Amazon and other publishers. From a report: Libraries say it is crucial for them to continue to service their communities, especially as digital access to books became even more important during the pandemic. "What a tragedy it would be if in a digital context, Americans and American library users have less access to knowledge and information than they did in the analog era," John Bracken, executive director of the Digital Public Library of America, told Axios. A Maryland law set to take effect in January and a similar bill in New York would require publishers that sell ebooks to consumers to also license them to libraries on reasonable terms. Libraries pushed for the legislation because they say publishers charge high prices, require re-purchases of licenses, limit the ability to circulate digital copies, and, until recently in Amazon's case, refuse to license some ebooks to libraries at all. "We've had enough of this," Alan Inouye, senior director of public policy & government relations for the American Library Association, told Axios. "Libraries really need to have reasonable access."

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