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LIBRARY: Details needed in case for e-book sales

Letter by Deborah A. Johnson, DuPont on Nov. 29, 2012 at 11:51 am | No Comments »
November 29, 2012 3:10 pm

Re: “Publishers being Scrooges when it comes to e-books” (Viewpoint, 11-28).

Pierce County Library System Executive Director Neel Parikh asked citizens to demand that publishers sell more e-book titles to libraries, and at lower prices. But she did not explain how publishers and authors are paid by PCLS for e-books, and without that information citizens have no way of knowing whether this is a fair request.

Is there a royalty system based on the number of downloads, much as music publishers, writers and performers are paid when their recordings are played publicly? If no such royalty system is in place it is no wonder that publishers and authors would balk at having their books sold once to library systems – even at 300 percent of the individual purchase price – and then downloaded an infinite number of times without compensation.

This is especially true in the case of best-sellers, where such a system would choke off thousands of individual sales because consumers could get the book for free.

Much more detailed information about the e-book purchasing system is needed before we rush to make demands of publishers and authors.

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