Macmillan eBook Embargo Updates

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NYLA Calls on Macmillan to Reverse Library eBook Embargo

On July 25, Macmillan Publishing announced it would become the only major (Big 5) publisher to limit eBook lending for U.S. libraries. Under its new licensing model, scheduled to begin November 1, 2019, a library may purchase one copy upon release of a new title in eBook format, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo on additional copies of that title sold to libraries.

As American Library Association (ALA) President Wanda Brown asserted that same day, “Macmillan Publishers’ new model for library eBook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all. Macmillan’s new policy is unacceptable.”

And Public Library Association (PLA) President Ramiro Salazar stated, “Access to digital content in libraries is more than a financial issue: it is an equity issue. We encourage Macmillan Publishers to reverse course before libraries and the people they serve are harmed.”

Millions of people now use digital content as their preferred or only access to books, music, and movies. Digital content is portable, accessible to people with print disabilities, available anywhere 24/7, and brokered by libraries to provide diverse options to our diverse communities.

Libraries not only pay for books; they market them. Lost marketing means lost publicity and sales for publishers and authors.

NYLA joins the ALA in denouncing this measure and calling for Macmillan Publishing to cancel the embargo and restore full access to its complete eBook catalog upon release to the public.

Furthermore, NYLA affirms the principles that:

 

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