Macmillan eBook Embargo Updates
Macmillan Abandons Embargo – March 2020 (NEW)
On March 17th, Macmillan CEO John Sargent issued this memo addressed to all librarians, authors, illustrators, and agents.
The memo reads, "Dear Librarians, Authors, Illustrators and Agents, There are times in life when differences should be put aside. Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library ebook pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some ebook prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries' collections in these difficult times. Stay safe. John"
Legislation Introduced in New York - January 2020
This bill, currently in the Senate Consumer Affairs Committee, requires that publishers who offer electronic books to the private market, also extend licenses to libraries within the State, without discrimination. Contracts would stipulate “reasonable terms” that would allow libraries across the state, and their patrons, to have equitable access to the content they seek.
- Macmillan Abandons Embargo – March 17th, 2020
- #eBooksForAll Campaign Update - Tuesday, December 17
- Libraries Respond to Macmillan Ebook Embargo with Boycotts, Advocacy - November 13, 2019
- Monroe County libraries join national Macmillan boycott - November 6, 2019
- ALA turns to Congress as Macmillan ignores public call to reverse library e-book embargo - November 1, 2019
- ALA responds to Macmillan Letter - October 31, 2019
- Macmillan CEO, John Sargent, writes a letter to librarians - October 29, 2019
- Congress Looking into Anticompetitive Behavior in the Digital Library Market - Publishers Weekly, October 24, 2019
- ALA submission about problems in the digital marketplace provided to the U.S. House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law - October 15, 2019
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:
- All published works must be available for libraries to purchase and lend to library users.
- Access to and use of eBooks must equitably balance the rights and privileges of readers, authors and publishers.
- Digital content must be accessible to all people, regardless of physical or reading disability.
- Library patrons must be able to access digital content on the device of their choosing.
- Reading records must remain private in the digital age.
What You Can Do
- Tell Macmillan Publisher CEO John Sargent that you demand #eBooksforAll
- Follow #eBooksforAll on Twitter to stay updated
- ALA Launches eBooksForAll.org Website
- ALA launches national campaign against e-book embargo - American Library Association
- Public Library Association condemns Macmillan Publishers library lending model - American Library Association
- Update on Ebook Advocacy - American Libraries Magazine
- How publishers’ increasingly restrictive e-book policies could undermine a key public library reference service - Publishers Weekly