There are some fabulous posts out there about the decision Penguin made to pull access to eBooks; among them are the Librarian by Day, Librarian in Black, and Andy at Agnostic, Maybe. They all make great points about different sides of the issue.
I got inspired by Andy’s post and his discussion of Molly Raphael’s report. Piggy-backing off that, f it really is a case of “could”, why have publishers or researchers not done studies to find out what the numbers really are? Who is interpreting those numbers? And what is the stake of those individuals? The only thing we can do that has an immediate effect is encourage patrons to contact publishers and voice their displeasure. That’s not enough, and we should try to find out the reality of the borrow v. buy eBook model. Then we can come to the table armed with ROI. Businesses love ROI, and libraries need to learn to love it too, because in cases like this we can be exponentially more effective.
But that’s not the big issue I see here. Consider the music and movie industries. I wonder if publishers have looked at what’s happened with the MPAA and RIAA; not SOPA/PIPA, but the way their customers want to consume the content. Buyers have proven they prefer to buy songs mostly on a one-song-one-price basis, and that they prefer to download that content. It’s not good business to no longer serve your consumer.
So that begs the question: if the producer of your content is ignoring your concerns,
are you their customer?