What is this all about?
HarperCollins intends to limit the number of times a library can loan each ebook.
What are you asking me to do?
Until this policy is revoked, join us by not buying any new books or ebooks published by HarperCollins or any of its imprints: Amistad, Avon, Avon A, Avon Inspire, Avon Red, Balzer + Bray, Caedmon, Collins, Ecco, Eos, Greenwillow Books, Harper, Harper Business, Harper Design, Harper Paperbacks, Harper Perennial, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, HarperAudio, HarperBibles, HarperCollins Children's Audio, HarperCollins Children's Books, HarperCollins e-Books, HarperFestival, HarperLuxe, HarperOne, HarperTeen, ItBooks, Katherine Tegen Books, Rayo, Walden Pond Press, and William Morrow.
In addition, support your local library if it chooses to participate in the boycott and write a letter to HarperCollins explaining your actions. You can also sign the "Tell HarperCollins: Limited Checkouts on eBooks is Wrong for Libraries" petition at Change.org.
The boycott will end as soon as HarperCollins agrees not to limit the number of times a library can loan each ebook.
Don't library materials wear out or get stolen? Are you trying to get a better deal for ebooks than for books printed on paper?
It's true that library materials don't have an unlimited shelf-life, though many libraries still circulate books that are well over a hundred years old. Given the pace of digital innovation, there's a good chance that ebook files libraries purchase today will be obsolete within a few years. For now, libraries have arrangements with publishers and ebook vendors that include some restrictions on ebooks lending, such as two-week loan limits and one-borrower-at-a-time. These restrictions make borrowing or loaning an ebook much like borrowing or loaning a traditional book.
Are you trying to make it more difficult to publish ebooks profitably?
We hope not, and we don't believe that we are. Readers, publishers, and libraries have relied on each other for hundreds of years. Successful publishers are closely associated with happy readers and busy libraries.
While circulation limits on ebooks might encourage libraries to buy additional digital copies of some ebooks, that's just speculation: libraries have limited budgets, especially in the current economy, so there is a good chance that libraries will spend the same amount on ebooks they are already spending but offer less variety because they would have to buy more copies of the most popular items.
In the long term, ensuring libraries' ability to circulate ebooks might actually be more profitable. Libraries encourage literacy and reading, helping to sow the seeds for publishers’ continued growth. Many of the most active library users are also among the most frequent book purchasers.
Do you hate HarperCollins? Are you angry at them? Why single them out?
We aren't anti-anyone, but we are opposed to limiting the number of times a library can loan each ebook. For that reason, we support boycotting any publisher that chooses to impose these limits. For now, HarperCollins is the only publisher to have imposed such restrictive lending terms.
Who is participating in the boycott?
A lot of readers and libraries. Library Journal has been keeping track of participating libraries.
Where can I read more?
We also recommend reading what Kate Sheehan has written about this issue at Loose Cannon Librarian.
Who created this website?
Librarians Brett Bonfield and Gabriel Farrell put this website together. They believe strongly in library users' rights, but don't speak for anyone except themselves. For answers to your questions about how the HarperCollins policy change will affect you and your use of ebooks, please see the contact page.