Previously on Penguin vs. Amazon, Amazon cut prices for Penguin’s new releases of ebooks down to a discount price of $9.99. Penguin retaliated on April 1st by refusing to let Amazon carry any of its new ebook releases anymore. Amazon counterattacked by making those same books, in hardback form, that $9.99 price. Other companies had long since come to agreements with Amazon on pricing deals, but Penguin was stubborn. Eventually, Penguin too came to an agreement, and all seemed finally at peace. The peace was tenuous, however, and all knew that it would only be a matter of time.
In this episode of Penguin vs. Amazon, the new stage for combat has become libraries. Penguin announced that it would be disabling library ebook lending for the Kindle and pulled its latest ebook titles from every library lending platform. Libraries became infuriated by this move, saying that they, and their readers, are the ones that take the hit, not Amazon. Penguin only responded by saying that they have “copyright security” concerns. None of the other players in this conflict bought the excuse, and are now angry with Penguin for the lack of books.
Libraries complain that they have no power in the new fight that has reached their borders. The American Library Association, voiced by writer Christopher Harris, said “Loaning ebooks is like playing with some other kid’s ball on the playground. There is always a risk that the other kid will take back his or her ball and go home. This is a game libraries have to play. I just wish we could bring our own ball.”
The tenuous peace in the book world has all disappeared. Penguin pulling ebooks from libraries has caused the other major publishing companies to “actively review” their policies. Libraries fear they may lose more and more publishers as the fight crosses their borders.
To be continued.