January 17, 2022

OverDrive's CEO: "A message from OverDrive on HarperCollins' new eBook licensing terms"

From a Blog Post by Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive:

Since Friday, we’ve heard directly from many library partners about the new eBook licensing terms instituted by HarperCollins. As an initial step, here is what OverDrive is doing about it.

[Our Emphasis] Beginning March 7, we are making changes in the eBook ordering process. HarperCollins eBooks and their catalog of titles will be moved from our general eBook catalog to a separate collection. Until we have time to review the effect of these new terms with our library partners, HarperCollins eBooks will not be listed in our Library Marketplace. You will be able to review and order HarperCollins eBooks from a separated catalog, if you so choose.

For those librarians who are less familiar with me or OverDrive, we know that you have expressed concern that OverDrive failed to stand up for you and your readers in this situation with HarperCollins, and that OverDrive did not do enough to prevent these changes. This sentiment does not accurately characterize my and OverDrive’s work in the library market over the past decade, nor does it reflect our discussions with HarperCollins regarding these changes. OverDrive did not invite, recommend, or suggest the need for any changes in terms.

We did have an option to stop carrying or distributing HarperCollins eBooks to our library partners.  Instead of taking this approach, we made the decision to continue to make the world’s second largest publisher’s catalog of eBook titles available to you, communicate the changes in advance to our library partners, and offer the option to make informed purchasing decisions.

Potash continues with examples of what OverDrive has done advocating for libraries.

Make sure to take a look at the complete blog post.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.