We’ve updated this post. Material below. What’s going to happen next re: this bill. Make sure to read the statement (below) of the lead sponsor of the bill, Rep. Eric Luedtke (D).
A hearing to discuss a recently introduced bill in the Maryland General Assembly about ebook pricing in libraries is scheduled to take place in Annapolis tomorrow (January 29, 2014).
The bill, HB 244, was introduced on Jan. 17th and summarized this way:
Requiring a person who offers to license or sell an electronic book to consumers in the State to offer to license or sell the electronic book to libraries in the State; prohibiting a person who licenses or sells or offers to license or sell an electronic book to consumers in the State from licensing or selling or offering to license or sell an electronic book to libraries in the State above a specified price; etc.
We’ve embedded the full text of the bill (as of today) below.
The legislation has 12 sponsors led by Rep. Eric Luedtke (D) who represents a part of Montgomery County, MD (close-in DC suburbs including Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Rockville).
It’s worth noting that the Montgomery County Council passed a resolution on ebook/library pricing about six months ago. More in this July 23, 2013 post.
Finally, on June 12, 2013, the governor of Connecticut signed a law requiring an investigation of ebook pricing.
We’ve reached out to ALA and the Maryland Library Association for a comment. We will update if/when we hear back.
UPDATE Jan 29, 2014 Statement From ALA President Barbara Stripling About The Bill
The local legislation is reflective of some of the frustrations that libraries nationwide are facing as they work to serve the public and to continue to fulfill their role in society. The American Library Association continues to call upon publishers to make their e-books available to libraries at fair prices and fair terms.
UPDATE Jan 31, 2014 Prepared Testimony of Rep. of Rep. Eric Luedtke (D)
Note: As you’ll read in this statement Rep. Luedtke is now asking for a study of the situation after saying that the need for the legislation is premature.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this post the Governor of Connecticut signed a state law asking for a study ebook/library pricing last summer.
UPDATE Jan 31, 2014 Prepared Testimony of David Anderson, AAP
Prepared Testimony of Art Brodsky
Mr. Brodsky is a consultant and writer based in Maryland. He is also the author of an op/ed about ebook/library pricing published on Wired.com during October, 2013.