From the UK: “University Staff Urge Probe Into E-Book Pricing ‘Scandal'”
From the BBC:
More than 2,500 UK university staff have called for an investigation into the “scandal” of excessive pricing of academic e-books.
“Price rises are common, sudden and appear arbitrary” with some digital books increasing by 200%, they say in a letter to Education Committee MPs.
Organiser Johanna Anderson said some e-texts can cost 10 times print copies, with taxpayers and students the losers.
Publishers say the costs are due to the different formats and shared-use.
Librarians, lecturers, researchers and other representatives from almost every university in the UK have attached their names to the letter. It says:
- A monopoly created by copyright law is the root cause of “these huge pricing differentials” and there is no justification for it
- Earlier this year at least two well-known academic publishers raised the cost for a single-user e-book by 200% with no warning
- Licences of e-books are often confusing and frequently restrictive
- Publishers can withdraw e-book licences previously purchased by universities and enforce new ones.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.