Library Futures has joined with Knowledge Rights 21, IFLA, and Authors Alliance to launch a new eBook Pledge: Making eBook Markets Sustainable for the Long Term.
Lack of title availability, unstable pricing, inability to preserve, and restrictions on interlibrary loan impact libraries and patrons globally. The contractual agreements that create this restriction on use are established by international publishers and aggregators. The systematic undermining of user rights and permissions in the digital realm is a threat to libraries, authors, and cultural institutions, and we must address this encroachment as a community.
To that end, we are issuing a Call to Action for Publishers, Libraries, and Authors to sign onto twelve principles. We are organizations that work to promote constructive relationships and the mutual interests of libraries and publishers in the eBook space, as well as upholding the interest of authors in reaching new readers.
These principles maintain the rights and permissions that libraries have exercised in the physical realm and allow for new experimentation and the expansion of innovative lending practices.
Library Futures has been pushing for these reforms since our founding three years ago. Our work is situated in digital equity: maintaining the right of libraries to lend and users to borrow and return. eBooks are a crucial piece of that puzzle, and the exploitation of digital content and rights has created an untenable and inequitable situation for libraries globally.
In committing to these principles, publishers can help us change the paradigm and support libraries and cultural institutions in building a brighter digital future for everyone.