SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One of the country’s largest publishers, Penguin Group (USA), is temporarily restoring libraries’ ability to loan their e-books for Amazon.com’s Kindle — but only through the end of the year.
The publisher backtracked Wednesday after saying it was informed by Amazon.com Inc. that the online retailer wasn’t aware of Penguin’s agreement with Overdrive, a leading supplier of e-books to libraries.
Penguin, which is based in New York, had suspended making new e-books available to libraries and said it won’t allow libraries to loan any e-books for the Kindle due to unspecified security concerns.
Amazon, based in Seattle, allows Kindle users to borrow e-books from local libraries through a partnership with OverDrive. The partnership vastly increases the Kindle’s presence in libraries and encourages patrons to visit Amazon’s website and buy books.
Penguin asked OverDrive to disable its “Get for Kindle” function on Penguin books on Monday, and OverDrive said it and Penguin were “in the process of looking at new terms” for libraries.
Now, Penguin says the companies are all working together to “address Penguin’s concerns” by the end of 2011.
Amazon declined to comment.
The following was posted last night (November 21). The impact on Canadian libraries is not known.
Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks. In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin eBook titles from our library catalogue and disable “Get for Kindle” functionality for all Penguin eBooks. We apologize for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier. We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible.
More information on this development will be happening over the next two or three days.