Current eBook licensing practices are eradicating the central mission of libraries, with grave repercussions for equity and access to the world’s knowledge. The root of the issue is that while libraries buy print books in order to lend them to patrons, they can’t actually buy eBooks. Instead, they license the content from publishers. This means that publishers can set whatever terms they want in eBook licenses to libraries—or refuse to license them at all.
Library Futures supports legislation that aims to equitize the eBook marketplace. To that end, we have developed model legislative language that avoids the problematic Maryland language and that we therefore believe will hold up against legal challenges. In short, we propose model legislation grounded in state consumer protection, state contract law, state procurement law, and contract preemption.
Library Futures is one of the leading digital library policy and advocacy organizations, becoming a crucial voice in the fight for balanced digital rights in only a year.