Monday, February 27, 2012

Harry Potter Ebooks Are Coming! (For a while...)

OverDrive made the announcement this morning that they have entered into an exclusive deal with J.K. Rowling and Pottermore to make the Harry Potter series of ebooks available to libraries and schools using the platform.

This is really exciting news for us, as the requests for them really haven't waned at all, and the ebooks are not available for retail purchase yet. While no official word has been made about the release date, everything (including OverDrive's Content Reserve) is pointing to April 30 as the date when they will be available through OverDrive.

That is the good news...

Last week we noted that there was a publisher that was offering ebooks with duration purchases - not checkout limits per se, but a statement that "Units expire 5 years after the units become available for circulation". This is also the case for all the Harry Potter titles - ebooks and audiobooks.

So, not the constrictive 26-checkout limit that HarperCollins ebooks have, but a limit nonetheless. A lot can happen in five years, for sure. However, it makes you wonder whether this is something that is foretelling a change of licensing terms for digital downloads for the future?


  1. Thanks for sharing this news- exciting about the HP ebooks! Library patrons are going to be thrilled.

    My gut reaction to the 5-year limitation on ebook checkouts is that it sounds pretty fair. Generous, even. I respect that the publishers have to make mone, and selling libraries digital books that never get worn out and need to be replaced could be problematic for them. Today's ever-changing landscape of ebooks is definitely interesting.

    1. Allison - It is definitely a changing landscape, and very interesting to see the different responses from publishers, vendors and libraries as waves are made.