Doctorow’s take on HarperCollins self-destruct ebooks

What if each ebook came with a black box with wires and a red LED.. Or maybe a computer voice intoning a countdown…

EbookHarperCollins has informed libraries that henceforth, ebooks will be sold on the condition that they can only be circulated 26 times before they self-destruct. HarperCollins argues that this reflects the usage characteristics of the print editions that HarperCollins has sold to libraries for literally centuries. That is, HarperCollins argues that once one of its print books lands on the shelves of a local library, it will only survive for 26 checkouts before it has to be discarded because it is in such an unreadable state.

Cory Doctorow, Guardian.

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