Think back, way back, to the dawn of the digital music revolution. A time where America Online was just giving out Internet to people through CDs in the Sunday newspaper and Prodigy Online and Netscape were things that were happening. Yes things were just fine for the music industry. Grunge was ending, people were embracing pop music and 'alternative' music like never before. Things were looking up.

Then this happened. And this. And this.

Ah but where the music industry faltered due to their hubris and continues to slowly fade into that sweet, sweet goodnight we look at another industry: just as old, just as cold, but just not as stupid: book publishers.

Ah yes. You see publishers saw that the music industry made a fatal mistake: they did not get out in front of the digital revolution in their medium and instead attacked in a war of infinite fronts. Why fight? The publishers asked. We could easily just control it to our advantage. And when eBook readers became just as popular as other mobile devices the publishers and their distributors found themselves sitting on a gold mine.

But there was one problem: there was a place where people gave their money, their tax money, so they could be able to share anything they could want and everybody would have equal access to it without having to actually purchase it individually. And while physical books could be stolen, get damaged or simply age poorly and be purchased again an eBook was digital and only destructible by giant magnet, EMP, or server destruction. It could potentially live forever without having to be re-purchased.

Well this injustice to the publishers was quickly rectified. Why should tax-paying Americans get all the free rides? No, instead of seeing libraries as a large share of the market these publishers saw libraries as an adversary and decided to treat them as such.

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But unlike the stereotypes of the quiet, timid, bespectacled sweater-wearing cart jockey, librarians decided enough was enough. Enough with charging libraries triple the market rate. Enough with licenses that required libraries to repurchase an eBook after 10 uses. Enough with publishers making their digital distributors purposefully frustrating to use.

This article is one step in the fight against publishers who do not want eBooks to be affordable for libraries and thus not available to you. Support your libraries and help yourself because your library is engaged in a fight against a foe with bigger pockets, better lawyers and a much bigger stake in isolating you away from freedom of access.