Digital publishing is something of a changing neighborhood, but recently the level of hostility has escalated noticeably. Last week Penguin terminated its contract with mega library content provider Overdrive over clashes with Overdrive’s Kindle lending agreement. The Penguin e-books were licensed to lend through the Overdrive platform, but Kindle lending requires books to route through Amazon first. Not cool, Overdrive. Abandoned by all but Random House of the big six publishers, Overdrive’s singular hold over library lending seems tenuous.
In a similar shenanigan, Kno is taking legal action against Cengage Learning over their e-book extras. Kno’s platform featured a “journal” feature which allowed students to export passages of text into a virtual notebook for later use. Cengage claims this amounts to the creation of a derivative work and violates copyright. Cengage terminated their licensing agreement with Kno and Kno has filed a suit to keep the content. Kno relies on Cengage for a sizable chunk of their sales and holdings but as Mashable’s Sarah Kessler reports, there’s currently a glut of platform options for textbook publishers.