UK publisher HarperCollins has urged libraries to limit the number of times an eBook can be lend out to 26, which it claims is the number of times a physical book can be lend out before having to be replaced. The company sees this restriction as a necessity to preserve its future revenue streams.
Clearly concerned about revenues from replacement books, HarperCollins claims that the average library book is replaced after 26 loans. After this time, the library replaces the book, providing a revenue stream for publishers that's as old as libraries themselves.
With the advent of ebooks, this revenue stream is under threat - there's simply no need to replace an ebook. Ever. However, according to an article in The Guardian, HarperCollins' sales president, Josh Marwell, believes that's only fair: 26, he claims, is the average number of loans a print book would survive before having to be replaced.