Earlier today I posted over on eBookNewser about 3M Cloud Library. 3M will be demoing their new system at the ALA conference later this week, and today they announced that they'd signed a couple new publishers. They also announced that the new Cloud Library would go into beta this summer. One of their beta partners will be the Kansas Digital Library Consortium.
One detail I didn't know at the time was that the KDLC had decided to end the contract with Overdrive and go with 3M. I had heard that the contract was up for renewal, and the KDLC weren't happy about a price spike. But I didn't realize that they were planning to _leave_.
The KDLC spent over half a million dollars on digital content with OverDrive, and they plan to take that content with them as the core of their new digital library (as provided by 3M).
What's even more interesting about this is that the contract says they can because the KDLC owns the content. (Would you be surprised to find out that the new contract won't let KDLC transfer the content?)
"... (i)n the event of termination, DLR [OverDrive] will cooperate with the Consortium to transfer any and all Digital Products and content purchased from DLR or independently owned by Consortium to another service provider to permit Library to continue to serve its Patrons with Digital Products. For Digital Products that Consortium has purchased from DLR, Consortium shall obtain permissions and consent from the owners of the Digital Product authorizing DLR to transfer the Content."
Of course, there's no guarantee that they can get publisher's approval. Do you remember back when Fictionwise and Overdrive ended their relationship? Most everyone who had bought ebooks from Fictionwise lost at least a few ebooks. The KDLC are probably going to lose a bunch of titles for much the same reason; publishers won't let them transfer the content.
3M haven't even launched the Cloud Library yet, and they're already having a positive effect on the market. Ain't competition grand?
image by The DLC