Penguin Library Ebooks Have Returned to the Kindle

About 5 days ago Penguin forced OverDrive to how libraries could use their ebooks, and about 36 hours ago OverDrive copped to the restriction. I’ve just learned that the restrictions have eased somewhat; libraries cannot buy new Penguin ebooks but patrons can send current titles to their Kindles again.

OverDrive posted the following on their blog:

‘Get for Kindle’ for all Penguin eBooks in your catalog has been restored as of this morning. Penguin titles are available for check out by Kindle users and the Kindle format will be available for patrons who are currently on a waiting list for a Penguin title. This does not affect new releases, which remain unavailable.

I’m really glad for Penguin that they backed down in this one regard; like I said before, readers don’t really know who the publisher of a book is. Heck, I was watching the response on twitter and much to my surprise there were librarians who hadn’t noticed the publisher; they didn’t need to. And that meant that a lot of readers’ and librarians’ first introduction to Penguin was when Penguin thwarted them.

But at least this one small issue has been repaird by Penguin. Unfortunately, we still don’t know why Penguin created this situation in the first place. According to their statement, they were concerned about the security of library ebooks, but it’s not clear what that meant.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Chris24 November, 2011

    Too late. I’m still boycotting their titles. Won’t purchase, won’t lend. I spend enough but not enough that it’ll make a difference. Still!

  2. fjtorres24 November, 2011

    I wonder if all the talk about “security” means Penguin and the other BPHs want to force Libraries away from Overdrive to 3M and their cloud-based system.

    1. Nate Hoffelder24 November, 2011

      The 3m Cloud Library is just as device dependent as OverDrive, so that can’t be it.

      And if they wanted libraries to leave OverDrive then they need to offer a deal, not a club upside the head.

      1. fjtorres24 November, 2011

        A deal instead of a club?
        The Price Fix Six?
        What’s their track record like? 😉

        Doesn’t the 3M system use a different DRM?

        1. Nate Hoffelder24 November, 2011


          No, it still uses Adobe,

          1. fjtorres24 November, 2011

            So there really isn’t much cloud-ishness to it.

  3. fjtorres24 November, 2011

    What I’ve been thinking is that somebody at Penguin woke up from a drug-induced haze and discovered that Amazon was serving regular Kindle books to library users and remembered that Kindle DRM could, under some cases, be stripped and added up one + one = Panic!

    Then, somebody gave him a stiff drink and pointed out that the same applied to epubs and the tiny number of people actually getting *any* library ebooks, most of whom don’t know how to deDRM or simply don’t care to do it, so they restored Kindle access but decided it was “best” to snip it in the bud and limit future library access to their oh-so-valuable cash cows.
    Fits the evidence, no? 😉

    (Yes, I’m a regular viewer of CASTLE.)

  4. […] Penguin decided (late last week, actually) that they were going to reconsider library ebooks and as a first step they blocked sales of their new releases and they also made OverDrive block patrons from borrowing via the Kindle (this is enabled again). […]


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