Remember HarperCollins's stupid, stupid decision to remove e-books from libraries after they've been loaned to patrons 26 times? Slog tipper Meg alerted me to an open letter from HarperCollins that tries to defuse the controversy over that stupid, stupid decision. Here's the nut of it:

We spent many months examining the issues before making this change. We talked to agents and distributors, had discussions with librarians, and participated in the Library Journal e-book Summit and other conferences. Twenty-six circulations can provide a year of availability for titles with the highest demand, and much longer for other titles and core backlist. If a library decides to repurchase an e-book later in the book’s life, the price will be significantly lower as it will be pegged to a paperback price point. Our hope is to make the cost per circulation for e-books less than that of the corresponding physical book. In fact, the digital list price is generally 20% lower than the print version, and sold to distributors at a discount.

This is so fucking stupid. An e-book isn't a book. As long as you have electricity and the necessary technology, an e-book will exist forever. It's a file. It doesn't develop wear and tear the way physical books do. If you buy an e-book, you should be able to do whatever you want with that e-book, for as long as you want. This is just a greedy decision by a publisher to steal back what rightfully belongs to the consumer, in the hopes that they'll buy it again.

Alternately, if you want to play the idiotic game of pretending an e-book should be subject to the exact same laws as physical books, let's take it all the way: You're destroying books, HarperCollins. Those are books that can be loaned to patrons for as long as the library stays open, and you're denying access to those future generations of patrons. I can't think of one historical instance of a book being destroyed where the destroyers were in the right. There is no way for HarperCollins to win this stupid, stupid argument.