Oh HarperCollins. I'm afraid you have made a terrible, terrible mistake. Because now you are in a fight with every single library that buys your e-books. HarperCollins has changed its policy so that when a library buys an e-books, it will vanish after 26 check-outs. Then the library can purchase the book again, at a slightly lower cost. To be blunt, this is stupid and a step back. The 26 check-outs were apparently reached as the average number of times a book circulates before it has to be withdrawn. I would have loved to be in the room when they were working through the complex mathematical equation they used to work that one out. A hardcover book can withstand more than 26 check-outs just fine. Maybe not a paperback.
Also, this is dumb. Has HarperCollins not realized yet that libraries also purchase Kindles and Nooks and whatevers and download books to them and then circulate them? Many, many times? More than 26 times? What do you plan to do about that? Or is that somehow OK?
boingboing declares that libraries shouldn't purchase HarperCollins ebooks, but also not to buy any DRM (digital rights management) media (ebooks, videos, games). This can be hard, I know. A good start would be boycotting HarperCollins until they realize this was NOT a good idea.
I don't think this particular situation will last long. People are pissed, and HarperCollins will probably pull back. It was a stupid move. Maybe it will prevent other publishing companies for making similarly stupid moves? Only time will tell.