Ten major Romanian publishers, including Polirom, Rao Distribuţie, Nemira Publishing House and Humanitas, plus the Romanian Publishers' Association, have sued local library Bookster for unfair competition, Ziarul Financiar reported.
Bookster is a library that mainly works with companies allowing them to offer their employees the possibility to borrow books for free, as an extra benefit. Moreover, the employees have the books delivered directly at the office.
The library has reached close to 1,000 partner-companies, including some of the biggest corporations in Romania, and over 76,700 people who borrow books from it, and more than 100,000 books in its inventory.
Bookster was launched in 2013 by Bogdan Georgescu, a former manager of real estate consultancy firm Colliers International Romania.
The publishers started the lawsuit in 2019. They are unhappy that the development of this library could impact their sales. Moreover, according to Ziarul Financiar, Bookster doesn’t buy the books directly from the publishers but from online and offline bookstores.
The publishers went not only against Bookster but also sued the Culture Ministry, which authorized it as a library, and the company Development Consulting, owned by Bookster founder Bogdan Georgescu.
Bookster commented for Ziarul Financiar that “the publishers involved in the lawsuit against the public library Bookster and the Ministry of Culture claim that, because people can borrow books from a public library for free, publishing sales may decrease.” Meanwhile, the publishers refused to comment.
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