Lightning Source Scrambles to Comply With Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
Lightning Source issued a notification to its clients earlier this week that, beginning today, the last page of a Lightning Source-printed book (the bar- and batch-code page) will contain a label in addition to the bookblock/cover matching barcode. The label will list Lightning Source's name; the location where the book was made (LaVergne, Tenn. or Breinigsville, Pa.); the date (day, month and year); and Lightning Source's batch code.
The label is in response to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which was signed into law one year ago today. According to Lightning Source's memo to clients, the Act requires that all products—including books—intended for use by children 12 years old or younger and manufactured after Aug. 14, 2009, have a tracking label applied by the manufacturer. The tracking label must indicate to the consumer the product's manufacturer, the location of the manufacturer, the date the product was produced, and the batch run.
"Since Lightning Source is unable to determine from the name of the book, the files, or how a book is made if that book is intended specifically for the use of children 12 years of age or younger, Lightning Source has elected to apply the required tracking label information to all books manufactured by Lightning Source," the company's notice to clients stated.
Responding to Customer Feedback
In response to customer comments and concerns regarding the inclusion of the new tracking label on all books—not just children's books—Lightning Source issued a second notification yesterday that this procedure only would be in place for a short period of time.
"The [Consumer Product Safety Commission] issued its guidelines regarding the tracking label requirement on July 20, 2009," the company notification stated. "Because of this short lead time, and because Lightning Source's title database currently contains over 1,000,000 titles not previously identified as 'children's' or 'non-children's,' as well as the unique nature of the one-off printing environment, applying the label to all books Lightning Source manufactures is the only solution for compliance with the CPSIA in the timeframe provided."
However, within the next 90 days, the book manufacturer will develop and implement a process that will allow publishers to designate whether or not books are intended for children 12 years old or younger. For books not intended for children in this age range, the tracking label may be excluded.
In the meantime, Lightning Source noted that the tracking label that will be applied to all books only will include the minimum required information in the smallest readable point size.