Out of print

Out of print refers to an item, typically a book (see: Out of print books), but can include any print or visual media or sound recording, that is in the state of no longer being published.

The abbreviation OOP (also OP) is a more general term that encompasses craft, hobby, toy, and collectable items that are out of production.

An item goes out of print when a publisher does not reprint, re-press, or reissue once all copies have been sold to retailers. Reasons may include:

  • the perception of the publisher that continuing to produce the work is no longer a commercially viable venture, i.e. that there is no longer a market for the product.
  • a limited print run (Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern)
  • antiquation, or the obsolescence of content or format (laserdisc, VHS, compact cassette, vinyl record)
  • plans for a revised or reformatted edition
  • the presence of errors, flaws, fabrication, offensive content, or plagiarism (sometimes preceded by a recall).
  • legal obstacles, such as the expiration of a publisher's license to release content owned by another copyright holder. (For example, a novelization of a film that was released 10 years ago is likely to go OOP for this reason.) See licensing section in The Criterion Collection article for an example.
  • banning or censorship

Out of print items are often pursued by collectors through aftermarket retailers such as used book stores, record shops, and online auction sites. Sellers of out of print merchandise on auction sites will typically include "OOP" or its equivalent in product descriptions. The designation is sometimes misappropriated—an example is in keyword stuffing, where the acronym is used to generate numerous search results even as it does not apply to the items retrieved. The abbreviation is sometimes placed in descriptions of items whose publication or production status is unclear (such as DVDs said to be returning to the "Disney Vault") to affect interest in the product.

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