I’ve long been a proponent of the ability to transfer digital content licenses — not only is it obviously good for us consumers, in mirroring the ways we traditionally manage physical media, but I believe it also benefits rights holders by staving off piracy and building loyalty. While we’ve yet to see many mainstream implementations, Amazon will be following in Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book footsteps when they unveil Kindle content sharing functionality later this year:
Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period. Additionally, not all e-books will be lendable – this is solely up to the publisher or rights holder, who determines which titles are enabled for lending.
The terms are somewhat restrictive, but it’s a reasonable start. Assuming the publishers play along… I have my doubts after some decided $9.99 isn’t a fair price for content that requires no shelf space and costs effectively pennies to duplicate and distribute. On a personal note, I’ve sidestepped the issue of digital lending by purchasing a Kindle 3 for Mom… who will keep my virtual bookshelf fully stocked.