Digital eBook Lending Coming to Amazon Kindle

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.

8 thoughts on “Digital eBook Lending Coming to Amazon Kindle”

  1. I don’t really know anyone with a Kindle — will there likely be trading posts to bring people together?

  2. I have Nook which features lending and a lot of books, especially new/popular titles, aren’t lendable. I don’t think Amazon will be able to change publishers’ minds.

    The idea of secondary rental marketplace/matchmaking (even if it’s free) is pretty intriguing. Since there’s no dangers in lending an e-book (unlike physical book, it’ll be returned automagically), I’d be down for that. Probably, most difficult part would be scraping library information from Amazon/B&N (and it may be necessary to do that periodically as, presumably, lending function can be turned off and on at any time).

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