Well, it is not really called e-Lending – I just made that up. Think about it this way, though – when you buy “real” books, you may end up lending them to your friends. If you are the kind of person who does not let other people touch their precious books, then forget about it. However, if you are like me, and you have borrowed or lost many a book along the way, then you’ll get the implications of this development.
Last week, Amazon made two announcements:
- Kindle newspapers and magazines can be read on Kindle apps. This means that even if you do not own a Kindle, you can read these materials on your device that has a Kindle app (which can be acquired for free).
- Kindle e-books can be lent to others who have a Kindle or who have access to Kindle apps.
Here is a snippet of that announcement:
“…we will be introducing lending for Kindle, a new feature that lets you loan your Kindle books to other Kindle device or Kindle app users. 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.”
Interesting concept, isn’t it? I know that there are individuals who freely share their e-books (which are acquired via other means), and this development probably does not concern them. For those who take copyright seriously, though, the lending feature will certainly be welcome. I don’t know what to think about the idea of not having access to your e-book while it is on loan, though. True, if we’re talking about physical books then there is no question about it, but why does this have to apply to e-books? Another thing – we already know that many publishers just might provide lending rights.
Nothing is set in stone, though. Amazon says they will let us know more when the features are available. Till then, we just have to wait.