From: "Amazon DTP"
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010 12:47 PM
Subject: Announcing Amazon’s Kindle Book Lending Program
We are excited to announce Kindle book lending (http://www.amazon.com/kindle-lending). The Kindle Book Lending feature allows users to lend digital books they have purchased through the Kindle Store to their friends and family. Each book may be lent once for a duration of 14 days and will not be readable by the lender during the loan period.
All DTP titles are enrolled in lending by default. For titles in the 35% royalty option, you may choose to opt out of lending by deselecting the checkbox under "Kindle Book Lending," in the "Rights and Pricing" section of the title upload/edit process. You may not choose to opt out a title if it is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel. For more details, see section 5.2.2 of the Term and Conditions.
For more info on how Kindle Book Lending works, see our FAQ here: http://forums.digitaltextplatform.com/dtpforums/entry.jspa?externalID=581
Amazon Digital Text Platform
First, with cloud computing and a global network in place, this would seem to position Amazon to become the world's digital library. In theory, anyone who buys a book through Amazon can share it with anyone else. That makes buying a Kindle, and one book, the price of a global library card. Add an app that says what all the other customers have available for loan, and there you have it.
Second, it's clear that libraries need a comparable alternative. Absent that, we have only the advantage of physical place, which while real and compelling, cedes the ground in digital lending. Clearly, that's not thinking far enough ahead.
* through ALA, OCLC, or some other professional group, get Amazon to offer subnets of libraries. All our digital purchases (collectively made through our members) are available to those same members. A subnet might be limited to, for instance, the residents of Douglas County. This makes us the digital jukebox for our funders. This is truly no different than what we do now: one use at a time, a purchase for each book. It makes Amazon our ILS.
* establish our own independent servers, with various apps to access our purchased content. This means that either we need software to manage and preserve Digital Rights Management (DRM), or something to replace it (we strip the DRM and archive it, which is surely our right as the owner, but still allow only one use at a time, in keeping with the spirit and letter of copyright laws). That approach allows us to add our own content without going through a vendor. Call it the "local cloud."
As I said to my staff earlier today: things are moving fast. Libraries need to move fast, too.
P.S. A follow-up by Susan Linden in Loveland: it seems that PUBLISHERS are opting out, or have not opted in, among any of the top 10 books. That's an important point. But I'll counter with another one: today, self-published materials represent over 2.5 times the number of commercially published titles. They may be more positively disposed toward libraries.