first_imgA while back, prompted by the Barnes & Noble Nook’s cool book lending feature, Amazon decided to roll out the same thing, baking ebook lending capabilities into their Kindle software. The idea is sound and addresses some of the complaints about digital media, in that it allows you to lend an ebook out to a friend without simply copying it for them. The owner of an ebook gets to loan it out once; the publisher of the ebook gets to maintain control over the way the work is distributed. A pretty good compromise.Soon enough, though, Amazon’s Kindle ebook lending function inspired some sites dedicated to lending ebooks to strangers. Lendle was one of those services. It was a free site that did not feature ads. Once you signed up for a Lendle account, you’d sync your Amazon ebook library with it: Lendle would then determine which books were lendable and list them as available for borrowing. If someone wanted to borrow that ebook, Lendle would put them in touch. The idea was that if you lent out one book, you’d be able to borrow some other book you wanted to read from someone else.It was a pretty cool service. Very gentlemanly. Unfortunately, Amazon didn’t approve, though. According to Lendle’s website, “Amazon has revoked Lendle’s API access. Unfortunately, Lendle is unavailable indefinitely. We will do everything we can to restore service soon.”Why did Amazon revoke Lendle’s API access? According to Amazon, Lendle “didn’t serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site.”That’s a very strange perspective on the matter for Kindle to take. As Lendle’s co-founders point out, you can’t actually borrow books on the Lendle site if you haven’t also made your own Kindle ebooks available for lending. Moreover, just because you don’t know the person borrowing your book, that doesn’t mean they’re less likely to buy their own copy of the ebook once their 14 day lend runs out.What a weird move. I’m hoping Amazon caves on this, but I’m not holding out hope: Amazon’s been extremely cautious about its lending policies, and don’t even advertise the Kindle’s ability to lend ebooks to friends and family members. My guess is that their too afraid of pissing off the publishers to bend on this, even if it makes an entire community of customers less likely to buy Kindle ebooks.Read more at Ars Technicalast_img

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