Amazon loosens the reins for Kindle owners
One of the
biggest complaints that e-book readers have had is that they aren’t
allowed to do the things with e-books that they can do with regular
books – namely, lend them to other people.
“Once we’ve paid for a
book, we should be able to do anything we want with it,” they argue.
“No-one tries to prevent us from lending a regular book, so why can’t we
lend an e-book?”
Barnes & Noble recognized the problem when
they introduced the Nook e-reader a year ago. Nook owners can “lend” out
e-books for a maximum period of 14 days, during which the e-book isn’t
available on the lender’s own device.
Now, Amazon has followed
suit. Kindle owners will soon be able to loan an e-book to anyone with a
Kindle or a Kindle app. Terms will essentially be the same as for the
Nook: a 14-day period and the book cannot be read by the original owner
while it’s on loan. In addition, the ability to loan a book will not be
universal. Instead, the book publisher and/or rights holders will
determine if each book can be lent.
The ability to lend to someone
with a Kindle app – rather than requiring a Kindle device – is
significant. For example, a single family can now pass an e-book around
even if they only have one Kindle. Other family members will be able to
read the book on a smartphone, an iPad, or a computer – anything that
has the Kindle app installed.
In a related move, Amazon also
announced that many newspapers and magazines will also be available on
Kindle apps, meaning you don’t have to have your Kindle with you – or
even own one –to access dozens of periodicals. Again, a Kindle
app-enabled smartphone, iPad, or laptop will do the job just as well.
vision is ‘buy once, read everywhere’”, wrote Amazon in a blog post.
This clearly recognizes the intense competition for distribution that is
shaping up in the world of instantly available apps. For example, fans
of the New York Times can now receive electronic editions via the
Kindle, the Nook, the iPhone, any number of Android smartphones, and
even via Starbucks new Digital Network.
newspapers and other periodicals desperately try to move towards an
online subscription model, a share of significant revenue is at stake.
Amazon figures that by loosening the reins a little, they have a better
chance of keeping you in the stable.
Comment by Milcah, posted 10/25/2010, 7:32 PM:
Thanks for sharing this information. Really good to know!