Kindle to Enable Lending

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 07:  An Amazon Kindle is s...
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The Kindle team announced in a forum post that they will be enabling lending functions in Kindle. Lending is a function that the Barnes and Noble Nook has had for some time.

Each book can be lent once for a period of two weeks and the lender cannot read the book during this period. Publishers will be able to decide whether or not a book can be lent. As one user commented on Techcrunch’s post on the subject:

The “laws of copyright” and fair use don’t seem to extend to the DMCA. Since Amazon’s ebooks are DRM’ed and locked to your account and device, “fair use” is whatever the publisher’s allow.

I tend to agree. I understand why publishers want to make sure you aren’t copying books and spreading them all over the place, but some of the restrictions are extremely disappointing. The lend feature is expanding our fair use rights, but by only allowing us to use it once, and by limiting it by publisher preference, I have to wonder how they think they will encourage more people to move to e-books, especially when they often cost more than paperbacks.