Originally Posted by colinsky
NEW YORK, October 26th. Barnes and Noble have again upped the ante. In response to Amazon.com's announcement yesterday offering restricted e-book lending on Kindle devices, Barnes and Noble have introduced a new unlimited book lending feature.
"Amazon have missed the boat," claimed a Barnes and Noble Spokesperson. "Their outdated approach only allows certain enabled e-books to be loaned a single time, for a non-adjustable two-week period of time--even less than can be done with a cheaper, paper-based book. Our new technology, enabled on all Nook versions, enables all of the digital books you own to be shared multiple times, without such restrictions, yet still prevents multiple individuals from unfairly reading the same book at the same time."
Although the sharing technology was not demonstrated due last-minute troubleshooting, an insider described the technique as "actually loaning the physical nook (and all the books on in) to your friend".
In a separate announcement, Macmillan Publishers, Inc.. announced a lawsuit against Barnes and Noble in order in order to restrain this technology from reaching the market. "This illegal and unethical sharing technology will directly harm the ability of our authors to make money from their works," they argued in an open letter to the Internet, raising investor fears that Barnes and Noble may soon be vilified online as Amazon themselves were earlier this year when they attempted to challenge publisher price fixing and collusion by temporarily halting sales of physical books.
That is a beautiful thing for B&N to attempt. And great that Macmillan is suing ONLY B&N so if B&N wins then Amazon can implement the same policy.
One thing I would say in defense of the authors, printed books have one built in limitation which does not exist for ebooks....they wear out. So, I do see the publishers having a reasonable argument here. I do see the point of some sort of limitation on lending as even the only to one user at a time policy does not take into account a book being lent 100's of times, a thing, I would add, greatly increased the likelihood of lending ebooks because there is zero chance it would not be "retuned".