Originally Posted by frostschutz
Amazon & Co should simply add a "1-Click Borrow From A Random Stranger" button right above or below "1-Click Buy". No more need for external networks. Maximum efficiency.
Problem is the feature is probably not meant to be used this way. If there's money involved with lending somehow (and there should be since libraries have to pay too?) the basis of this feature will be some kind of mixed calculation which stops working once it gets overused.
If users organize themselves in networks like this, as opposed to just occassionally lend something to people they know relatively well, the next store might decide to not offer the possibility of lending in the first place; and the existing ones might see a need to restrict or remove it.
After all in the end they really really want you to buy those things, not borrow them.
So legal yes, but good for readers and fair against authors? Not sure. Part of me feels that if you don't actually have a friend you could borrow from, you should be obligated to buy it, since that's how it used to work with paper books. You didn't just ask random people on the street to hand over their books to you.
I'm not a book writer but I can understand their position somewhat; it's hard to see your work show up on a different site every day. And it's easy to make mistakes. You can't go by looks anymore either, many pirate sites give themselves a very professional look these days. So when you see something like that it's easy to think piracy first and ask questions later, unfortunately.
People who objected to LendInk have no leg to stand on, they are clearly in the wrong. The lending feature doesn't say "close friends only". With paper books, people aren't restricted to loaning their books to close friends only, they can loan, give or sell them to anyone they wish. People do loan paper books to people they really don't know.
The bottom line is that the author CHOSE to allow the books to be loaned. The author didn't choose to only allow them to be loaned to close friends. The purchaser is entitled to loan the book once, to anyone they wish. It can be a close friend or a total stranger. The books can't be loaned out an indefinate number of times, only once.