I might be missing the point, so forgive me if I'm off base.
There are e-book library capabilities out there already. As far as I can tell, they sort of work similar to a community paper library, but they probably have separate purchase agreements for content and they buy/lease a maximum number of lent copies. And most importantly, when you checkout an e-book, you get access for a fixed number of days. Maybe something like 21 days. And extension checkouts might be offered as well. But if you finish the e-book in a day, you can't "return it" like you could a paper book. On the other hand, you didn't have to drive to the library either! Plus, as mentioned above, the library bears the cost, so it's essentially subsidized (out of the taxes you paid).
both offer services to get libraries lending e-book content. I assume they take care of all the negotiations and acquisitions of content as well as providing the lending infrastructure. It's basically offered as a service to libraries for a fee that depends on what collections are available.
If the questions is about whether a few individuals should try to do similar things on their own, I think that DRM laws and licensing issues will probably make such an effort highly challenging at best. And if they are not copyrighted books, then it's really not much of an issue in the first place, because now you are just talking about downloads, not lending, and you might as well just browse the MobileRead "library" of e-books!
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