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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Authors Guild and the Kindle Lending Library


In a strongly worded memo issued Monday afternoon, the Authors Guild took issue with Amazon's Kindle Lending Library for Prime customers, in particular those titles available without express permission from publishers and authors.

"How can Amazon get away with this? By giving its boilerplate contract with these publishers a tortured reading," the Guild said, adding that permission appeared to be dispensed with "because, as Amazon apparently sees it, its contracts with these publishers merely require it to pay publishers the wholesale price of the books that Amazon Prime customers download."

 The reasoning is "nonsense", from the AG's understanding of Amazon’s standard contractual terms: "publishers did not surrender this level of control to the retailer. Amazon’s boilerplate terms specifically contemplate the sale of e-books, not giveaways, subscriptions, or lending." In other words, the Guild asserts Amazon "appears to be boldly breaching its contracts with these publishers."

The way I see it, the Kindle Library is lending out books that haven't been purchased.

No regular library lends out books that have not been paid for, first.

The Authors Guild recommends that authors who find that their publishers have given the Kindle Lending Library permission to lend out their works without consulting with them first should be asking them some probing questions.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a consumer I would just like to express a need that I have. I love to read but, have very little time. I am on the road all the time which is my quiet time. I would love to be able to buy a book online to an e-reader & have it read a loud to me when I am in the car but, be able to read when I do have free time. Am I being unreasonable? I don't think so. The thought of being able to have this capability is so exciting to me. Any suggestions?

Joan Druett said...

I think that if you investigate, you will find that there are eReaders with a voice capability. Have a look at the Kobo and Kindle sites, and check, but I am pretty certain I have seen it advertised.

Voice-over certainly has advantages -- for the vision impaired as well as those who are driving long distances.