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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Do you want to lend your e-book?

One of the frustrations of buying e-books is that you can't lend them to friends -- or borrow theirs.

Because of the DRM restrictions advised by Amazon when publishing on Kindle, this is usually impossible.

Now, according to this report from Digital Book World, DRM might be coming to an end.

150x150Amazon Customer Inspires Wave of Anti-DRM Sentiment
An Amazon customer who has not identified herself has alleged that Amazon has shuttered her account and removed access to her content without a good explanation.

In response to the buzz on the Web, Amazon posted a short statement on its customer forum that casts some doubt on the original story. (Update:
Reportedly, access to the account has been mysteriously restored. No word on that from Amazon yet.)

Either way, the incident fomented some anti-digital-rights-management sentiment on the Web, with many on Twitter and email lists discussing how DRM makes the alleged action by Amazon a possibility and ways of getting around it. Some even went so far as to advocate breaking DRM and taking the files out of the Amazon ecosystem.

Major publishers have been slowly taking steps in recent months to test what their business would look like without DRM.
Macmillan has opened a DRM-free e-bookstore with its Tor imprint and HarperCollins recently launched a social-reading app that pushes customers toward a DRM-free e-bookstore.

The incidence and effect of piracy on the e-book market is thought to be lower than in other digital media; expect to see more experiments like this from large publishers soon.

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