Kindle users can 'borrow' an extra book - forever

That's not what 'library' and 'lend' mean, say publishers


Amazon will lend Kindle owners a book every month as part of a new ebook borrowing scheme known as the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

The digi-library will only be available to owners of a Kindle device who also subscribe to the £49-a-year Amazon Prime programme. It is not available via the Kindle apps for Android and iPad.

5,000 books are available for free lending, though the US's six main publishing houses have refused to take part, with publishing execs telling the WSJ that they feared digital lending would damage sales. Still, the selection on offer includes some bookshelf heavyweights including The God Delusion and New York Times bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Book borrowers can have only one library title at a time and are allowed a maximum of one per month. They can keep a book for as long as they like, but when they borrow a new title, the previously borrowed book automatically disappears from their device.

It's not a completely new system: iTunes lets you rent movies at a cheaper rate than buying them, allowing you to keep them for 24 or 48 hours once you've started watching them before they're deleted from the device. iPlayer downloads work in a similar way. But those services don't let you borrow something until you're bored with it - or forever, if you want.

We contacted Amazon to confirm whether the library system will apply to UK subscribers as well, but haven't heard back yet.®


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022