Is it possible to borrow an e-book?
For Kindle users, there's an extra wrinkle in the process of downloading certain books through public libraries. It is being reported that publisher Penguin Group has ended its relationship with distributor OverDrive, through which it had supplied new e-book releases and audiobooks to library systems. Library visitors had previously been able to download Penguin e-books onto their Kindles over the air. But with the partnership over, patrons now have to download the e-books onto a computer, and then use a USB cable to transfer the titles onto their electronic readers.
While the new process definitely sounds more complicated than the old one, publishers are naturally concerned about the ease of downloading from libraries and its effect on their e-book sales. Does it even make sense to borrow an electronic file? Libraries will have to think hard about their place in a climate where publishers find "sharing" and "free" to be very scary ideas.