They're probably just going by what they feel is 'normal' with "real books", which isn't an entirely unfair starting point.
It's no surprise this sort of thing would pop up. It's not unlike the problems that arise due to things like car sharing and airbnb, when insurance companies and landlords get involved.
Insurance companies are probably willing to let it slide if you let someone else who's insured drive your car, and landlords generally allow you to have guests. But lending your car to complete strangers, for money, and letting complete strangers stay at your apartment, essentially short-term sublets, are not really what they are prepared to tolerate, at least not without altering the terms and rates they charge for coverage or rent.
Not just probably: I called my insurance to put someone on my insurance, and the customer service rep grilled me about how often they would use it and for what purpose ("Are they using it to commute to work?"), and then strongly recommended I not buy any additional coverage, stating that my existing coverage covered them as well, no problem.
In the UK insurance companies will go out of their way to deny claims.
Insurance companies are just out to make as much money as possible; in Europe their life is hard because they don't enjoy the ridiculous margins from crazy markets like US healthcare, they have to obey stricter regulation, and suffer from heavy rates of fraud in many countries.
EBay Germany has plenty of RHD cars listed from German sellers.
And what side the steering is on doesn't really matter if you're just going to chop it up for parts.
* Libraries are physical spaces linked to one geographical community.
* Libraries have a limited number of physical copies to lend out.
* To read the books in the library, you have to physically go there, check it out, and take it home (or read it there).
Compare and contrast with a web site linking potential lenders/borrowers:
* Geography is not much of a limit.
* Ebook copies (limiting the discussion to Kindle) are managed by Amazon, but are only scarce artificially - in their 'natural' form, ebooks are not a scarce resource.
* Clicking on a web site to get a book is far, far easier, quicker and more convenient than going to a library.
That's just off the top of my head. Presumably, if you were not being willfully obtuse, you could think of a few differences too.
I don't understand how anyone can hope to discuss this stuff in a rational way if they're not going to look at the facts as they are.
Which may have many more users than this group had. How many users does a library in NYC serve?
Libraries have a limited number of physical copies to lend out.
These lending systems are much more limited: each copy can only be loaned once. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=2...
To read the books in the library, you have to physically go there, check it out, and take it home (or read it there).
But back then you also had to physically go to a book store, buy the book and take it home. Borrowing wasn't much more difficult than buying.
I haven't used a library in 15 years that couldn't send you a book, as long as you were a member/library card carrier.
Your differences are largely superficial and orthogonal to the discussion, but I suspect you and I are not going to be able to agree on this point.
About as superficial as the difference between Amazon.com and Smith Family Book Store ( http://www.smithfamilybookstore.com/welcome.html ).
The possibility for a web site to scale up outstrips the wildest dreams of pretty much any librarian who traffics in physical books.
I don't get why people don't see this.
My local library does e-book lending online through Overdrive. Almost any e-book format, generous checkout times, etc. You can search tens of thousands of libraries here:
Right now. Is there any kind of hard limit on the number of users a site like that could have?
I'm not happy about this.
Their own interpretation of what should be is fact in their minds. The book is to be lent this way, the message of the story is this and the character is to be interpreted this way.