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I've been reading the comments on Twitter and Facebook by book authors that wanted this site shut down. What's surprising is that even if they're convinced the site wasn't hosting their books and was sending people to Amazon, they're still against it -- they feel they agreed to allow people to lend their ebooks to friends and family, but not to people they met through a lending club website.



> they feel they agreed to allow people to lend their ebooks to friends and family, but not to people they met through a lending club website.

They're probably just going by what they feel is 'normal' with "real books", which isn't an entirely unfair starting point.

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Spirit vs. letter.

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.

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Insurance companies are probably willing to let it slide if you let someone else who's insured drive your car

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.

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> Insurance companies are probably willing to let it slide if you let someone else who's insured drive your car

In the UK insurance companies will go out of their way to deny claims.

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Probably makes sense, since it's relatively easier for the car to be spirited off to mainland Europe and beyond.

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That's not the case. The difference in driving laws (right vs left lane) makes it fairly difficult to move cars between GB and mainland Europe, because cars have to be physically modified.

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.

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Eh? It's easy to move cars between GB and Europe, because there are car-carrying Chunnel trains and ferries that help you do so.

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.

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Yes, but this is not comparable to cars being "spirited off" across the continent, which don't need to be split up or modified: I can move a car from Prague to Paris and get full whack for it. This is not the case for the UK market, which enjoys a little bit of a barrier compared to the rest of the EU. Proof of this is that the secondhand market is still very much alive, because car prices are higher than elsewhere, since there is less pressure to align to cross-European prices. That is not the case in, say, France or Italy.

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Real books are often donated to libraries and dozens or hundreds of people read the same copies. I don't see how is this community different.

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In the UK at least, public libraries have to pay a small amount each time they lend out a book, not just buy the book and do what they want with it.

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> I don't see how is this community different.

Really?

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Yes, really.

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You are wasting our time then because you are not thinking about it very hard:

* 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.

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Libraries are physical spaces linked to one geographical community.

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.

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> * To read the books in the library, you have to physically go there, check it out, and take it home (or read it there).

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.

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> Your differences are largely superficial

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.

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To read the books in the library, you have to physically go there, check it out, and take it home.

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:

http://search.overdrive.com/

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It's different (C2C), but probably would have a similar impact to a library (particularly given the scale we're talking about here—only 15,000 users).

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> only 15,000 users

Right now. Is there any kind of hard limit on the number of users a site like that could have?

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This has been a source of disagreement with my wife and I over her books. She has been against the site from the moment she found out about it, and despite my investigation to determine that it was 100% legitimate…she still felt it was wrong for LendInk to even be able to make affiliate dollars off the sale of her book, because she felt the presence of her book listing "legitimized" LendInk. (Our books are not lending-enabled.)

I'm not happy about this.

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[dead]

I wish that I had enough karma to downvote this.

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If it's any consolation, looks like chives was hellbanned over it.

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In my experience, this is common among "creative" types.

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.

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I find that argument hard to accept when this system only lets you loan out a book once ever. If I wanted to show a book to my friends and family it would get loaned far more than that.

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Those authors must really hate public libraries then...

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