Saturday, 8 January 2011

Technology: A Business Proposal

The good news is, Amazon US now allows Kindle users to lend and borrow e-books...

The bad news is, one, not all the publishers want to play, and two, it seems likely that non-US lending may not happen any time soon, either. One really has to wonder how greedy (or needy) publishers have to be to want to clutch at the tiniest opportunity to stop people doing with e-books what has been a natural thing to do with paper ones (and probably even with clay tablets of yore). Of course, the publishers also baulk at second-hand book market, paper or otherwise. But here, I may have a suggestion for them - and Amazon. Why not let customers sell second-hand e-books? They are DRM-encumbered anyway, and the sale would have to go through Amazon. It would have to go through Amazon so much that it would be easy for publishers (as well as Amazon, and the customer, of course) to get a cut of the proceeds - and this is something no publisher can expect for a second-hand paper book sale.

So there you go, an idea! And, (I hope) you heard it here first...