updated 10:50 pm EST, Mon November 21, 2011
Publisher cites security concerns
Book publisher Penguin Group has reportedly decided to pull its e-books from digital lending programs managed by many libraries. The company has cited unspecified concerns over content security as the motivation behind the change in policy, though many publishers are believed to distance themselves from digital lending as a strategy to bolster sales numbers for physical books.
Despite the resistance from publishers, booksellers such as Amazon have worked to enable libraries to offer digital lending for e-books. The Kindle Lending Library was initially launched with support for more than 11,000 local libraries, which loan the digital copies to be read on a Kindle reader or the Kindle apps available for various mobile platforms.
The Authors Guild has criticized Amazon's handling of the programs, arguing that the online retailer is violating terms of distribution contracts. The retailer's lending proposals were reportedly rejected by the top six US book publishers and many of the smaller players.
Penguin claims it is still working with partners and libraries to find a distribution model that is "secure and viable." [via Wall Street Journal]