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Is Amazon smart to pull the plug on Kindle e-book loan service Lendle?

March 22, 2011 | 10:31 am

Kindle-2010
Amazon has pulled the plug on Lendle, an e-book lending service for the Kindle, it was reported Tuesday. According to Lendle, Amazon has revoked access to its API, meaning Lendle can no longer access the online bookseller's e-book databases.

CNet reports:

Lendle first reported the news via Twitter: "Amazon has revoked Lendle's API access. This is why the site is down. It's sad and unfortunate that Amazon is shutting down lending sites... According to Amazon, Lendle does not 'serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site.' "

While e-book lending is still in its very early stages, some publishers allow certain e-books to be lent on a limited basis. Those books can be circulated to friends and strangers with Lendle and other apps that create lending clubs.

Lendle co-founder Jeff Croft counters Amazon's claim that the service does not benefit the site.

We take issue with this, as Lendle was built from the ground up to ensure that it would be beneficial to authors, publishers, and Amazon. Our site requires that you be willing to lend books before you can borrow them. We even went so far as to allow users to sync their Lendle accounts with their Kindle accounts, so that we could ensure anyone who borrows books on Lendle has previously purchased lendable books from Amazon. Our philosophy is: You can’t borrow if you don’t lend, and you can’t lend if you don’t buy.

MSNBC reports that some users have bought more books after signing up for Lendle and other e-book lending services.

Other e-book lenders, according to Croft, have also had their API access revoked, meaning Amazon has moved to put an end to the young Kindle e-book lending habit. What do you think: Is this a smart move by Amazon?

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HarperCollins' 26 checkout limit on library ebooks starts today

7.5 million iPads. How many Kindles?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Amazon's Kindle. Credit: Reuters.

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