Published by LawTechie - August 8, 2012 - LawTechie

Internet lawAccording to TechDirt, a collection of ebook authors have, via an angry debate on Twitter and subsequent DMCA take-down notices, taken down the ebook lending site LendInk:

LendInk, a matchmaking site for Kindle and Nook users to “borrow” each other’s titles, somehow found itself on the receiving end of an irate mob, who accused it of piracy and sent (at least according to the threats) several DMCA takedown notices its way.

As of last Friday, the site is down, presumably as a response to the heavy influx of angry traffic and DMCA notices.

At first glance to me (and presumably to the angry authors), LendInk seemed to be engaged in some contributory copyright infringement by helping Kindle and Nook owners file share their book libraries. But here’s the rub: Ebook publishers who publish via Amazon KDP Select expressly grant the right to have their ebook’s lent via Nook and Kindle lending programs. Thus, this is not illegal file-sharing, but legal and fully licensed ebook lending (we should assume that the ebook authors read their publishing contracts).

Here is what confused many of them:

All [the authors’] books only appear to be available. Because LendInk is an Amazon affiliate, any book title searched would be listed at the site. Clicking through would tell you whether the book was actually available (meaning someone had offered it to borrow). If the author or publisher has not authorized lending, then the Borrow button would be grayed out.

Thus a legitimate and licensed site was taken down via overzealous DMCA advocacy.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.


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