But, lo and behold, DRM could not go so smoothly. Instead, publishers - yes, publishers! - are digging in their heels and throwing a bit of a fit about the lending of e-books. I fail to see the problem, really, as printed books are swapped, traded, lent, borrowed, stolen, etc, on a regular basis, and if our claim is that e-books should not replace printed books, than why would we want to establish e-books as "fixing the problem" of borrowed print books?
In response, B&N has limited lending to only 1 time per book. I guess that's kind of like lending a printed book to someone who always forgets to return it...
Moreover, with the ongoing debate about e-book pricing, does it really make sense for publishers to claim that e-books should be priced at the same level as their printed counterparts while simultaneously limiting the uses and capabilities of e-books? I'm big on not undervaluing e-books so as not to undervalue printed books (look at the crazy price wars), but in order to back up this claim, publishers (and e-book retailers) have to start addressing some of the issues of e-books: not compatible from one reader to the next, no lending rights, etc, etc, etc.
In the end, though, I guess it boils down to one question: e-book or p-book, does book lending really threaten publishing, or does it serve to promote books, authors, and the like? Any thoughts?