It took Amazon a while to bring e-book lending to the Kindle platform. Kindle owners can borrow titles through OverDrive’s lending service. It seems Penguin won’t play ball with OverDrive though. Penguin is indeed ending its relationship with OverDrive and will stop offering e-books and digital audiobooks to libraries until it finds a new partner.
There is no secret that large publishers are worried about the recent developments in the e-book industry. Making e-book lending easy may encourage people to borrow more, which is not something these publishers want to see. According to the American Library Association, the lack of friction involved in e-book lending is a turn-off to these companies and organizations.
It seems Penguin is negotiating a “continuance agreement” with OverDrive at this point. That means libraries that have Penguin e-books in their catalog will continue to have access to them. But they won’t get new tittles. Will these types of decisions further encourage e-book piracy? The jury is out on that at the moment.