Seems to me that this is big news for the e-book market, and a major coup for Amazon. The ability to cheaply or freely ‘borrow’ an e-book should be a major attraction to people who read a lot of books. Interesting to see how Apple and Barnes & Noble respond.
It sounds like the only way they can mimic the real world is if Apple etc sign-up with digital media distributor OverDrive, so books can be borrowed irrespective of the device they’re read on. That would put OverDrive in a very strong position. Not sure Apple will like a major part of their channel to market being under the control of another company.