Amazon e-lending scheme to launch in the UK

Amazon is to launch its controversial Kindle Owners' Lending Library in the UK from the end of October, offering Kindle-owning Amazon Prime customers access to more than 200,000 e-books for free.

The Lending Library allows Kindle users to download and read for free one title per month, but initially proved controversial in the US where Amazon launched the offer around e-books without seeking publishers' permission.

It was not immediately clear if traditional publishers in the UK had the choice to opt in or out. In the US, where the service launched a year ago, Amazon included books without separate publisher or author agreements, paying the wholesale price each time a book was 'borrowed'. In the US, despite the launch furore, it now has 180,000 e-books in the offer.

The announcements come on the eve of the launch of Barnes & Noble's Nook devices in stores and the roll-out of its UK website. Amazon said the Lending Library would also be launched in France and Germany, though did not specify a date.

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