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Penguin Reverses Course For Now On Kindle Lending

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SAN FRANCISCO — One of the country's largest publishers, Penguin Group (USA), is temporarily restoring libraries' ability to loan their e-books for's Kindle – but only through the end of the year.

The publisher backtracked Wednesday after saying it was informed by Inc. that the online retailer wasn't aware of Penguin's agreement with Overdrive, a leading supplier of e-books to libraries.

Penguin, which is based in New York, had suspended making new e-books available to libraries and said it won't allow libraries to loan any e-books for the Kindle due to unspecified security concerns.

Amazon, based in Seattle, allows Kindle users to borrow e-books from local libraries through a partnership with OverDrive. The partnership vastly increases the Kindle's presence in libraries and encourages patrons to visit Amazon's website and buy books.

Penguin asked OverDrive to disable its "Get for Kindle" function on Penguin books on Monday, and OverDrive said it and Penguin were "in the process of looking at new terms" for libraries.

Now, Penguin says the companies are all working together to "address Penguin's concerns" by the end of 2011.

Amazon declined to comment.

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