Penguin reverses course for now on Kindle lending

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

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

Penguin 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 allows its Prime express shipping users to read an e-book a month for free from a selection of titles. Though major publishers don't participate, they discovered their books were still being included, a policy denounced as illegal by the Authors Guild.