The 2015 DMR free promotion states: Having the ability to download files at your convenience, store them on all your devices, or share them with a friend or colleague as you would a print book or DVD is liberating, and is how it should be.
I'd never considered "sharing them with a friend or colleague". My love of DMR free was confined to freedom to move them between devices, watch them on any device, not worry about "registering" devices etc.. Have I been more protective of O'Reilly's rights than O'Reilly would have me be?
Help get this topic noticed by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
I would tend to agree. However, it is entirely ethical and legal to treat an ebook as you would a print book, and a print book we may loan out to a friend from time to time. I would assume if you (and the friend) worked within that framework (i.e. the friend deletes their ebook copy when done, thus "returning" the book to you), there is no dilemma.
The difficulty, of course, would be the temptation for the friend to keep their copy. Of course, real pirates will pirate whether you give them a copy of not, so perhaps it makes sense for O'Reilly to encourage "freedom within an ethical framework". It never pays to "punish" your paying and loyal customers with burdensome and overbearing restrictions, such as certain unnamed software companies do.
In any event, I always encourage my friends to buy their own copy if they are more than just casually interested. All parties need to support the authors via actual purchases if we want to continue to see new high quality books on such narrow subjects. Also, by buying books on your favorite topics, it incentivizes publishers to continue focusing on them, rather than considering them dead technologies.
We do have ebook lending guidelines listed on this page -
Lending: If you buy an O'Reilly ebook from oreilly.com, you may lend it to another person, provided that you do not retain any copies of the book after you lend it. This is the same as the situation when you lend a used print copy—when you lend the copy, you deliver it to the buyer and no longer have a copy in your library. If you have bought a hard copy/ebook bundle, you may of course retain the hard copy, if you lend the ebook.
I hope that helps,
O'Reilly Book Support