Well, maybe not the devil, but a minor imp.
The Big Six are afraid of the Kindle Lending program because "fuck you, how do we get paid?" And right now, the answer is pretty simple: Amazon either buys the rights to lend a book, or buys a copy of the book every time they lend it out to someone. From the publisher's perspective not a whole lot changes, and from the buyer's perspective the only difference is that you only have temporary access to a book you probably weren't going to re-read anyway.
But I don't think it's going to continue that way. Amazon Prime is $79 per month. Let's say the majority of users borrow six books a year -- half of what they're allowed to do. If Amazon is buying a new copy every time, that's $60 right there, leaving $19 to pay for all of the streaming video, free shipping, and other stuff that comes with Prime.
That's not a lot of room for profit, which means Amazon has to drive the cost of lending books down... and that's why this is spooking the Six. Amazon has already created an expectation that eBooks will be less than ten dollars, and that isn't an astonishingly profitable price point. Contrary to mainstream belief, the physical material is actually the smallest part of a book's cost. Author royalties, copyediting, cover design, and marketing are all much bigger chunks of that ten dollars.
The Six are worried that Amazon is going to commoditize their product entirely: rather than an expected price of ten dollars or less, Kindle users are going to expect books to be free. Which means Amazon is going to have to acquire them for almost-free. Which means that already marginally-profitable books are going to become even less profitable.
Now, I don't have a whole lot of love for traditional publishing. They're not as bad as the music industry, but they're still digging their heels in and refusing to join the rest of us in the twenty-first century. However:
As a self-published author, this makes me a bit nervous, too. I spent hundreds of hours working on the novel I just put up on Amazon (and Barnes & Noble, and SmashWords, and...), and those hours were all unpaid, on my own time. And then I had the cost of setting up a sole proprietorship (which was technically unnecessary, but still cost me a hundred dollars). And then I dropped two-hundred-fifty dollars on ISBNs (also technically unnecessary). Copyediting, if I hadn't cajoled friends into helping me out, would have run a thousand dollars. Cover design, if my wife wasn't a graphic designer, would have been another five-hundred to one-thousand dollars.
I'm selling the book for $2.99, and pocket 70% of that. I have basically no room to profit on this book -- and I'm actually treating it as a loss leader for future titles. But it would still be nice to recoup some of my costs, and I would like this little adventure as a whole to eventually become profitable. If Amazon succeeds in making books "free", that's going to be harder and harder to do.
And I'm not an Evil Big Publisher. My book is available in damn near any format you like, DRM free. I've even sent free copies to people that have written to me saying they can't afford to buy it, or were prevented from buying it by $BULLSHIT_POLICY. This was a labor of love more than anything else. But still: as an author, Amazon's move has me just a little worried.