wasting bandwidth since 1999

Amazon Selleth… and Amazon Taketh Away

Another reason to be wary of Amazon’s digital books – or any other media that comes with DRM strings attached.

This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for–thought they owned.

But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price.

Producers of video content would love to exercise this kind of control of your television and DVR through government-mandated schemes like the broadcast flag.

Previous

Educators Are Snobs

Next

International Digital Rights

2 Comments

  1. Just a point of clarification, it wasn’t that the publisher changed their mind, it was that the publisher who “sold” the books had not legal right to do so. They were not the copyright holder. Amazon really bungled this all the way around. Someone suggested that Amazon could of done a much better job of dealing with this by working out a deal with the actual copyright holder to allow the folks who bought the books to keep them, or at least provide those that bought the book a dead tree version of the books. I also find it funny that because of this I have learned that copyright in Australia only extends back to 1955. If you want some electronic Orwell, visit the University of Adelaide… http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/

  2. Tim

    I agree that Amazon should have handled this situation better. However, I still believe that media locked down with any kind of DRM simply makes this kind of control possible.

    I won’t be buying any Kindle editions until they drop the strings that allow Amazon to yank back the file people thought they owned as they did in this situation. I also don’t buy any other media with DRM unless I also have an easy tool to remove or get around it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén