Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More On KindleGate

SANS just repored that the KindleGate is worse than just "1984":

--Amazon Deletes Purchased Books From Kindle Users' Devices (July 17, 2009)
Kindle owners who had purchased [emphasis by Anton, explained below] electronic copies of George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 were no doubt surprised to find the books deleted from their devices last week. Apparently the company that added the editions of the books to the Kindle catalog did not have the rights to do so. Amazon credited affected users' accounts for the cost of the books. Amazon says that if it faces similar circumstances in the future, it will not delete books from users' devices. Comments in customer web forms indicate that certain editions of Harry Potter books and works by Ayn Rand had similarly disappeared. The Kindle terms-of-service agreement nowhere states that Amazon has the right to delete purchased content from users' devices. The irony of Orwell's books being deleted has not been lost on the public.

But this teaches us something truly deeply funny and sad about the world we live in! Even SANS thinks that the readers "PURCHASED" ebooks; I am sure that said readers thought so too. That was their honest perception.

In reality, they never did purchase anything - they licensed it.

As a result, I suspect that the more stuff like "KindleGate" happens, the more the following perception (whether true or not!) will grow, strengthen and develop:

When you "BUY" digital content, you don't really BUY it - it is not really a PURCHASE.


When you STEAL digital content, you don't really STEAL it - it is not really a CRIME.

Please, folks who enforce the rules the way Amazon just did, watch for that monster you are helping to create. It will destroy you!

UPDATE: fun discussion about clouds, DRM and the KindleGate here (read the comments too)

UPDATE: Kindlegate truly ends; "Amazon Settles Kindle Deletion Lawsuit For $150,000" ("Amazon.com has agreed to pay $150,000 to the student who sued the company for deleting his digitalcopy of George Orwell's 1984 from his Kindle e-book reading device.")

Dr Anton Chuvakin