Archive | July 18, 2009

All Your Book Are Belong to Amazon

If you’ve bought an e-book from Amazon, you probably thought it was now yours.

Well, okay – not quite. You knew you couldn’t distribute it to other people, thanks to IP laws. But you probably thought you could at least keep it for your own use.

Kindle, redactedGuess again. If – irony alert – you’re a fan of George Orwell’s 1984 or Animal Farm and bought an electronic version for Kindle, Amazon’s handheld reader, the book you bought has been retroactively “disappeared” by Amazon at the request of the publisher. (CHT Sheldon.)

Oh sure, the money you paid has been refunded. But if you thought the book was yours and you were free to turn down any offers from Amazon to buy it back – welcome to 1984. (Assuming I’m still allowed to use that sequence of numbers.)

There’s been some outcry, and Amazon says they won’t do it again; but by their own terms of service, they already promised they wouldn’t do it the first time, so their credibility is not high at this point.

The real problem here is IP laws, of course. But in the shorter term, I’d really like to see Amazon get burned over this. They should be sued, their Kindle-swindle should be boycotted, and, oh yeah, someone should hack that thing.

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