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.


11 Responses to All Your Book Are Belong to Amazon

  1. Roderick July 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    I recognise that there’s some tension between the hacking and boycotting options ….

    • Soviet Onion July 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

      Seems like creating alternative sources of the same product would make the boycott of a single producer much easier.

      • Roderick July 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

        True, but alternative softwares for the same boycotted hardware are less useful ….

    • Ucio July 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

      You can do both:
      1. boycott – stop buying from Amazon.
      2. hack – make sure what you will be able to use what you’ve already bought no matter what Amazon does

  2. Vichy F. July 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    This is why I should just get a PDF reader. There are more good books in PDF than Amazon has, anyways. Good luck finding Francis Lorimer there.

  3. Anon73 July 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Forgive me for being naive but the Kindle has been out quite a while now, wouldn’t some russian haxorz have solved it by now?

  4. Robert Hutchinson July 19, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    I was already not buying anything from Amazon after they semi-disappeared books on LGBT topics a few months back. Does that make me ahead of the game?

    • Roderick July 19, 2009 at 10:47 am #

      Sure, but in that case Bertrand Russell has you beat, boycott-wise.

      • Robert Hutchinson July 19, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

        Well, I can’t find this Russell fellow on Twitter anywhere, so.

  5. Briggs July 19, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    Jeff’s blog


  1. We Really Didn’t Mean To Cut Your Hand Off At The Wrist, But We Had No Choice When You Reached For Your E-chips | Austro-Athenian Empire - July 24, 2009

    […] came under some heavy criticism yesterday for last week’s Kindle debacle; the company’s decision to delete copies of e-books from customers’ Kindles was […]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes