Saturday, July 18, 2009

More on Amazon and 1984

Amazon sent an email to the New York Times about the whole mess with 1984 and Animal Farm that explained things a bit. Apparently I'm right, that someone published versions of the books who didn't have rights to them, and when the rights holder informed them, they felt they could legitimately go take them back from the customers and give a refund.

Apparently the negative press has been enough to get their attention, as the same email says, as quoted by Brad Stone of the New York Times, "We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances[...]".

In the long run, that might be enough. I rather hope not. I'd love to see the whole DRM and 'business controlling what you own' thing go up in flames, but I think the Kindle is too small a market to generate the kind of political will to change it.

In any case, while I'm still a little uneasy about them having /any/ control of what I've purchased and downloaded already, and while I detest their DRM for a variety of reasons, hopefully they've learned something important here, and really won't do it again. That'll have to be enough for now.


1 comment:

John Foberg said...

WOW! Thanks for pointing this out James. The idea of a provider having access to go in and modify/change/delete the digital content of something already purchased is just plain creepy.
It's the ultimate irony that the matter got pointed up and occurred regarding legally bought copies of "1984".
I use Amazon quite frequently, especially to buy my MP3's but this incident really sours me on their digital products...

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