Saturday, August 1, 2009

High schooler sues Amazon: The Kindle ate my homework | The Social - CNET News

Amazon was recently faced with one of those "no-win" decisions. It had come to light that a publisher who provided a Kindle version of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm didn't have the rights to publish in that format. Amazon made a choice that sent ripples throughout the technology world; to use its wireless link with Kindles to remotely remove the books without advance notice. Now, mind you, these are electronic copies for which consumers bought and paid for legitimately.

Another repercussion of this act was that any notes, bookmarks, or related commenting done by the reader on their Kindle was made irretrievable. This is due to those items being stored in a separate file that is linked to the book; no book, no link, no access.

Amazon had other options and should have weighed on the matter more before taking action. The eBook market is still maturing and there are likely many people that were a bit hesitant about the idea of only having electronic versions accessible only on the Kindle. This Orwellian (pun intended) approach of reaching into someone's personal property and removing a product bought and paid for cannot possibly help those consumers who sit on the fence lean towards the Kindle and Amazon.

As it turns out, Jeff Bezos later released a statement apologizing for the action and indicated Amazon would never do such a thing again. We'll see if their market position gives them enough clout with the publishers to really do that.

[From High schooler sues Amazon: The Kindle ate my homework | The Social - CNET News]

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