Strong opinions, weakly held

Why I don’t own a Kindle

The Kindle seems neat and all, but I’m not going to pay for books that I don’t actually own.


  1. Amazon apparently doing its best to actually do all those things that those crazy fanatic paranoid open-standard people warned would happen with proprietary devices and formats and DRM.

    Rule #1 of software: DO NOT DELETE MY STUFF.

    The irony of it being 1984 that was deleted from people’s Kindles is rather perfect though. Have to wonder what the hell was going through the mind of the people at Amazon that authorized this.

  2. whatever, ppl will live with it. nobody is going to buy the off-brand ebook readers , just like nobody cared that ipods lacked FM, OGG, had weird DRM, incompatible with stock USB MAss storage, etc..

  3. The fundamental difference between the iPod and the Kindle is that the iPod supported MP3 and AAC files without DRM from day one. Some people chose to buy DRM-protected tracks from the iTunes store, but always had the option to use non-DRM media instead.

  4. The dim bulbs at Amazon legal apparently did not consult with the Amazon PR folks. Amazon is a big enough company that they could have easily just dealt with the issue in a behind-the-scenes manner, perhaps offering a settlement to the copyright holder and removing the books from e-distribution. Removing the books retroactively was simply a bone-headed decision and Amazon is likely regretting it. The damage done via bad PR is worth far more than any monetary settlement they could have worked out with the publisher.

    It’s important to note that these two books were added by a third-party that did not have the legal right to offer them:

    “These books were added to our catalog using our self-service platform by a third-party who did not have the rights to the books. When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers’ devices, and refunded customers. We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances.” – Drew Herdener, Amazon.com’s Director of Communications

  5. “in these circumstances” is not the right line. “Under any circumstances” is more like it.

    You sell someone a book, they get to keep it. If you didn’t have the right to sell it to them, that is your problem to be resolved with the rights owner. It is not the customer’s problem.

  6. yeah, what Jacob said. if you had an illegal hardcopy, nobody could disappear it…

  7. Well… if you buy stolen merchandise in meatspace, you don’t get to keep it when the cops finally track everything down.

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