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View Diary: Amazon Caught Deleting Books on Customer Kindles (216 comments)

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  •  Doesn't make sense (0+ / 0-)

    Then why doesn't Amazon feel the need to offer all content that way? When I buy an MP3, I download it to my machine, and Amazon can't touch it again. The same thing, BTW, applies when I download a song from iTunes - I have never heard of them retroactively deleting songs from people's collections, even though the music may be directly synched to their service on a device.

    I hear your argument that in a strictly legal sense, I have no right to the actual content regardless of format, but that would actually seem like an argument against the need to apply a different standard for the Kindle (i.e., licensing model rather than direct ownership) than with everything else, physical or digital.

    •  Because the kindle (0+ / 0-)

      is not a standalone device like a MP3 player. Along with it comes service in the form of being able to download content to the device provided by Amazon. Because they are providing a complete end to end solution they are legally liable for any content they provide to you on the device they sold you.

      Apple has some similar issues but since they don't provide the connectivity (you pay for that through AT&T or your ISP) they don't have the same level of control.

      There is a bit of a privacy issue, but as long as Amazon doesn't actually look to see what is on your Kindle I don't see it as a big deal. What they do is they look to see who loaded the content from their service. When they delete it from the service they set a flag to delete it from the device the next time it checks in. Anything you put on it that wasn't obtained through Amazon should be untouchable.

      By doing what they did Amazon was protecting themselves from being sued by the copyright owner. You are aware that the fines and penalties for distributing pirated intellectual property are very steep. The usual settlement is 3X the full retail value plus a $250K fine for each copy you distributed. It doesn't take many of those before you're headed to bankruptcy liquidation.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:58:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I take that back about Apple (0+ / 0-)

        Apple can and does do the same thing through iTunes. That's how my iPhone can check for updates to applications I've loaded on it.

        Apple however has better controls so it's less likely to have to do something like that.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:07:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)

        How is Amazon any more liable when I download via the Kindle network (which as I understand it is provided with Sprint's help) than directly from their website?

        Put another way, would they not be held liable for distributing illegal content directly via their site?

        Is Barnes and Noble not liable for books sold at their store?

        Going a step beyond that, their licensing terms don't specify that illegal distribution is the only reason they can delete content, which at least would be somewhat understandable. Content deletion is at their discretion for any reason.

        •  Because the kindle network (0+ / 0-)

          is run by Amazon. It's an end to end service you pay for when you buy your kindle.

          If Barnes and Noble sold illegal copies of books in their store even if they bought them from a publisher in good faith, they would be legally liable for those books if the continued distributing them after finding out and not doing everything they can within their power to recover the copies they sold.

          They can remove content at their discretion as part of the terms of service to which people who purchase Kindles agree when they buy them. If you don't like those terms don't buy a Kindle.

          Last time I checked no one is being forced to buy and use Kindles against their will.

          When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

          by Cali Techie on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:48:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course no one is forced (0+ / 0-)

            to buy a Kindle (and I won't, after this), but it seems to me that this is a testing ground for how services like this operate going forward, and therefore an important debate to have.

            While there may be a choice at present, 20 years from now Amazon-like licensing structures could very well become the default, so it's worth asking whether it's the best approach.

            I think the bottom line question is whether Amazon is "stuck" maintaining the level of control that you're describing, or whether they could set up a system with a greater level of privacy and control to the user; i.e., the design of the current system is more by choice than by necessity.

            •  Amazon-like licensing structures (0+ / 0-)

              are the default. You're going to run into it anywhere commercial content is being distributed. Why? Because that's what the law requires.

              When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

              by Cali Techie on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:17:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In terms of illegal content, yes (0+ / 0-)

                But not in terms of the ability to remove content at their discretion for any reason. I'd rather not see that become the standard practice, maybe we can agree on that?

                •  It's already a standard structure (0+ / 0-)

                  There's only one other service that's similar, and that's iTunes, which basically says the same thing. They won't come in and remove something you've put on the device, but if it's something you got from their service and it's deemed that it shouldn't be there for whatever reason, they're going to yank it.

                  As I pointed out elsewhere the penalties for illegally distributing copyrighted material are quite steep and companies aren't going to risk it.

                  When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                  by Cali Techie on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 12:49:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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