I own a Kindle and I like it, especially for allowing me to acquire a new book the minute I run out of something to read -- from an airport waiting area, the couch, or a train. It has saved me from having to read whatever junk they have in the airport bookstore many times. The unit is compact and the screen delightful to read. But even if I can't stay mad at Bezos, I'm still spooked. I did not realize that those purchases I've been making with reckless abandon at Amazon were tentative. I had no idea that Amazon could reach back into my Kindle and take stuff away (though I don't disagree that something had to be done about those illegal copies).
In fact, according to the Kindle License agreement:
Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon.
That the company did do this seems to me to break its own license agreement. And I suppose apologizing and promising to never do it again would be enough for me if I had owned one of those titles (as long as I got a refund).
But that the company can do this, technically, is an eye-opener, even if the CEO admits that using that ability was "stupid." The act itself has pulled back a curtain and given us a glimpse of the wizard. And this has Henry, and a lot of us, saying, "Hold on a minute....this is a bit spooky, isn't it?" As the folks over at BoingBoing point out, it begs the question, "What else can this thing do that Amazon isn't admitting to?"
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