The dust is finally beginning to settle after the Kindle Kerfuffle, when Amazon got caught with its Orwellian fingers in the Memory Hole. For those who weren't paying attention, the World's Largest Store unilaterally deleted two books from users' Kindles last week -- George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and "1984" -- only to find itself at the center of a maelstrom of bad PR ("Careful what you read, Big Bezos is watching.")
One thing the residents of Cringeville seem to agree on: Though Amazon has screwed up many times over the last 15 years, this was the worst by far. Aside from sparking a spirited discussion in the comments field, my post also inspired several e-mails, some of them so incendiary I needed oven mitts to open them.
[ Find out what opened up this can of worms: "Careful what you read, Big Bezos is watching." | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
For example, S. B. writes:
As an attorney of some 36 years, it deeply offends me that Amazon feels entirely comfortable with breaking innumerable State and Federal computer privacy and security laws with impunity in order to correct some administrative foible on their part... Truly we are living in a re-run of the era of the robber barons. Amazon deserves to be sued within an inch of its life by a class consisting of everyone who woke up today to discover that their property had been stolen and their privacy abrogated from within the murky mists of the ether.
As part of my screed, I called for the creation of a customer bill of rights. Cringester R. R. (who seems to speak largely in acronyms), says he and others have been trying to get something like this going for a long time.
I completely agree with your DRM article .... where Amazon was able to reclaim those books. We’ve been fighting this with UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) for years. I’m on the BOD for the AFFECT (Americans For Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions) and represent SIM (Society for Information Management) on that board... If you come up with a good way, we’d certainly like to hear your approach.