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Amazon 451: Burning Books Remotely

Tiger BurningTiger Burning (poster is a bear)Registered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
edited August 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Hyperbole aside, apparently amazon remotely deleted a bunch of digital copies of 1984 and Animal Farm from people's Kindles when they discovered that the vendor who sold them didn't have the rights to them. Moreover, apparently the Kindle's EULA didn't give amazon this right.

The nytimes article.
Amazon’s published terms of service agreement for the Kindle does not appear to give the company the right to delete purchases after they have been made. It says Amazon grants customers the right to keep a “permanent copy of the applicable digital content.”

Retailers of physical goods cannot, of course, force their way into a customer’s home to take back a purchase, no matter how bootlegged it turns out to be. Yet Amazon appears to maintain a unique tether to the digital content it sells for the Kindle.

“It illustrates how few rights you have when you buy an e-book from Amazon,” said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer for British Telecom and an expert on computer security and commerce. “As a Kindle owner, I’m frustrated. I can’t lend people books and I can’t sell books that I’ve already read, and now it turns out that I can’t even count on still having my books tomorrow.”

Copyright enforcement is one thing, but I don't like the idea of a hardware manufacturer retaining the right to remotely delete local content without my permission. It's going to be an interesting question going forward, though, as the line between hardware and software, local and 'cloud' becomes more blurred, where the provider's rights end and the consumer's begin.

Tiger Burning on
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Posts

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It's a brave new world. You don't purchase property anymore; you purchase access.

    I actually could care less about this. It's a shift that is going to happen for better or for worse. We all should just start getting used to the fact that our traditional conceptions of property are going to have to evolve. The concept of property is based on physical things you can hold, not infinitely replicable code floating in the æther of the internet.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    While it's absolutely hilarious that 1984 was the first thing that this happened to....

    If you're getting refunded for a purchase you no longer have access to there is so much nothing to complain about. If they were just suddenly deleted, then sure, there's a point. But people who have read the book have gotten something already out of reading it, and are getting their money back. And other publications of the books are still available, so they can just re-buy the book with the money they've already spent on the book that is refunded.

    If more companies refunded me when they cut off access to their product, that would be great.

  • SarksusSarksus playing tennisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    While it's absolutely hilarious that 1984 was the first thing that this happened to....

    If you're getting refunded for a purchase you no longer have access to there is so much nothing to complain about. If they were just suddenly deleted, then sure, there's a point. But people who have read the book have gotten something already out of reading it, and are getting their money back. And other publications of the books are still available, so they can just re-buy the book with the money they've already spent on the book that is refunded.

    If more companies refunded me when they cut off access to their product, that would be great.

    Yes, but the problem is, are you buying a book or are you buying access to a book? The Kindle finds itself at a disadvantage against real books if Amazon can just pull your books right out of your device, even if there is a refund. Why do I want to buy books from Amazon if they can take my books away because there was a dispute with a publisher or the book becomes unpopular? I think a lot of people consider the books they buy from Amazon as something they own, like a normal book, and they don't think of it as simply access. It's easily apparent by reading how they word their feelings that they feel violated (likening the situation to a break-in and theft). I'm not certain it's analogous but I understand how they could feel that way.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    So, what happens when an author uploads something mean about Amazon, and people with Kindles download it?

  • DalbozDalboz Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    It's a brave new world. You don't purchase property anymore; you purchase access.

    I actually could care less about this. It's a shift that is going to happen for better or for worse. We all should just start getting used to the fact that our traditional conceptions of property are going to have to evolve. The concept of property is based on physical things you can hold, not infinitely replicable code floating in the æther of the internet.

    This is a rather lazy way of looking at it. Like the old PA comic, thousands of nerds rose in protest, then sat down panting heavily. What you're basically advocating here is "There's nothing you can do, the companies have you over a barrel, just let them do it, there's nothing you can do." You can not buy this stuff. Khavall has a point in that if they offered a refund, then it's not so bad...sort of. I don't know, it's just sort of a pet peeve of mine.

    There's also the censorship issue. What would happen if Amazon offered something like The Satanic Verses (or something newer) that would cause protests or even death threats directed at any retailer who offers it? It would make it very easy for them to pull the book out of your hands because a small group found it offensive and decided to you shouldn't be reading something.

    The thing is, aside from the initial cost of one, this is the other reason I didn't buy a Kindle. I was concerned that exactly this kind of crap would go down.

  • SarksusSarksus playing tennisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    So, what happens when an author uploads something mean about Amazon, and people with Kindles download it?

    I don't know much about it since I don't own a Kindle but I imagine there's some kind of approval process, possibly draconian (as they love to be).

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    So, what happens when an author uploads something mean about Amazon, and people with Kindles download it?


    Completely unrelated

    If amazon did something there, there'd be an issue. But this wasn't amazon disliking the publication, and this wasn't amazon quelling dissent. This was Amazon removing the books from people's devices because the publisher removed their book form Amazon.

    Amazon is relatively savvy. Yes, they had the whole "All gay-related books are THE DEVIL" fiasco, but this isn't that they disagreed with something and thus removed it. This is a third-party publisher removing their book, thus amazon removing the publishers book, and being awesome by refunding the cost of the book.
    Yes, but the problem is, are you buying a book or are you buying access to a book? The Kindle finds itself at a disadvantage against real books if Amazon can just pull your books right out of your device, even if there is a refund. Why do I want to buy books from Amazon if they can take my books away because there was a dispute with a publisher or the book becomes unpopular? I think a lot of people consider the books they buy from Amazon as something they own, like a normal book, and they don't think of it as simply access. It's easily apparent by reading how they word their feelings that they feel violated (likening the situation to a break-in and theft). I'm not certain it's analogous but I understand how they could feel that way.
    Maybe it's just me, but I can't get over the fact that those who bought the book and had it taken away lost nothing. There's a broader philosophical issue, but it has no bearing on this case, because there was no loss at all. People who "lost" their copies, read what they did of their copies, can spend the money that they already spent on that copy on other copies, or can just take the refund and spend it elsewhere. There is no loss at all on behalf of the people who had bought the book. None.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dalboz wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    It's a brave new world. You don't purchase property anymore; you purchase access.

    I actually could care less about this. It's a shift that is going to happen for better or for worse. We all should just start getting used to the fact that our traditional conceptions of property are going to have to evolve. The concept of property is based on physical things you can hold, not infinitely replicable code floating in the æther of the internet.

    This is a rather lazy way of looking at it. Like the old PA comic, thousands of nerds rose in protest, then sat down panting heavily. What you're basically advocating here is "There's nothing you can do, the companies have you over a barrel, just let them do it, there's nothing you can do." You can not buy this stuff. Khavall has a point in that if they offered a refund, then it's not so bad...sort of. I don't know, it's just sort of a pet peeve of mine.

    There's also the censorship issue. What would happen if Amazon offered something like The Satanic Verses (or something newer) that would cause protests or even death threats directed at any retailer who offers it? It would make it very easy for them to pull the book out of your hands because a small group found it offensive and decided to you shouldn't be reading something.

    The thing is, aside from the initial cost of one, this is the other reason I didn't buy a Kindle. I was concerned that exactly this kind of crap would go down.

    I just can't shake that they gave people refunds.

    If there was public outcry over Amazon making a work available, I have maybe only .01% doubt that Amazon would say "Fuck, you people are complaining about the existence and distribution of literature? Morons!" but more politically. Something probably about "Amazon doesn't judge the content, we support the constitution of the United States of America".

    But let's say the remove it anyways. They sill, based on this precedent, gave people a refund. You buy a book you don't like, or that is banned, you retain the book, and you lose the money. You do that with Kindle and you get the money back, but lose the book. Nothing wrong with that.

    Those that "lost" the book lost nothing.

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    So, what happens when an author uploads something mean about Amazon, and people with Kindles download it?


    Completely unrelated

    If amazon did something there, there'd be an issue. But this wasn't amazon disliking the publication, and this wasn't amazon quelling dissent. This was Amazon removing the books from people's devices because the publisher removed their book form Amazon.

    It's not even really that. This is Amazon removing the book because they licensed it from someone that didn't have the legal authority to sell it in the first place.

    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • SarksusSarksus playing tennisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    There would be no loss if Barnes and Noble coerced me to return a book I bought from them and refunded me the money.

    And now you're going to point out that there is a difference between an electronic book and a physical book, and I don't care. I'm not going to make any exceptions to electronic books and hold them to a different (and subsequently lowered) standard than real books. To do so would concede that electronic books are inferior that have nothing going for them besides economy of space. I think they can compete against real books, but if Amazon is going to take back purchases, even if they refund money, then why would I buy from them? When I buy a book it's mine and I shouldn't have to give it back. I want that book and I want to read it and keep it. If I wasn't interested in the concept of keeping a book after I read it then I would just loan them from a library.

    I'm not really even concerned with this case in particular. I think this was probably Amazon's only course of action. I am arguing against the idea in general.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    There would be no loss if Barnes and Noble coerced me to return a book I bought from them and refunded me the money.

    And now you're going to point out that there is a difference between an electronic book and a physical book, and I don't care. I'm not going to make any exceptions to electronic books and hold them to a different (and subsequently lowered) standard than real books. To do so would concede that electronic books are inferior that have nothing going for them besides economy of space. I think they can compete against real books, but if Amazon is going to take back purchases, even if they refund money, then why would I buy from them? When I buy a book it's mine and if I shouldn't have to give it back. I want that book and I want to read it and keep it. If I wasn't interested in the concept of keeping a book after I read it then I would just loan them from a library.

    Recalls have happened a billion times with physical goods.

    I'm not going to make an "electronic book and physical books have no difference" argument. There is no loss. The only difference is that Amazon can enforce with an electronic good instead of just saying "Well... please return the book for a refund because we can't sell that".

    The only difference in this is enforcability. The point remains that there was no loss. There was no loss! Why is there an issue? This had an affect on no one beyond at most a minor inconvenience.

  • SarksusSarksus playing tennisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    There would be no loss if Barnes and Noble coerced me to return a book I bought from them and refunded me the money.

    And now you're going to point out that there is a difference between an electronic book and a physical book, and I don't care. I'm not going to make any exceptions to electronic books and hold them to a different (and subsequently lowered) standard than real books. To do so would concede that electronic books are inferior that have nothing going for them besides economy of space. I think they can compete against real books, but if Amazon is going to take back purchases, even if they refund money, then why would I buy from them? When I buy a book it's mine and if I shouldn't have to give it back. I want that book and I want to read it and keep it. If I wasn't interested in the concept of keeping a book after I read it then I would just loan them from a library.

    Recalls have happened a billion times with physical goods.

    I'm not going to make an "electronic book and physical books have no difference" argument. There is no loss. The only difference is that Amazon can enforce with an electronic good instead of just saying "Well... please return the book for a refund because we can't sell that".

    The only difference in this is enforcability. The point remains that there was no loss. There was no loss! Why is there an issue? This had an affect on no one beyond at most a minor inconvenience.

    Recalling dangerous or defective products and "recalling" books are not the same. Maybe in this case a comparison could be drawn but it's tenuous. I don't think it's analogous if we're speaking about the general idea of forcing people to sell their books back.

    As for loss, there is loss. If I am forced to sell my book back I no longer have my book. It's the book that I care about and now it's gone. Between the money and the book itself the book holds more value, otherwise I wouldn't have traded the money for it.

    Furthermore, this demonstrates a complete lack of control over something I bought. When I buy something it becomes mine and if I don't want to sell it back to someone I shouldn't have to even if they are willing to compensate me for the full value of whatever they're after.

    Now if you were to argue that I am in fact not buying a book through Amazon's store and instead buying access to that book then Amazon has a lot more leeway. In that case, however, they'd have to lower the price of the books considerably or charge a flat monthly fee. Regardless,I would be even less inclined to buy from them.

    Also understand that I'm not speaking in terms of legality, but rather of how things ought to be in my mind. I don't think Amazon should have this kind of control over books that people have apparently bought and now own just as I don't think Barnes and Noble should have control over what I buy from them.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Other publications of that book are available though. You've only lost that specific publication of the book, and if you still feel that the book is worth more than the money, you can buy the book with the money you already spent. If you no longer feel that the book is worth more than the money than christmas in july for you you just got your money back.

    Complete lack of control over something you've bought? maybe. But the bigger complaint is when, say servers shut down or a product is diminished with no ability to recuperate the costs from the user. This shows lack of control over the product, but still control over the money invested. I would gladly pay for access only to everything I "own" if when access being removed also refunded my money. that would make paying rent awesome.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    There would be no loss if Barnes and Noble coerced me to return a book I bought from them and refunded me the money.

    And now you're going to point out that there is a difference between an electronic book and a physical book, and I don't care. I'm not going to make any exceptions to electronic books and hold them to a different (and subsequently lowered) standard than real books. To do so would concede that electronic books are inferior that have nothing going for them besides economy of space. I think they can compete against real books, but if Amazon is going to take back purchases, even if they refund money, then why would I buy from them? When I buy a book it's mine and if I shouldn't have to give it back. I want that book and I want to read it and keep it. If I wasn't interested in the concept of keeping a book after I read it then I would just loan them from a library.

    Recalls have happened a billion times with physical goods.

    I'm not going to make an "electronic book and physical books have no difference" argument. There is no loss. The only difference is that Amazon can enforce with an electronic good instead of just saying "Well... please return the book for a refund because we can't sell that".

    The only difference in this is enforcability. The point remains that there was no loss. There was no loss! Why is there an issue? This had an affect on no one beyond at most a minor inconvenience.

    Of course there is a loss. I purchased a book, and now I no longer have it. Perhaps I assign more value to my copy of the book than amazon charged me. Perhaps I wanted to read that book tomorrow, and now I can't because amazon has restricted my use of it.

    Companies aren't allowed to just repossess property they have sold you as long as they give you your money back. If amazon had sold hard copies of those books, taking them back would be illegal, even if they did compensate you. The argument that one side of a commercial transaction should be be able to reverse that transaction at will is retarded.

    Of course, what this really highlights is what Qingu pointed out: purchase of electronic works separate from single, physical media is going to force us to relearn cultural standards that have been ingrained in us for as long as we've been able to understand commercial transactions.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
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  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I restate: This isn't removal of these books from the Kindle. This is removal of specific publications from Kindle. If you feel the book is worth more than the money, re-purchase the book. It's essentially free.

  • SarksusSarksus playing tennisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    Other publications of that book are available though. You've only lost that specific publication of the book, and if you still feel that the book is worth more than the money, you can buy the book with the money you already spent. If you no longer feel that the book is worth more than the money than christmas in july for you you just got your money back.

    Complete lack of control over something you've bought? maybe. But the bigger complaint is when, say servers shut down or a product is diminished with no ability to recuperate the costs from the user. This shows lack of control over the product, but still control over the money invested. I would gladly pay for access only to everything I "own" if when access being removed also refunded my money. that would make paying rent awesome.

    Well like I said, this specific instance doesn't really bother me, especially if a Kindle user can just download another version of the same book (I browse the Kindle store every so often and I can't believe how many versions there are of the same book). I'm just using this case to talk about the idea in a general sense.

    And that is a problem with electronic books. You're not guaranteed the permanence of your purchase. I think for me books are just too physical, more so than any other media, that would prevent me from taking advantage of something like the Kindle. I can't imagine buying electronic books. If I bought a Kindle it would be for newspapers.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, this particular instance isn't the problem so much as amazon's having the power to initiate this "recall" at all is the problem.

    edit: and frankly, if you really think it isn't a big deal, should consumers also have the right to do what amazon did? "Decided this book sucked amazon, you can take it back, now give me my money?" If not, why not?

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Sure, there's a discussion on the larger aspects of electronic "ownership", but this is exactly the wrong instance for it. Amazon gives those who have lost ownership of the book the ability to repurchase what they lost to no additional cost, or given those who have already read the book or have no value the ability to spend the money they spent on the book to spend it on something else. This specific instance is a brilliant show of how the system works. I would kill so many people if instead of buying a game for $50 on PC I was just indefinitely renting it and when I was done or when the publisher shut down the servers I could get a game of equal value. Without any subscription service.

  • DalbozDalboz Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    Dalboz wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    It's a brave new world. You don't purchase property anymore; you purchase access.

    I actually could care less about this. It's a shift that is going to happen for better or for worse. We all should just start getting used to the fact that our traditional conceptions of property are going to have to evolve. The concept of property is based on physical things you can hold, not infinitely replicable code floating in the æther of the internet.

    This is a rather lazy way of looking at it. Like the old PA comic, thousands of nerds rose in protest, then sat down panting heavily. What you're basically advocating here is "There's nothing you can do, the companies have you over a barrel, just let them do it, there's nothing you can do." You can not buy this stuff. Khavall has a point in that if they offered a refund, then it's not so bad...sort of. I don't know, it's just sort of a pet peeve of mine.

    There's also the censorship issue. What would happen if Amazon offered something like The Satanic Verses (or something newer) that would cause protests or even death threats directed at any retailer who offers it? It would make it very easy for them to pull the book out of your hands because a small group found it offensive and decided to you shouldn't be reading something.

    The thing is, aside from the initial cost of one, this is the other reason I didn't buy a Kindle. I was concerned that exactly this kind of crap would go down.

    I just can't shake that they gave people refunds.

    If there was public outcry over Amazon making a work available, I have maybe only .01% doubt that Amazon would say "Fuck, you people are complaining about the existence and distribution of literature? Morons!" but more politically. Something probably about "Amazon doesn't judge the content, we support the constitution of the United States of America".

    But let's say the remove it anyways. They sill, based on this precedent, gave people a refund. You buy a book you don't like, or that is banned, you retain the book, and you lose the money. You do that with Kindle and you get the money back, but lose the book. Nothing wrong with that.

    Those that "lost" the book lost nothing.

    It depends on where you place your values. I don't doubt that the reason this particular case went down is as Amazon says, that it was provided by an unlicensed third party to them and they needed to rectify the situation. They provided a refund, and it's available through other means and other editions.

    The question is when this isn't the case. I place a high value on reading things that people tell me I shouldn't read. Like The Satanic Verses I mentioned, or The Communist Manifesto, or Mein Kampf. I don't necessarily believe the things I read or have it affect me, but I believe in the free exchange of ideas through print without hindrance or censorship, and any time someone says that I shouldn't read something, it goes to the top of my list. If The Satanic Verses were published tomorrow, and the ensuing Muslim outcry and death threats occur, including threats to Amazon if they don't take the book down, I don't care if they give me a refund. "No harm, no foul" doesn't apply here, at least not for me.

    This is only partially hypothetical. The Church of Scientology has been using the DMCA to get information critical of them removed for years. What if this happens with an book that is published electronically that is critical of them? Simply kowtowing to them isn't sufficient, and I don't buy the "We'll give a refund since the most important thing is that people don't get to read those naughty words."

  • SarksusSarksus playing tennisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I think this is the perfect time to discuss something like this. I'm not sure if there's anything else to discuss. I mean I'm sure someone thinks Amazon should have continued to sell and give access to something that was illegal but I'm not sure where they are. It would be an extremely short thread I think.

    And I don't believe video games and books can be compared. Video games, even when they were sold only on discs (or disks, or cartridges, whatever), were still digital pieces of media. I'm not losing much by downloading a game or buying it in a retail store.

    Also, I like keeping all of my books forever. I don't even throw away the crappy ones.

  • TheBlackWindTheBlackWind Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dalboz wrote: »
    I don't buy the "We'll give a refund since the most important thing is that people don't get to read those naughty words."

    That's clearly not what happened here and I don't really think it is genuine to frame it in such a way.

    Amazon dished out refunds and if you really had your heart set on it reading it tomorrow, you can redownload it now, just from a different publisher.

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  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I think the thread title is doing a bit much, even if hyperbole for the sake of being hyperbole; in the end it overplays the situation as a whole.

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    While it's absolutely hilarious that 1984 was the first thing that this happened to....

    If you're getting refunded for a purchase you no longer have access to there is so much nothing to complain about. If they were just suddenly deleted, then sure, there's a point. But people who have read the book have gotten something already out of reading it, and are getting their money back. And other publications of the books are still available, so they can just re-buy the book with the money they've already spent on the book that is refunded.

    If more companies refunded me when they cut off access to their product, that would be great.

    Yes, but the problem is, are you buying a book or are you buying access to a book? The Kindle finds itself at a disadvantage against real books if Amazon can just pull your books right out of your device, even if there is a refund. Why do I want to buy books from Amazon if they can take my books away because there was a dispute with a publisher or the book becomes unpopular? I think a lot of people consider the books they buy from Amazon as something they own, like a normal book, and they don't think of it as simply access. It's easily apparent by reading how they word their feelings that they feel violated (likening the situation to a break-in and theft). I'm not certain it's analogous but I understand how they could feel that way.

    Because you're not buying a book, you're buying a book for the Kindle. The only reason to do that if you want the storage/portability element. Given that I sometimes travel extensively and I read a lot and very quickly, a lot of book storage in a light, portable package is ideal for me, so I'd love a kindle.

    But for a home collection? It's better to get the physical copy. Then you own the actual book.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dalboz wrote: »
    I don't buy the "We'll give a refund since the most important thing is that people don't get to read those naughty words."

    That's clearly not what happened here and I don't really think it is genuine to frame it in such a way.

    Amazon dished out refunds and if you really had your heart set on it reading it tomorrow, you can redownload it now, just from a different publisher.

    The problem is that amazon claims that you purchase a permanent copy that you can have on your kindle into perpetuity, and says so in the EULA, but still claims the power to violate that arrangement.

    What should have happened in this scenario is that amazon should have said to the publisher, oh hey, we fucked up, let's figure out what damages we need to compensate you for. There is no reason the end consumer should ever have been involved.

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  • DalbozDalboz Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dalboz wrote: »
    I don't buy the "We'll give a refund since the most important thing is that people don't get to read those naughty words."

    That's clearly not what happened here and I don't really think it is genuine to frame it in such a way.

    Amazon dished out refunds and if you really had your heart set on it reading it tomorrow, you can redownload it now, just from a different publisher.

    Please read the rest of the post. I already stated that things probably went down the way Amazon was saying. In that statement, I was posing a partial hypothetical under another scenario.

  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Dalboz wrote: »
    I don't buy the "We'll give a refund since the most important thing is that people don't get to read those naughty words."

    That's clearly not what happened here and I don't really think it is genuine to frame it in such a way.

    Amazon dished out refunds and if you really had your heart set on it reading it tomorrow, you can redownload it now, just from a different publisher.

    The problem is that amazon claims that you purchase a permanent copy that you can have on your kindle into perpetuity, and says so in the EULA, but still claims the power to violate that arrangement.

    What should have happened in this scenario is that amazon should have said to the publisher, oh hey, we fucked up, let's figure out what damages we need to compensate you for. There is no reason the end consumer should ever have been involved.

    I'm extremely dubious about the legality of retroactively voiding a sale weeks, months, or possibly even years after it has been completed, regardless of any other factors. The refund is just a bit of PR fluff thrown on there for exactly the reason you can see here in this thread, to sow confusion among the inevitable critics.

    It in no way lessens the fact we should all be extremely concerned about the fact that one of the biggest media providers in existence just set a precedent that any distributor of digital content can crack into your data storage and taken anything you've ever bought at their whim.

  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I hope that the people that actually bought this over kindle realize that you could probably get it for free anyway like half the other classics available for the kindle.

    Regardless i hope that whoever had this refunded sends an angry e-mail straight at Jeff Bosos or whatever his name is.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    werehippy wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Dalboz wrote: »
    I don't buy the "We'll give a refund since the most important thing is that people don't get to read those naughty words."

    That's clearly not what happened here and I don't really think it is genuine to frame it in such a way.

    Amazon dished out refunds and if you really had your heart set on it reading it tomorrow, you can redownload it now, just from a different publisher.

    The problem is that amazon claims that you purchase a permanent copy that you can have on your kindle into perpetuity, and says so in the EULA, but still claims the power to violate that arrangement.

    What should have happened in this scenario is that amazon should have said to the publisher, oh hey, we fucked up, let's figure out what damages we need to compensate you for. There is no reason the end consumer should ever have been involved.

    I'm extremely dubious about the legality of retroactively voiding a sale weeks, months, or possibly even years after it has been completed, regardless of any other factors. The refund is just a bit of PR fluff thrown on there for exactly the reason you can see here in this thread, to sow confusion among the inevitable critics.

    It in no way lessens the fact we should all be extremely concerned about the fact that one of the biggest media providers in existence just set a precedent that any distributor of digital content can crack into your data storage and taken anything you've ever bought at their whim.

    The refund isn't PR fluff. If they gave users $5 off their next purchase, with the book not re-purchasable the same day, maybe it would be PR fluff. But it's not only a great ability for the purchasers not to feel screwed that they bought that publication, it's allowing users to buy that exact book they already bought and liked and decided was worth more than the money they spent on it that same day for no cost, or for users who didn't feel that way to just get free money at the loss of a book they didn't even care for.

    Again, I would care so much less about any Digital rights shit if when I lost digital rights to a product I was given a full refund for those rights.

  • SarksusSarksus playing tennisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    While it's absolutely hilarious that 1984 was the first thing that this happened to....

    If you're getting refunded for a purchase you no longer have access to there is so much nothing to complain about. If they were just suddenly deleted, then sure, there's a point. But people who have read the book have gotten something already out of reading it, and are getting their money back. And other publications of the books are still available, so they can just re-buy the book with the money they've already spent on the book that is refunded.

    If more companies refunded me when they cut off access to their product, that would be great.

    Yes, but the problem is, are you buying a book or are you buying access to a book? The Kindle finds itself at a disadvantage against real books if Amazon can just pull your books right out of your device, even if there is a refund. Why do I want to buy books from Amazon if they can take my books away because there was a dispute with a publisher or the book becomes unpopular? I think a lot of people consider the books they buy from Amazon as something they own, like a normal book, and they don't think of it as simply access. It's easily apparent by reading how they word their feelings that they feel violated (likening the situation to a break-in and theft). I'm not certain it's analogous but I understand how they could feel that way.

    Because you're not buying a book, you're buying a book for the Kindle. The only reason to do that if you want the storage/portability element. Given that I sometimes travel extensively and I read a lot and very quickly, a lot of book storage in a light, portable package is ideal for me, so I'd love a kindle.

    But for a home collection? It's better to get the physical copy. Then you own the actual book.

    I agree but that turns a Kindle book into something that for a few exceptions is vastly inferior to an actual book. Looking at it from a marketing perspective you're not going to replace (or even compete with) physical books with electronic books if you treat your product like that. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the aim of electronic books and they're not trying to replace physical books.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I have bought many physical objects that if given the ability to forfeit the item in return for the refund I would take the shit out of it.

    In fact, I think this should be voluntary in the digital age. If someone can take it away for a refund and easily attainable substitutes? Go ahead. I also should be able to on will. Now that would be awesome.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    of course, that's ridiculous, because it would be next to impossible for anyone to make any money in that scenario

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Of course. But I also don't see any problem with a corporation taking something I "own" in the digital era while giving me a refund and giving me substitutes that are exactly the same thing but with a different publisher.

    Amazon isn't making money with this either.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Right, which is why there's no reason for the consumer to ever have been involved. This dispute should have been resolved between amazon and the correct publishing rightsholder.

    The problem is that amazon claims the right to pull things off the kindle, when it's public position has been the exact opposite.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    I have bought many physical objects that if given the ability to forfeit the item in return for the refund I would take the shit out of it.

    In fact, I think this should be voluntary in the digital age. If someone can take it away for a refund and easily attainable substitutes? Go ahead. I also should be able to on will. Now that would be awesome.

    And that's great if you chose to do so. It's an entirely different story for an external entity to decide for you that you don't get to have the product anymore and instead are given cash.

    And not caring about the implications in terms of your rights is either staggeringly short sighted or a sign you haven't thought this through at all. Considering the huge impact digital media and software has on our lives and its increasing role, any seismic shift like this deserves a great deal of concern and attention. Let alone one as legally and morally screwed up as this.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    werehippy wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    I have bought many physical objects that if given the ability to forfeit the item in return for the refund I would take the shit out of it.

    In fact, I think this should be voluntary in the digital age. If someone can take it away for a refund and easily attainable substitutes? Go ahead. I also should be able to on will. Now that would be awesome.

    And that's great if you chose to do so. It's an entirely different story for an external entity to decide for you that you don't get to have the product anymore and instead are given cash.

    And not caring about the implications in terms of your rights is either staggeringly short sighted or a sign you haven't thought this through at all. Considering the huge impact digital media and software has on our lives and its increasing role, any seismic shift like this deserves a great deal of concern and attention. Let alone one as legally and morally screwed up as this.

    But the owners can get back what they want. Or they can choose to forfeit that ability and just take the cash.

    But if the scope of the long term is things like this happening, then fine. This is exactly the right example of why current digital rights are fine. In the long term, if when copyright is no longer attained by the publishing entity the art is revoked along with the money being refunded fine. That's how it should be. This case is only highlighting the broader theme of doom when you advance hyoptheticals that didn't happen in this case.

  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    I have bought many physical objects that if given the ability to forfeit the item in return for the refund I would take the shit out of it.

    In fact, I think this should be voluntary in the digital age. If someone can take it away for a refund and easily attainable substitutes? Go ahead. I also should be able to on will. Now that would be awesome.

    And that's great if you chose to do so. It's an entirely different story for an external entity to decide for you that you don't get to have the product anymore and instead are given cash.

    And not caring about the implications in terms of your rights is either staggeringly short sighted or a sign you haven't thought this through at all. Considering the huge impact digital media and software has on our lives and its increasing role, any seismic shift like this deserves a great deal of concern and attention. Let alone one as legally and morally screwed up as this.

    But the owners can get back what they want. Or they can choose to forfeit that ability and just take the cash.

    But if the scope of the long term is things like this happening, then fine. This is exactly the right example of why current digital rights are fine. In the long term, if when copyright is no longer attained by the publishing entity the art is revoked along with the money being refunded fine. That's how it should be. This case is only highlighting the broader theme of doom when you advance hyoptheticals that didn't happen in this case.

    I have to assume you're either just screwing around or we're so irreconcilably different there's no point in talking further. There's simply no other way for me to wrap my mind around the idea that you aren't just ok with the idea of someone being able to come in and take any possession you own without asking as long as they give you the original cash value, but you're actually pleased about the idea and eager for it.

    We're just talking at cross purposes, because apparently for you "they got their money back" excuses any and all violations and the huge precedent set by an act like this don't matter as long as this specific case isn't as bad as it could have been.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It isn't a hypothetical to say that the power amazon has asserted in this case is a bad thing for them to have. It isn't necessary to wait until it's exercised in a way that is less benign to see that it leaves a massive door open for that activity to happen.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    werehippy wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    I have bought many physical objects that if given the ability to forfeit the item in return for the refund I would take the shit out of it.

    In fact, I think this should be voluntary in the digital age. If someone can take it away for a refund and easily attainable substitutes? Go ahead. I also should be able to on will. Now that would be awesome.

    And that's great if you chose to do so. It's an entirely different story for an external entity to decide for you that you don't get to have the product anymore and instead are given cash.

    And not caring about the implications in terms of your rights is either staggeringly short sighted or a sign you haven't thought this through at all. Considering the huge impact digital media and software has on our lives and its increasing role, any seismic shift like this deserves a great deal of concern and attention. Let alone one as legally and morally screwed up as this.

    But the owners can get back what they want. Or they can choose to forfeit that ability and just take the cash.

    But if the scope of the long term is things like this happening, then fine. This is exactly the right example of why current digital rights are fine. In the long term, if when copyright is no longer attained by the publishing entity the art is revoked along with the money being refunded fine. That's how it should be. This case is only highlighting the broader theme of doom when you advance hyoptheticals that didn't happen in this case.

    I have to assume you're either just screwing around or we're so irreconcilably different there's no point in talking further. There's simply no other way for me to wrap my mind around the idea that you aren't just ok with the idea of someone being able to come in and take any possession you own without asking as long as they give you the original cash value, but you're actually pleased about the idea and eager for it.

    We're just talking at cross purposes, because apparently for you "they got their money back" excuses any and all violations and the huge precedent set by an act like this don't matter as long as this specific case isn't as bad as it could have been.
    ..Or give you the original item back.

    These people weren't just denied the book but given cash back, they were denied a specific publication but given the book or cash back. The dick things to do would've been taking the book back and saying "Fuck you" or rescinding all publications, but they only took one publication.

    These people were given a choice by Amazon to either take the product or take the cash.
    A second chance by Amazon to take the product or take the cash.

    This wasn't "WE TAKE EVERYTHING BUT TAKE CASH" This was "YOU CAN'T USE THIS ONE THING SO EITHER TAKE THE SAME THING FROM SOMEONE ELSE OR TAKE CASH"

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    It isn't a hypothetical to say that the power amazon has asserted in this case is a bad thing for them to have. It isn't necessary to wait until it's exercised in a way that is less benign to see that it leaves a massive door open for that activity to happen.

    The US government has the power to draft me into military service. I won't get mad until they start doing it.

  • VariableVariable Weed and Masturbation Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    why are they able to tell you you can't use something you bought from them already?

    you you you

    Steam Profile - Variable114 | WiiU - Variable | 3DS - 3866-8105-7478
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