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Amazon 451: Burning Books Remotely

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Posts

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    OK, here it is in baby steps:

    If I buy something in good faith. That is to say I buy something legal from someone a reasonable person considers a legit source of said goods.

    That something is mine to own. Permanently. As in forever. As in no takebacks.

    If the seller wants to undo the sale. He Has To INFORM me about the reason why. He then has to get my CONSENT to undo the sale.

    Without said INFORMED CONSENT, the salesperson can not undo the sale. If he fails to INFORM me, even if I would later consent, he can not undo the sale. If he INFORMS me and I do not CONSENT, the salesperson can STILL not undo the sale.

    No TOS or EULA can remove the right to informed consent. They may say they do, but they would be unenforcable. All sales are contracts between to equal parties, one side does not have more rights then the other, any change has to be made by both parties in unison.

    For those that still have problems understanding this. If I sell you a Car. I can not reposses them arbitrarily. EVEN IF THE CAR IS A PINTO.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • BlueDestinyBlueDestiny Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    OK, here it is in baby steps:

    If I buy something in good faith. That is to say I buy something legal from someone a reasonable person considers a legit source of said goods.

    That something is mine to own. Permanently. As in forever. As in no takebacks.

    If the seller wants to undo the sale. He Has To INFORM me about the reason why. He then has to get my CONSENT to undo the sale.

    Without said INFORMED CONSENT, the salesperson can not undo the sale. If he fails to INFORM me, even if I would later consent, he can not undo the sale. If he INFORMS me and I do not CONSENT, the salesperson can STILL not undo the sale.

    No TOS or EULA can remove the right to informed consent. They may say they do, but they would be unenforcable. All sales are contracts between to equal parties, one side does not have more rights then the other, any change has to be made by both parties in unison.

    For those that still have problems understanding this. If I sell you a Car. I can not reposses them arbitrarily. EVEN IF THE CAR IS A PINTO.

    I believe the publication wasn't legal to sell. Or something.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Wich is Amazon's problem

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  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    OK, here it is in baby steps:

    If I buy something in good faith. That is to say I buy something legal from someone a reasonable person considers a legit source of said goods.

    That something is mine to own. Permanently. As in forever. As in no takebacks.

    If the seller wants to undo the sale. He Has To INFORM me about the reason why. He then has to get my CONSENT to undo the sale.

    Without said INFORMED CONSENT, the salesperson can not undo the sale. If he fails to INFORM me, even if I would later consent, he can not undo the sale. If he INFORMS me and I do not CONSENT, the salesperson can STILL not undo the sale.

    No TOS or EULA can remove the right to informed consent. They may say they do, but they would be unenforcable. All sales are contracts between to equal parties, one side does not have more rights then the other, any change has to be made by both parties in unison.

    For those that still have problems understanding this. If I sell you a Car. I can not reposses them arbitrarily. EVEN IF THE CAR IS A PINTO.


    Physical and Digital goods are two completely different things. Digital goods currently are seen legally most of the time as purchasing a license to use the "Good".

    Secondly, if when you sold the car, both parties signed a contract with informed consent stating that you could repossess the car arbitrarily? Then yes you could, and you wouldn't need a second contract of sale. Because the first contract already covered that. Which is what TOSs are.

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    And once again you show you just don't get it. Digital goods and Physical goods are equal in the eyes of the law. Buying computer software is the same as buying a car in the eyes of the law. Once the software is on your computer its yours. No TOS can change that.

    In fact I would suggest you remember what TOS stands for: Terms of Service. It means by what Terms the USER must abide by in order to recive Service. Same with EULA.

    I dare you to prove that the users behaved wrong. And no, buying a copy that was stolen does not count. Because they bought the books in good faith from Amazon itself.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    And once again you show you just don't get it. Digital goods and Physical goods are equal in the eyes of the law. Buying computer software is the same as buying a car in the eyes of the law.
    You don't get to keep a stolen car that you bought in good faith. And if you sign a contract saying that the vehicle has to be returned should it be discovered the transaction is unlawful in some fashion, guess what you have to do?

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  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    And once again you show you just don't get it. Digital goods and Physical goods are equal in the eyes of the law. Buying computer software is the same as buying a car in the eyes of the law.
    You don't get to keep a stolen car that you bought in good faith. And if you sign a contract saying that the vehicle has to be returned should it be discovered the transaction is unlawful in some fashion, guess what you have to do?

    This would still require the police or enforcement by the police through a court ruling to actually reposses the stolen property, since the car owner or his dealership that sold you the car would still have no right to come onto your property and remove the car.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    And once again you show you just don't get it. Digital goods and Physical goods are equal in the eyes of the law. Buying computer software is the same as buying a car in the eyes of the law.
    You don't get to keep a stolen car that you bought in good faith. And if you sign a contract saying that the vehicle has to be returned should it be discovered the transaction is unlawful in some fashion, guess what you have to do?

    This would still require the police or enforcement by the police through a court ruling to actually reposses the stolen property, since the car owner or his dealership that sold you the car would still have no right to come onto your property and remove the car.
    Eh. If the EULA states they can then they actually don't have to. Though they would have been better served by getting a court order to do so.

    But that isn't the complaint Kipling was voicing. He's saying the copies belonged to the people. Which they didn't.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    A contract that says: You have return what we sold you, if it turns out to be stolen goods. Is perhaps not the most trustworthy contract in the world.

    I would be fucking amazed if the Kindle EULA or TOS said that.

    And as people said: Cops and the Courts. They can order a return and even then they might just order the seller to pay restitution to the victim.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    And if they had ordered the return? Where does your claim of it's yours forever hold up against that?

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Read above post: Court of law. Where you can defend yourself and where legal blame can be assigned.

    And where the goverment would have to prove that its not yours and the default position is that the item being yours(possesion being 9/10). They would also have to prove that the most fair action would be to return it, not pay the victim for it.

    Inocent until proven guilty, your property forever until proven otherwise. These are the baseline of society and no Tos or EULA can change that. Its not rocket science.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Ran across this post on discourse.net:

    DRM Is An Accessory Before the Fact in the Kindle Deletions
    The pseudonymous Mordaxus says, Kindle Brouhaha Isn’t About DRM:

    The issue is caused not by DRM, but by cloud computing. The problem is that Amazon has a cloud service in which Kindle customers can keep their e-books on Amazon’s shelf, and shuffle them around to any Kindle-enable device they have (like a Kindle proper, or an iPhone running the Kindle app). Customers can even delete a book from their Kindle and get it back from the cloud at a later date.

    The event is that Amazon removed the book from the cloud, not that it had DRM in it. If you are concerned by this, you should be concerned by the cloud service. The cloud service enabled Amazon to respond to a legal challenge by removing customers’ data from the cloud. They didn’t need DRM to do it. In contrast, if iTunes store or the Sony e-book store had improperly sold a book, they wouldn’t be able to revoke it because they don’t have a cloud service as part of the store. (eMusic, incidentally, regularly adds and removes music from their store with the waxing and waning of desire to sell it.)

    This is why we need to look at it for what it is, a failure in a business model and in the cloud service.

    Well, yes, OK. But also no: Without the DRM part, the Kindle users would have been able to copy their e-books to local storage (or to read on other devices) and wouldn’t be as vulnerable to this. Plus, Amazon didn’t just delete off-site copies, it deleted all local copies (which doesn’t logically require DRM, but is likely enabled by it). And Amazon even delted user annotations on the deleted works — including at least one student’s homework.

    It's a quick few paragraphs, but basically the guy claims that this is more a failure of the cloud computing model than actual DRM. Of course the DRM itself still causes plenty of problems.

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  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It's not really a 'failure' of cloud computing as a feature of cloud computing. Of course if you delete the information from the servers that the cloud connects to that people aren't going to be able to access it anymore. It is, though, a corporate failure of managing the transition process to the legally licensed versions of the books and/or of being overzealous in the self-protection against liability.

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  • elkataselkatas Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Wich is Amazon's problem

    At least here in Finland (and rest of Europe), you acting in good faith doesn't mean jack shit if you bought something that was stolen / illegal. I would guess US laws are similar on this. Otherwise it would be too easy for professional thieves to abuse the system.

    Hypnotically inclined.
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    And once again you show you just don't get it. Digital goods and Physical goods are equal in the eyes of the law. Buying computer software is the same as buying a car in the eyes of the law. Once the software is on your computer its yours. No TOS can change that.

    In fact I would suggest you remember what TOS stands for: Terms of Service. It means by what Terms the USER must abide by in order to recive Service. Same with EULA.

    I dare you to prove that the users behaved wrong. And no, buying a copy that was stolen does not count. Because they bought the books in good faith from Amazon itself.

    That's not true. Copyright doesn't exist when buying a Table. You can't, for instance, just buy a CD, put it in your computer, and then throw it up on the internet openly where everyone can get a free copy. Sure it's "your" copy, but you still can't do it. You may not like that digital media has strict controls over it that differentiate it from physical media, but you can't just say "Well it doesn't matter legally".

    And no one said the user behaved wrong. Point me to where I did. Try. Oh I didn't? You're still just throwing out awful strawmen? Good to know.

    How's this, I dare you to respond to my second point: If when party B bought a car from party A, they signed a contract with Informed Consent that stipulated that party A could at any point take back the car for any reason, then yes, yes they could do exactly that. The End User License agreement isn't "Same with" as the Terms of Service.

    Also, hell, look at the linked article. What actually happened here was nothing more than Amazon deleting the specific publications from their servers.

  • elkataselkatas Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    And once again you show you just don't get it. Digital goods and Physical goods are equal in the eyes of the law.

    Actually.... no. Digital goods are treated completely different in law, because software creates copy of itself each time it is run. You are leasing right to run software, not buying copy of it.

    Hypnotically inclined.
  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    You can't, for instance, just buy a CD, put it in your computer, and then throw it up on the internet openly where everyone can get a free copy. Sure it's "your" copy, but you still can't do it.

    Depending upon the country, you can, both if one's concept of a CD includes the individual tracks as well as the entire compilation of tracks on the CD at once.

    There's also the related question (to the thread) of whether or not the lack of practical enforcability (and thus the non-pursual of such cases the in the majority of cases) constitutes implied legality, at least ethically.

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  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    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.
    Khavall wrote: »
    A dick move on Amazon's part to save money would've been to delete the books form people's kindles and issued a press release of "Fuck you we're allowed to"

    They didn't do that. Sure, they didn't just sit there with their thumbs up their asses saying "Well golly gee, we're getting sued for distributing goods that I guess we didn't have rights to distribute. I'm sure our shareholders will be happy", but they certainly didn't make any money off of this, and the consumer didn't lose anything!

    Let me repeat: The Consumer didn't lose anything.

    Time is not free. Many of these people now need to re-buy their book before they can finish it. Not a very good experience if you are settling down to read for a few minutes before bed.

    That said, it could be just a combination of compying with IP law and technology limitations that did the revocation. IP laws say they must stop offering the book in their library. They might also have technology limitations that assume that cause books not in the library to be deleted during the sync. If it's a technological limitation, they should fix it. If they did it on purpose to make themselves appear less culpable for selling the book, that is a dick move. IMO they should own up to their mistake rather than yank books out from under their customers as a bargaining chip.

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  • GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    It's not really a 'failure' of cloud computing as a feature of cloud computing.

    Right. Poor choice of words on my part. I think the author meant that it was a failure of the business model that uses cloud computing as a major feature. Basically the customer can get screwed if they purchase something and the core of the item only exists on the seller's server side.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    It's not really a 'failure' of cloud computing as a feature of cloud computing.

    Right. Poor choice of words on my part. I think the author meant that it was a failure of the business model that uses cloud computing as a major feature. Basically the customer can get screwed if they purchase something and the core of the item only exists on the seller's server side.
    That's the same problem people have already had with DRM'd music files when the authentication servers shut down though. Except in those cases, they were basically told "sorry, nothing we can do about it."

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  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Ahh.
    The company told Ars that they are "changing [Amazon's] systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances."

    That's good to hear. No more book revocations.

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  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    It's not really a 'failure' of cloud computing as a feature of cloud computing.

    Right. Poor choice of words on my part. I think the author meant that it was a failure of the business model that uses cloud computing as a major feature. Basically the customer can get screwed if they purchase something and the core of the item only exists on the seller's server side.
    That's the same problem people have already had with DRM'd music files when the authentication servers shut down though. Except in those cases, they were basically told "sorry, nothing we can do about it."

    This has already happened? Cite?

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Marty81 wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    It's not really a 'failure' of cloud computing as a feature of cloud computing.

    Right. Poor choice of words on my part. I think the author meant that it was a failure of the business model that uses cloud computing as a major feature. Basically the customer can get screwed if they purchase something and the core of the item only exists on the seller's server side.
    That's the same problem people have already had with DRM'd music files when the authentication servers shut down though. Except in those cases, they were basically told "sorry, nothing we can do about it."

    This has already happened? Cite?
    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2008/04/drm-sucks-redux-microsoft-to-nuke-msn-music-drm-keys.ars

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    Ahh.
    The company told Ars that they are "changing [Amazon's] systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances."
    That's good to hear. No more book revocations.
    What this most likely means is that if this happens again, they'll switch to the same book, but a different vendor.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Wich is a good thing. I can forsee two problems though: One is if the right vendor's version cost more or less then the bad vendor. In wich case someone has to pay out the difference. This should be Amazon, since it was their screwup, but not sure in every case.

    Second is people using the ability to make notes to their e-books(for school or such). If you swich and delete the original, might you not delete those notes? (one article said thats what happend to some people). Amazon should warn people so they can save their notes before switchin

    This is a step in the right direction. (Apart from amazon being able to erase books like they never where. this is still doubleplus ungood).

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    This should be Amazon, since it was their screwup, but not sure in every case.
    No, it wasn't. The vendor they were purchasing from screwed up.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Technicaly you can only order them to return the money and property they stole, but yeah they should probably pay for any cost. Might require legal action though.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The announcement probably means they made a deal with a specific vendor, in case this happens again.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Technicaly you can only order them to return the money and property they stole, but yeah they should probably pay for any cost. Might require legal action though.
    Oh, well, technically you can only order them to do the exact thing your railing against in this thread. Perhaps you should explain why Amazon should pay for another company's mistakes.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    Ahh.
    The company told Ars that they are "changing [Amazon's] systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances."
    That's good to hear. No more book revocations.
    What this most likely means is that if this happens again, they'll switch to the same book, but a different vendor.

    There's a very specific phrase there, though. "In these circumstances."

    I think that the specifics of this case are less relevant, BECAUSE there was little to no loss for the consumer. However, let's think about the precedent this sets. Imagine that in 40 years we ONLY deal in e-books, due to the various advantages and the advances of technology. Now imagine that a book becomes wildly unpopular and the market demands that it no longer be sold. At that point, have people agreed as a majority that Amazon can take a book back from you and give you a refund, if that becomes necessary? This fundamentally hurts the concept of e-books, because it means that the user has no control over the information they have access to. With real books, you won't lose something because Amazon changes their minds. In the case of e-books, they're setting a precedent that you don't have any control over your data.

    Now, obviously that's a far-fetched, nebulous "what-if?", but it still provides reason enough to wonder whether the consumer should have any ownership in the data they buy. Heck, not even EA thought to build an "uninstall" command into Spore's DRM. This is Amazon getting ahead of the curve in terms of limiting consumer rights.

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  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Amazon is at about the same level of fault here as the individual customer was (that is to say, none) with the sole exception that being a buisness opens them up to liability. If Amazon did nothing after learning about this infringement, then they would have been in trouble. Their method of dealing with this after being informed seems more to be a technological oversight in not coming up with a less cumbersome and customer-inconveniencing method of fixing access to proper copyrighted material due to their use of cloud infrastructure for their service.

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  • Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I'm mildly curious if ever, in the history of the printed word, a book was taken off the shelf due to market demands. And if so, what book would that be?

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Why would a market demand something to not be sold? If it's sellable, the market wants to sell it. If there's no profit to be made, it won't be (re)printed.

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  • Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Now imagine that a book becomes wildly unpopular and the market demands that it no longer be sold. At that point, have people agreed as a majority that Amazon can take a book back from you and give you a refund, if that becomes necessary?

    I don't know, that's why this line confused me.

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Now imagine that a book becomes wildly unpopular and the market demands that it no longer be sold. At that point, have people agreed as a majority that Amazon can take a book back from you and give you a refund, if that becomes necessary?

    Exactly, but I've seen this argument pop up multiple times in the thread.
    The only problem is that argument is based on the content of a book, not on the legality of the distributor distributing it, which was the problem in this case.

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  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    In the case of e-books, they're setting a precedent that you don't have any control over your data.
    It's not your data. Data can only be said to be yours if you are a) the creator, or b) the sole legal owner with the exclusive right to allow or deny access. When you buy a book--a real dead tree one, that is--you don't own the data it contains. You own the physical object on which the data has been printed, but that bare ownership does not grant you the right to copy and disseminate the data on a whim. Your relationship to the data is, at its core, based on access. As long as you own the physical object, you can access the data. If you give up the physical object, then you can't access it anymore. E-books don't have the physical object component, so there may be nothing to own, leaving the only rights as rights of access.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I know. I agree that it isn't likely at all. It's just the scenario I most easily imagine in which someone being able to take a book away from you after you've bought it most bothers me. Also, imagine it in a country with fewer freedoms/protections of ideas than the US/UK when you think about it.
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    In the case of e-books, they're setting a precedent that you don't have any control over your data.
    It's not your data. Data can only be said to be yours if you are a) the creator, or b) the sole legal owner with the exclusive right to allow or deny access. When you buy a book--a real dead tree one, that is--you don't own the data it contains. You own the physical object on which the data has been printed, but that bare ownership does not grant you the right to copy and disseminate the data on a whim. Your relationship to the data is, at its core, based on access. As long as you own the physical object, you can access the data. If you give up the physical object, then you can't access it anymore. E-books don't have the physical object component, so there may be nothing to own, leaving the only rights as rights of access.

    True. I misspoke by calling it control of data. I understand the argument when it comes to software, somewhat. However, it does frighten me a bit to think that a technology which might supplant normal book publishing doesn't allow for you to have unfettered access to the data while still in possession of the device it was put on.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    I know. I agree that it isn't likely at all. It's just the scenario I most easily imagine in which someone being able to take a book away from you after you've bought it most bothers me. Also, imagine it in a country with fewer freedoms/protections of ideas than the US/UK when you think about it.
    As was pointed out before, the books were both still available on the Kindle marketplace, just from distributors who had the right to be distributing them. I guess that while the Kindle makes it easier for thoughtcrime-level persecution, there are both far too many alternatives to it in existence and far too robust of a system in place for market-based book bannings to occur. The country would have to be seriously fucked for us to get to that level.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I understand that the same book was available from other distributors. This still establishes, from the very beginning, that you have zero guarantee of permanence of your data on the device, though. It establishes the precedent from which we will eventually draw the statement, "That's just the way things are."

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    However, it does frighten me a bit to think that a technology which might supplant normal book publishing doesn't allow for you to have unfettered access to the data while still in possession of the device it was put on.
    The Kindle (and e-books in general) are not going to supplant the production of physical books. E-book production will supplement and maybe eventually surpass physical production, but there are too many people too invested in printing for it to disappear entirely. Maybe in 100 years when we're all plugged in to the matrix or some shit things will be different; that's so far away, and so far removed from our current forms of existence as to be irrelevant.

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