Think about this before you buy another book from the Kindle Store

Rights mavens will point out over and over that you don’t really own anything on your Kindle, but it’s easy to dismiss as the ravings of paranoids.

Until it happens to someone. Amazon is refusing to explain why it’s closed this woman’s account, wiped her Kindle, and kicked her to the curb. After several questions, the final word from Amazon? “We wish you luck in locating a retailer better able to meet your needs and will not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters.”

Lots, and lots and lots of people should hear about this. This is what could have happened with music, too, if MP3 hadn’t become the default. Movies and video are locked up, too, but it’s easy to transcode a DVD and store it as something that’ll play widely, so there’s an “out” there, too. By far the worse rights management regime, though, is in books. And Amazon holds the keys.

BoingBoing has more.

4 thoughts on “Think about this before you buy another book from the Kindle Store

  1. What, Amazon, the great Anti-Christ for independent booksellers like me, being evil? Come on, that would never happen! I get my biggest indie smug on when I’m flying and snicker at the suckers who can’t read during takeoff because they have e-readers while I can use my actual BOOK throughout the whole flight.

  2. Jesus H. This behavior is antithetical to all of my customer service interactions with Amazon thus far, which have been amazingly painless and always skewed in my favor without exception or delay.

    Clearly when it comes to this Kindle/DRM business, things have gotten ugly quickly. I’m no expert, but it would seem that Amazon is playing with fire here when it comes to their otherwise sterling reputation. I do have to wonder if this is merely a case of one really lousy customer service rep or something broader.

  3. The most likely reason is cross-border purchases, which Amazon and publishers hate because of the varying prices they can charge. It’s bullshit either way, though.

    I have a Kindle, and enjoy it, but only for trash fiction/airport books. I’d never but a book I wanted to OWN digitally for precisely this reason.

    And, Frazer, I do travel quite a bit with mine, but remain unvexed during takeoff and landing thanks to a never-ending pile of unread New Yorkers. ;)

  4. Just put those unread New Yorkers on the back of the terlet and you’ll be surprised how fast they get read :). Get a Kobo! Indies will be selling those soon! And if you want to read something, for heaven’s sake, email me and I’ll hook ya up! You and I both know what Yates would have said about the Kindle!