Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Kindle and Book-ownership or Here Abide Daemons?

Disclaimer: we are an indie bookstore, not affiliated with Amazon, and we sell e-books (not the Kindle-compatible ones either) on our website. Ergo, we have a are forewarned.

We all know someone with a Kindle (tm probably) - who is also relatively happy with it. Fine, good, they're reading...I am all in favor of reading.

However, I have been reading that Kindle's terms and conditions state "Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon." So you're renting the book instead of buying it, right? (Feel free to correct me in the comments below - I may be wrong.)

Allowing for sociological changes due to the new medium, I have to say this protocol still sounds antithetical to the basic concept of book buying/book-ownership. I am not the only one who finds this odd and possibly harmful. The folks over at BoingBoing are starting up a Petition for a DRM (Digital Rights Management) Free Kindle.

What say you out there in reader-land? Am I being a stuffy old-fashioned bookseller or are there some real dangers there?


Gary L. Lester said...

Did you hear about the lawsuit that a high school kid brought against Amazon. Apparently they deleted his e-copy of a book, including his notes. It caused him to fail an English assignment. The new "Dog ate my homework" upgrade!

Constellation Books said...

The question is (for this case -which IS going to court) did Amazon 'own' the kid's notes?


Jo said...

I've wondered about the Kindle. I still prefer a real book with real pages to turn. If I want to "rent" it I can do so for free from the public library or from a friend. If I buy a book, I would consider it mine.

However, reading e-books is indeed reading instead of watching a movie or playing video games. I like the idea of an electronic reader that can display e-books from independent book stores instead of a dedicated source such as Amazon.

Christiana Rabe said...

I think that, as long as the author and publisher get their money, the seller shouldn't try to pull a fast one like this. Book should be able to be owned by the person reading, no matter the medium.