After spending our most recent vacation with my in-laws (two of whom, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law own Kindles) I’d made up my mind that a refurbished Kindle might make a nice present, perhaps for my 33rd birthday or Christmas.
Then a funny thing happened. Amazon got all “Big Brother” with two books by the George Orwell (naturally), Animal Farm and 1984.
You can imagine what happened next:
Lots of folks up in arms.
Tons of “isn’t it ironic” tweets.
Folks (me included) thinking about switching their allegiances to Sony’s eBook reader.
Then the truth came out, stranger than fiction as it always seems to be. Turns out the real culprit in this crime were the publishers who told Amazon they had the rights to sell the book digitally when they did not, in fact, have those rights.
So Amazon’s actions actually protected well-established, prior-art-style copyright as most folks know it?
This isn’t some gigantic bait-and-switch that amounts to theft of a users’ property?
The entire concept of DRM & internet-enabled device/software/media management hasn’t just been dealt a deathblow (Don’t tell the RIAA)?
Yes and no.
In the short term, it’s not good for eBooks which have been exposed as nothing more than portable book-renting kiosks.
In the long term it’s good for Amazon, which keeps the relationship with publishers and (some) customers who see them vigorously defending copyright.
For me: I don’t want any part of a remote-controlled, technology-crippled, tether-bound money pit.
Unless, of course, I could distribute my blog there.
In which case, sign me up. ;-)
What do you think about Kindle? Own one? Still want one (despite this news)?
I see digital distribution/engagement/consumption as a forgone conclusion, I just don’t know if I’m willing to tie myself to Amazon & the Kindle just yet.