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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More from the land of the Paranoid: Amazon Deletes Woman's Account and Kindle Data, Refuses to Explain Why (Updated)

Amazon Deletes Woman's Account and Kindle Data, Refuses to Explain Why (Updated):

It’s interesting reading the comments on the various sites which alternate between righteous indignation (“I would never use a Kindle” – not that these people ever would anyway) to ignorance of what happened (even assuming she lost access to her books, it has nothing to do with DRM) to not having any connection to what might really have happened (it may even have been a hoax.) Amazon owns audible and I will speak from experience of what happens when you close an audible account. I had 4 audible accounts which I shared with my family. The reason I had four is because you can only have two accounts on an ipod and I had several generations of ipods and itouches and an iphone. I cancelled 3 of the accounts BUT I have NEVER lost access to my purchased titles. I can still log in and download whenever and wherever I want even though I’m not paying them a cent.

Kindle books will work the same way. You will always have access to the books you have bought through your account. It would appear from later accounts of what happened to Lynn was that her account was temporarily suspended (we don’t yet know why but it may very well have to do with not deregistering a gifted Kindle or deregistering that Kindle wihtout understanding what happens). Once you deregister a Kindle that Kindle loses access to all the books that had been on it (Nooks work the same way) and looks as if the account was closed. If that Kindle device or app (I have 10 devices registered to my Kindle account, (Android, Nook-rooted, Linux and IOS – I’m a hardware junkie) is re-registered to the former Kindle account all the books will become again available. (I’ve done all this just to see what happens.) We are still at the stage of speculating what exactly happened in Lynn’s case but I *suspect* if may have to do with a device getting deregistered (actually easy to do if you hit the wrong button in the settings menu, but easily fixed.) Note that all devices can be individually controlled from the “manage your Kindle” section of Amazon.

Note that DRM is totally irrelevant to the “Linn story” as Amazon (or Kobo or B&N for that matter) could have done the same thing under their terms of service with or without DRM. DRM is there at the behest of publishers who are terrified you might give a copy of an ebook you purchased to someone else.

For those of you who remain paranoid out there, all you have to do is shut off the wireless or 3G connection of your Kindle or whatever and that severs all ties to Amazon. You can then download titles and side-load them to your device.

The 1984 example cited by some is a straw man. Amazon removed a title that had been stolen and which they did not have the right to sell. They replaced it with another legal version. What they did was right and proper and hindered no one.

If you read the license agreement for the OS of whatever computer you are using, whether Ubuntu, iOS, Android, Windows, whatever, you will see it comes with myriad restrictions and usage limitations. That’s a price the software industry has forced us to pay. It has nothing to do with DRM but instead has totally subverted the first sale doctrine, a much deeper issue, IMHO.

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