Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In case you have not heard, Amazon was forced to recall two eBooks that it had sold via its web site for use on the Kindle eBook Reader that Amazon developed, markets and supports. Amazon WhisperNet is the wirelss distibution method they use to send and authorize eBooks, so when people logged into Amazon, these two books were simply removed (deleted at the Amazon server) - which meant they were then removed and deleted from the users Kindle account.

This has cause a HUGE uproar with Knidle users, many of them very very upset.

I personally believe that Amazon would have done this without being forced to. I still can't understand the vile and hatred. The two books that this effected were by George Orwell - Animal Farm (published in 1945) and 1984 (published in 1949) are a hardly new books, but very popular and not yet in the public domain, so the publisher still retains copyright in the USA where Amazon/Kindle does business.

One can purchase either of these books almost anywhere used for 10 cents. This recall was not about money, as they were sold for .99 cents - it was not about control, as they are a distributor - it was about their publishing partner Penguin telling them that Penguin own the rights, and that Penguin did not provide the rights to Amazon to distribute these as an eBook, and asked their distribution partner Amazon to please fix this mistake.

Think of this from another perspective - J K Rowling would never ever ever release a Harry Potter book in eBook format if Amazon had no method to recall an unauthorized copy.

Amazon made a mistake, but had a system clever enough to fix it. Authors, artists, musicians, Electronic Game designers, movie makes and any digital publisher are protected using this approach. The same is NOT true with Apple iTunes, BTW.

This was an very interesting a public demonstration of a superior technology. And you probably hated it. And yes, people whom have created things that are digital and have had them pirated and in awe going "wow, that was ugly, but it WORKED!"

People are thieves. Personally - I have no problem with these sort of hiccups. No one lost an eye or a limb. If you really really need an eBook from Orwell, it can be had unfortunately or fortunately, and that attitude would vary largely on if you are on the copyright protection team at Penguin Publishing or not.

But TRUST me on this one, Amazon made no money and had NOTHING to gain by doing this except prove it was a reliable partner for eBook distribution.

That's all I have to say about that.

I will update this blog post if it turns out that my take on this is incorrect.

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