You may have heard in the news recently that Amazon is removing features and user generated content from books on their Kindle 2 reader. While many hail devices such as the Kindle as the best thing to come out for lovers of books since the printing press, Amazon has had to deal with some negative responses from publishers. First they disabled the “read aloud” feature on some books without so much as a “do you mind” to Kindle owners, next they sent books that some users had purchased to the Great Bit Bucket in the Sky(as Peng calls it). They’ve even deleted one reader’s personal notes on a book. The fact that one of the books concerned is George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984 makes it both really sad and kind of funny in a dark comedic sense.
Peng brought us information on a protest from Defective By Design against the Digital Rights Management (DRM) being used by the Boston Public Librarylast year, and when he sent me a link to a petition asking Amazon to stop controlling their customer’s rights in regard to the Kindle, I asked him to post it here. Unfortunately he’s had yet more problems with his computer this week, which turned out to be just a flaky video cable, and he asked me to blog it instead.
Please consider signing the petitionon Defective By Design’s website asking Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com to stop bowing to pressure from corporate interests and take a stand for the rights of the consumer, especially since the consumer is parting with so much disposable income to buy the Kindle and books to read on it. As the survey puts it,
Whatever Amazon’s reasons for imposing this control may be, they are not as important as the public’s freedom to use books without interference or supervision.
Peng and I look forward to being able to bring you news of success in this battle with yet another form of DRM.
And Peng? I think we need to get you a new comp for Chrismukkuh. The one you have now sure seems like a gift of someone else’s problems, and it sucks that you have to deal with issues so often. Perhaps we can set up a way to get donations from our readers to help pay for it, since it seems you’re giving us so much valuable information.