Posted by: Mike P. | July 22, 2009

Amazon, Kindle, 1984

“In George Orwell’s “1984,” government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.” On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole – by  In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.”

So, basically, Amazon sold you a book which you stored on your Kindle. The publisher then decided they really didn’t want to sell it, so Amazon invaded your computer and deleted the book. Admittedly, they returned your money.

If you wish to exist in a world where a company and remove things you legally bought, then ignore all these crazy new laws they make. Otherwise, learn a little and avoid products that implement these concepts. For instance, I do not accept Apple’s iTunes restrictions, so I usually just download mp3s from Amazon. No encryption, so rules about how many different devices I can install it on, etc don’t apply. It’s mine, I bought it. End of story.  (Update: Admittedly, when Joss Stone’s new album only came out on iTunes, I bought it anyway.  But, I like her and her attitude a great deal.)

For those of you that do Limewire downloads, eventually you are going to cause laws to be written that you will likely live to regret. Limewire downloads are the excuse to implement the kind of controls I discuss below. Stop being part of the problem by creating the excuse necessary to restrict our freedoms.

Consider carefully the concept of say, a story from the NYTimes where a whistle blower on something the NSA does gets published. You download the story. The NSA freaks and forces the NYT to remove the story. And they can if you use a Kindle. So, lets all pay attention a little to what these guys are doing before 1984 comes in, oh, 2014 or so.

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