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Shrewed
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Did you read the article about Amazon reaching into Kindle owners machines and removing access to a book? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32014285/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/

It is ironic that the very book that was affected was George Orwell's 1984. I'm sure all of the people that shelled out hundreds of dollars for a Kindle, plus the cost of downloading the book, appreciate that Amazon is able to ensure they do not read an improperly licensed book. Or, just maybe, we are starting to see how much control of our own lives we have given up in the name of a little convenience.

Posts: 42 | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hobsen
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Amazon probably had to remove this content when asked to do so, or face paying damages to the owners of the copyrights. From a user's perspective, most likely Amazon can only "reach into" a Kindle when it is connected to a computer, so those worried could check the news before making such a connection. Otherwise, if Amazon can connect to these machines by wireless, it might help to store such a machine in a wire mesh cage to block radio waves. But with thousands of titles available, and the Orwell books available from public libraries at no cost, I would not be too concerned. People who buy Kindles can still read books in other formats, and purchasers should never have been promised the Orwell titles anyway, as Amazon had never purchased the right to offer them.
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Shrewed
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Here's another article - http://www.slate.com/id/2223214/

This goes beyond just Orwell. Ayn Rand's works have also disappeared from Kindles.

As noted in the article at Slate, anyone who understands the concerns of "book burnings" will recognize that this has the same sinister potential, but is dramatically more enforceable.

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hobsen
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Slate is right that new laws may be needed, and most likely they will be written if devices like Kindle become popular enough to justify that. At the moment the balance seems tipped the other way, with authors complaining their copyrighted works are posted on the Web, and individuals helpless in the face of libels spread online. Book burning today is much more difficult than it was fifty years ago, in terms of actually preventing access to information, but I agree it could become a problem in the future. At the moment Kindle itself represents the opposite - a whole new technology authors must monitor to prevent their works being stolen. And Kindle has competitors, so something removed from one service may survive on another. So the Slate article seems to be envisioning tomorrow's problems rather than describing those of today.

Just as a test, I looked for works by Ayn Rand online, and promptly came up with a stolen version of The Virtue of Selfishness available to anyone with an Internet connection. See the problem?

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TomDavidson
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I love the line I saw in my local paper the other day: "civil libertarians are calling for laws to be passed banning the deletion of books from the Kindle..."

My reaction: "Um, no. Those would not be libertarians."

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