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This 89 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 89 ( 1 2 [3]     
You bought the book so it belongs to you. Right?
... perhaps not.
Woz




msg:3954684
 11:17 pm on Jul 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

According to a NY Times [pogue.blogs.nytimes.com] article, Amazon caved to publisher pressure and deleted purchased books from users' Kindles and credited their account accordingly.

Nice that they gave a credit, but it does raise the thorny issue of "when is a purchase final and non reversible?" Understandably, people are not happy, some likening it to a vendor entering your house in the middle of the night to "forcibly return" certain items whilst leaving you a cheque for their value on the coffee table.

Yet another reason to not use third party products that they, the third party, can control.

Oh, and the "returned" books? 1984 and Animal Farm. Rather ironic.

Onya
Woz

 

Shaddows




msg:3956439
 9:07 am on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, that confiscation is actionable is a morally challengable position. From that perspective, the Kindle appeard to be a device in need of modification. Why did they have this backdoor in the first place? Is that not like the builders keeping a key to your house after they've sold it to you?

graeme_p




msg:3956474
 10:01 am on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Stolen goods are not a good analogy. They are confiscated to be returned to the owner - they are not destroyed.

Shaddows




msg:3956482
 10:17 am on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's nothing wrong with the analogy. The right of access to the content is returned to the content owner. It can then be resold in such a way as the content owner is reimbursed granting that right.

Amazon should not be able to recall content. But since they can, and since their customers are in receipt of stolen goods, retreiving them is not unreasonable.

If the content owner was willing, Amazon could obtain right-of-access retrospectively (pay them compensation). That is obviously what should have happened here. Amazon would likely lose out, but that would be the price of poor diligence.

However, the fact an alternative exists does not change the fact that purchasers do not have legitimate access to content.

phranque




msg:3956503
 11:15 am on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you are found with stolen goods, they are confiscated.

when have stolen goods ever been confiscated by the vendor?

Shaddows




msg:3956515
 11:43 am on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Fair point, well made. I imagine confiscation should be by the proper authorities, which Amazon is not.

Yes, when put like that, its more like theft. Hmmm.

sgietz




msg:3956551
 1:49 pm on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Would be ironic if the book was Fahrenheit 451.

At the very least, an email should have been dispatched prior to pulling the books. This subterfuge will upset quite a few people. It's upsetting me, and I don't even have a Kindle :)

phranque




msg:3956552
 1:51 pm on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

the lack of "due process" is astounding.
at the least they should have obtained a court order prior to taking such action.

bouncybunny




msg:3956573
 2:35 pm on Jul 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

That is only possible because consumers do not know or care about it.

Exactly and its these consumers that are screwing it up for people that understand.

Er no, we know about it because it is impossible to legally activate and use the software without it phoning home. And, unfortunately, there is no alternative for some types of software.

graeme_p




msg:3957240
 10:55 am on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

And, unfortunately, there is no alternative for some types of software.

No very many. I have very little proprietary software, and none that phones home -- well, none that has been caught phoning home, anyway.

atlrus




msg:3957306
 1:48 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's obvious that most of you don't own a Kindle, yet still find the audacity to complain about it.

First - the Kindle does not have to "phone home" all the time. You can simply turn off the wireless (which most people do to save battery). Of course if you want to buy a book through the device or delivered wirelessly, you have to turn it on, but it's not mandatory as some of the people who don't own a Kindle claim.

Second - For people who actually own and use Kindle - it's not a big deal. Most of the people complainers don't own a Kindle, as it becomes apparent when reading the posts above. People who own Kindles have a different mind set about this type of things. I see it as fair - the sale was illegal, Amazon deleted the book and refunded the money. End of story. It happened once and in the long term it's beneficial for Kindle users - publishers would feel better about thier properties and more books will be available to the user. Plus, people using the Kindle are generally not the stealing type (otherwise we would've bought a different reader and get all the books from PirateBay).

Would Amazon start deleting books for fun? I am yet to see a proof of this.

Third - I don't get the example with paper books. As a poster said before - you own the paper, not the words. If you accidently damage you book on the way out of the store, let's say you drop it in a puddle of mud outside the store, there is no way in the world you can make the claim of ownership and get a replacement book. I don't expect my ebooks to last forever just as I don't expect my paper books to do so either.

Would a store come after me for selling a stolen book? No, but only because it's too small of an item. If it was a stolen TV, sure as heck the cops would be knocking on my door and confiscate it as an evidence, then return it to its rightful owner. The fact that's Amazon who is doing the confiscating and not the cops is semantics. People are just grasping for straws to justify their idea of the "Amazon the Big Brother"...

At the end - I am positive that when those two books become available from the original publisher Amazon will give free copies to those who were affected.

Here is an advice - go and buy the Kindle, use it and then come and share your opinion. Don't turn a PR blunder into the case of the century.

As for the title of the post - no, you own the medium of the book and have the right to read it as long as the medium is not damaged. Scratched DVD? Well, that's the end of the story on your movie ownership. Charred book - that's the end of your paper book ownership. Damaged Kindle file - I can re-download it whenever I like.

[edited by: lawman at 2:27 pm (utc) on July 22, 2009]
[edit reason] spelling [/edit]

swa66




msg:3957718
 11:09 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

The fact that's Amazon who is doing the confiscating and not the cops is semantics.

And yet that's exactly the part where amazon acts as judge, jury and executioner, hence unacceptable from any company, be it amazon, or any other.

Bottom line: the cops have authority which no company should ever have.

If amazon had been ordered in court by a judge to remove it, it would have been a very different story.

atlrus




msg:3957811
 2:10 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

And yet that's exactly the part where amazon acts as judge, jury and executioner, hence unacceptable from any company, be it amazon, or any other. Bottom line: the cops have authority which no company should ever have.

Why?!? If we are going to go down this road - I actually voted Amazon to be the judge, jury and executioner by buying the Kindle, accepting those exact terms and purchasing books from them. It should come to Kindle owners as no surprise, since Amazon has the right to do what they did. Again, 99% of the people complaining are doing so without even being customers, hence affected, but rather base it on some misunderstood company-customer idea. Not to mention that you don't choose cops nor judges, but you do choose to become Amazon customer and enter a contract.

I don't understand why would you give Amazon those rights by accepting their terms, yet complain when they actually enforce them?!? Wait, I know - you are not a Kindle user.

Bottom line: Amazon did nothing illegal. Just like the cop is (usually) acting within the frame of the law ONLY, the same way Amazon acts within the frame of the Terms and Conditions customers accepted. You dont like them - then don't buy from that company, period. But to use this case to illustrate some global deterioration of consumer rights is just mind boggling.

tangor




msg:3957878
 5:16 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I get a chuckle at times regarding the "legal opinions" opined here from time to time. In reality the real rub is not the legality of the product (the book) as to the deletion of TOS guaranteed permanent storage. Personally I care not a fig about the Orwell books. I do have a problem with a company changing their TOS to suit their exposure to litigation at my expense.

This little exercise by Amazon has resulted in the "no sale" of six potential Kindles. That's the real issue: Trust of the vendor.

graeme_p




msg:3957911
 6:53 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Bottom line: Amazon did nothing illegal. Just like the cop is (usually) acting within the frame of the law ONLY, the same way Amazon acts within the frame of the Terms and Conditions customers accepted.

Acting within the law is not sufficient to be acting ethically and fairly.
You dont like them - then don't buy from that company, period.

That does not always work. It is fine in a perfectly competitive market with well informed consumers, but it does not work in for, example, operating systems or search marketing. Amazon is well on the way to becoming the Microsoft or e-books.

Also, a large part of the point of this discussion is to warn people not to buy from Amazon - we are doing exactly what you ask.

But to use this case to illustrate some global deterioration of consumer rights is just mind boggling.

Sorry to boggle your mind further, but that is true. Markets have become a lot more oligopolistic, weakening consumers position, so vendors feel that they can do things like this.

jecasc




msg:3957918
 7:04 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why?!? If we are going to go down this road - I actually voted Amazon to be the judge, jury and executioner by buying the Kindle, accepting those exact terms and purchasing books from them.

No. In their terms of services it says: Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use.

There is no paragraph about removing books without prior consent.

Shaddows




msg:3957961
 10:08 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm so confused. On one hand, I absolutely believe that the content-owner has been disabused of their rights, and this should be rectified. On the other, no private company should be able to confiscate goods, electronic or otherwise.

My preferred solution would be for Amazon to have paid compensation directly to the content-owner. I'm not sure why they didn't. Has the Orwellian estate(!) refused this somehow? Have they pushed for a legal injunction on the already distributed copies? Or threatened legal action?

And I still don't like the idea that Amazon has the potential to access the Kindle without user-initiated contact, regardless of their TOS/T&Cs, and regardless of the reason.

kaled




msg:3957982
 10:48 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

My preferred solution would be for Amazon to have paid compensation directly to the content-owner. I'm not sure why they didn't.

It's simple, it was not Amazon's decision to take.

At some point in the relevant meeting, someone at Amazon let the cat out of the bag and said, "We can delete these books". Thereafter, if the publisher said, that's what we want you to do, Amazon had little choice but to agree.

Amazon acted reasonably in deleting these books, however, they acted unreasonably in giving themselves the ability to do so.

Kaled.

swa66




msg:3958021
 11:56 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

@altrus
But to use this case to illustrate some global deterioration of consumer rights is just mind boggling

So you're OK with amazon in the future having a discussion with the author or their representatives and the author wanting more money retroactively and amazon deciding to take away the book you are currently reading ?

'Cause that's the path you are taking.

atlrus




msg:3958068
 1:50 pm on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)


That does not always work. It is fine in a perfectly competitive market with well informed consumers, but it does not work in for, example, operating systems or search marketing. Amazon is well on the way to becoming the Microsoft or e-books.

I disagree. There are plenty of alternatives out there, the Sony Reader for example, which I also own.

Markets have become a lot more oligopolistic, weakening consumers position, so vendors feel that they can do things like this.

Again, I disagree. The consumer has never been more powerful. Let's not forget that coca cola used to contain cocaine back in the days :) But joke aside, I don't see how the consumers' power was bigger 10 years ago than today.

So you're OK with amazon in the future having a discussion with the author or their representatives and the author wanting more money retroactively and amazon deciding to take away the book you are currently reading ?

What if the publisher decides to lower the price and Amazon start giving away refunds? From the two scenarios, mine is much more likely than yours. Amazon sometimes does give credit on items with recently lowered prices (as some other internet merchants do), but I am yet to be charged extra retroactively by Amazon for any product/service I've bought. We can come up with plenlty of doomsday scenarios...

And let's not forget that Kindle owners already faced the thoughest question - what if Amazon goes out of business tomorrow and you break your Kindle?

[edited by: lawman at 5:02 pm (utc) on July 23, 2009]

bouncybunny




msg:3958879
 1:23 pm on Jul 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

No very many. I have very little proprietary software, and none that phones home -- well, none that has been caught phoning home, anyway.

I've no idea what software you use, I can only speak for the software I use in my industry (and it's a pretty big industry), most of which requires online activation and will deactivate itself if it is detected that you have installed too many copies.

Either way, my point stands.

It is impossible to use alternative software and we are not responsible for screwing anything up for those 'who understand'.

But anyway, this is possibly getting off-topic.

lawman




msg:3959163
 7:16 pm on Jul 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

What if Amazon were to say, "Our 'solution' to the problem was stupid, thoughtless and painfully out of line with our principles . . . It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission."

HERE [computerworld.com]

swa66




msg:3959291
 12:22 am on Jul 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

While a mea-culpa is indeed a smart thing to do marketing-wise, the real problem is that they opened pandora's box.

Much like the scenario painted by kaled in #3957982: the fact they technically _can_ delete is going to haunt them forever both towards customers (trust) and towards discussion with suppliers (publishers, authors, ...)

SwitchFX




msg:3961373
 11:11 pm on Jul 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is disturbing. It isn't the first time Amazon has pulled a stupid stunt that ruins their PR. What's next?

skibum




msg:3962984
 6:27 am on Jul 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Looks like at least one person decided to file suit [prnewschannel.com] (PDF Link to court docs) because when they deleted the book they also rendered the notes he took for class useless.

lawman




msg:3963200
 4:48 pm on Jul 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Honest, teacher, Amazon.com ate my homework!"

JS_Harris




msg:3963326
 7:49 pm on Jul 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Another person has filed suit and is seeking class action status.

[news.yahoo.com...]

The lawsuit said Amazon never disclosed to customers that it "possessed the technological ability or right to remotely delete digital content purchased through the Kindle Store.

I hope other gadget makers realize they shouldn't be leaving themselves back doors into consumer products either.

From the suit
"Amazon.com had no more right to hack into people's Kindles than its customers have the right to hack into Amazon's bank account to recover a mistaken overpayment," Edelson said. "Technology companies increasingly feel that because they have the ability to access people's personal property, they have the right to do so. That is 100 percent contrary to the laws of this country."

swa66




msg:3985809
 3:22 am on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

It seems amazon is ready to give in:

[informationweek.com...]
The customers can get the e-books restored, or accept a $30 credit or check.

swa66




msg:4001973
 7:47 am on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

The lawsuit seems to have been settled with amazon paying $150K

[informationweek.com...]
Amazon.com has agreed to pay $150,000 to the student who sued the company for deleting his digital copy of George Orwell's 1984 from his Kindle e-book reading device.

and
As part of the settlement terms, Amazon has agreed not to delete Kindle e-books purchased and used in the US in the future, unless (a) the user consents; (b) the user seeks a refund or an electronic payment fails to clear; (c) a court orders the deletion; or (d) deletion is necessary to protect against malware.

[edited by: lawman at 11:03 am (utc) on Oct. 6, 2009]
[edit reason] spelling [/edit]

wheel




msg:4002111
 2:08 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

One thing that's quite clear from that article, you don't own the book when you buy it from Kindle.

This 89 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 89 ( 1 2 [3]
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