Kloudy Kindle Kerfuffle

There are several themes emerging in the wake of the Kindle Kerfuffle (see this and this). These can be summarized as:

  1. Kindle is really a cloud service
  2. The recent file deletion kerfuffle is not about DRM, it’s about copyright protection
  3. Kindle had to delete the Orwell titles because they did not have the rights to sell it in the first place

The second and third arguments are the easiest to dispense of. Without getting into the legalities (I am not a lawyer) the simple fact that they promise not to do it in the future means that they didn’t have to do previously. And of course DRM is the main issue. Without DRM we wouldn’t be talking about it.

Which leaves the question, is Kindle really cloud service? The argument is that it is really a Cloud bookshelf where your books are cached to your local device. I don’t buy it. By that definition web pages are a cloud service because they are stored on a server and cached on your local device. The main thrust of Kindle is reading books on your Kindle reader. The fact that you can get books from the cloud is just a delivery mechanism, just like downloading software to run on your PC. If that makes it a cloud service, then please tell me what doesn’t qualify as a cloud server.

The Cyber Cynic raises this point:

But, it’s worse than that. Now, that we’ve discovered that Amazon can remotely and automatically delete your books without your knowledge or consent, what’s to stop Amazon, some other company, or the government from not merely deleting it, but replacing it with an edited version? Nothing.

It’s not that I’m not a trusting person… oh wait it is.

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2 responses to “Kloudy Kindle Kerfuffle

  1. Paper is always a proof, digital item is not. I own a kindle myself and also keep a hardcopy of my favorite book in hand.

  2. I wonder what the Kindle may do to libraries and our concept of the book. Will our children have a completely different understanding of the word “text.” I found a good discussion on the matter at pandalous. It’s here: http://www.pandalous.com/topic/is_the_world_ready_for

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