Posted on September 3, 2009 at 3:05pm by

On Big Brother’s Arrival

Amazon had acquired the lead in the eReader wars, despite the fact that Sony’s eReader had better and more solid construction. Amazon’s lead in the war came primarily as a result of its ability to download information directly to the Kindle, without the need of interfacing with a computer. Well, it looks like there is a downside to that convenience. Not only can Amazon add to your Kindle, it can also take things off of it. Apparently Amazon giveth (selleth) and Amazon taketh away.

Ironically, this ability came to light when Amazon chose to delete copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from the Kindles of individuals who had acquired those titles from Amazon. The explanation that Amazon came up with is that they acquired the books from a source that did not have the copyright. Apparently, Amazon felt that it had the right to remove the books from its customer’s Kindles because it was Amazon and nobody could stop it.

This brings up an interesting issue. If Amazon can put what you order on your Kindle, they can put what they want on it as well. Now it is clear that they can remove what they choose from your Kindle.

Perhaps Sony has the better idea after all. ¬†Interestingly, Sony recently released new software and hardware. I will post about those items later. For now, I feel violated by Big Brother Amazon. I am considering whether to simply turn off the Kindle and use it solely with what I already have on it. At the very least, I will minimize my exposure to Amazon’s Big Brotherly ways (and maximize my battery life) by leaving the radio off when I am not trying to load a new book.

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