Amazon Deletes Books From Kindle Without User Consent

18 Lug/09

amazonIf you ever needed another reason not to purchase hardware, software or media with DRM then this latest story might convince you that DRM is utterly bad for the consumers. Amazon Kindle owners who purchased books by George Orwell just realized yesterday that the books were no longer on their device. Amazon apparently deleted the books from the the user devices because of the publisher changing its mind about offering electronic versions of the books.

The customers who have bought the books did receive a refund but were left puzzled and confused. Anyone who thought that ebooks with DRM were just like book purchases might now realize that they are not at all as Amazon and the publishers seem to have the power to remove books at any time from the user’s possession. Amazon responded to user questions with the following paragraph:

The Kindle edition books Animal Farm by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi) & Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi) were removed from the Kindle store and are no longer available for purchase. When this occured, your purchases were automatically refunded. You can still locate the books in the Kindle store, but each has a status of not yet available. Although a rarity, publishers can decide to pull their content from the Kindle store.

Amazon states that is is unlikely to happen again. What users do need to realize is that it can happen at anytime. That’s a huge difference to books or other media that are purchased in stores. Once you bought it it is yours and no publisher or company in the world will come to your house to get the book back and give you a refund. Customers thinking about purchasing a kindle or any other electronic device that is making use of DRM should start thinking about viable alternatives that come without DRM. It’s better for them, their children and our future.

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