Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amazon Deletes Legally Purchased eBooks from Kindles

Tags: amazon

Amazon did something very scary last week - they removed legally purchased eBooks from Kindles. Sure, it doesn't sound that bad on the surface, but it could set a precedent that no Web consumer should stand for - the right of companies to remove digitally downloaded products from consumer devices at a later date.

Imagine if all companies that sold digital products could just reach into your computer and remove music, games, movies, pictures, software, and anything else they want to, whenever they want to. Seems a little far fetched doesn't it? Well, Amazon did just that with their Kindles and many speculate Apple may do just such a thing with their iPhones some day. Amazon could do this for all of their digital products from eBooks and software to music and movies. If a movie studio decides they don't want their movies for sale on Amazon anymore, does that mean Amazon is going to remove all those movies from anybody who has already purchased and downloaded the movies?

Apparently many are saying it's completely legal for Amazon to do what they've done, though it's mind boggling to see how that can be the case. Sure, they are going to refund the money, but how does that make it okay? If I went into Best Buy and bought a movie, does that mean Best Buy could just come into my house and take back the movie if the movie's publisher decides they don't want to have their movies in Best Buy anymore? Nobody would stand for that, so how can we stand for Amazon doing basically the exact same thing with digital books?

Thankfully the Web is up in arms over the whole ordeal, and Amazon has even admitted it was a stupid thing to do, promising they won't do it again. While that all sounds good on paper, it doesn't really get the bitter taste out of my mouth.