E-Books, More About

Nuno J. Silva nunojsilva at ist.utl.pt
Sat Feb 27 15:45:24 CET 2010

Mark Baker-Wright <nicodemuslegend at gmail.com> writes:

> If someone buys my e-book, they download a PDF file.  The bits and bytes of
> that PDF file are actually on their computer, and they have the ability to
> save it to a storage device and perhaps copy it to another device should
> they so choose.  Even if I decided I didn't want you to have my book later,
> once you've purchased it, I have no ability to delete the file from your
> computer.
> My understanding with the way Amazon.com handles Kindle is rather
> different.  Although the bits and bytes of a Kindle book do reside on the
> Kindle (at least while you're reading it, but I'm not 100% clear on the
> point of storage when you're not reading it), 1) you cannot save the file to
> a storage device, let alone copy it to another reader.  2) Should Amazon.com
> decide that the Kindle book you "bought" is somehow not yours anymore, THEY
> can remove the file from your Kindle without your prior knowledge, despite
> you having paid money to get the book.  It is this second factor, in
> particular,that causes people to complain that they are "renting" books they
> thought that they had "purchased," and it really is a significant
> difference, the lack of physicality notwithstanding.

But Amazon itself 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(...)"[1], the keyword being
*permanent*. I suppose this mean they should have not deleted the books.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200399690
(Point 3 (Digital Content), Use of Digital Content.)

Even if they are not allowed to remove the content by the terms of
service, the only way to be sure they won't do that is controlling your
copy of the book. And that doesn't happen when you must use their device
to read and keep the books.

Nuno J. Silva

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