Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Amazon Kindle Orwell Deletion May Be Legal -- But It's Still Doubleplusungood

By Dennis D. McDonald, Ph.D.

I know I know — the Orwell titles deleted from customer Kindles by Amazon were unauthorized copies. I’m still concerned. Why? Because it demonstrates how this technology can be applied and managed remotely without the owner’s involvement. Next time it will be a title embroiled in some kind of legal dispute, or a government agency will beg that a title be deleted for national security reasons.

Given what just happened I don’t see how you can say such scenarios are impossible.

Which disappoints me, since I want a Kindle, and I maintain a lot of my own personal data online “in the cloud.” I have to think about this more, now.

Be that as it may, one of the purposes of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is to allow just such a scenario — post sale control of licensed media. We just saw that DRM does in fact work as advertised.

This reminds me of arguments that swirled around the old “DIVX DVD” technology that Circuit City lost so much money on so many years ago; DIVX DVD playback could be deactivated remotely for non-payment, but Circuit City could never convince folks that mistaken de-activation was impossible.

I’ll still buy stuff from Amazon. The service is good. Hopefully, though, they won’t get their hands on eMusic.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald

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