Why Amazon Is Getting Sued Over The KindleAug 7th, 2009 | By James Lewin | Category: Commentary, General
The Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s Corynne McSherry has published a blog post that explains why the group is taking part in a lawsuit against Amazon over the Kindle:
Customers who shell out $300 for a Kindle are not getting the product they expect: a device that will let them do electronically most of the things they expect to do with physical books — e.g., read them (and re-read them), mark them up, carry them around, and share them with others — without worrying that a bookseller might reach through and not only delete their books but also monitor and record their activities. It is this combination of powers (tracking, recording, erasing) that makes Amazon look like Big Brother — and made this act particularly ironic.
The trigger for this lawsuit was Amazon’s recent decision to remotely delete George Orwell’s 1984 & Animal Farm off the Kindles of hundreds of people.
She goes on to explain that EFF is looking for Amazon to settle and to:
- Leave Content on Kindles Alone
- Be transparent about both the information it tracks and the control it retains for the Kindle. T
- Commit to advising customers of any changes in the terms of service by showing a pop-up screen describing the change, in plain language whenever the device first connects to Amazon after a change.
- Respond to customer expectations by adding language to clarify that all books, magazines and newspapers are not licensed but rather sold, and may be disposed of at the purchaserâ€™s discretion.
- Allow Kindle users to choose which “updates” they wish to install.
- Provide users with the option of creating a personal backup copy of their annotated books for their laptops.
EFF’s demands seem reasonable from a buyers’s perspective.
There’s a huge gap between reasonable buyers’ expectations, though, and what Amazon is actually selling.
As a result, the lawsuit forces Amazon to either rethink their practices with the Kindle or face another PR disaster.