Amazon Just Killed Off The Kindle’s Buzz

Jul 17th, 2009 | By | Category: General

KindleFrom the day it was released, people have recognized that the Kindle is crippled by compromises.

Since then:

A lot of people have been willing to ignore these things, though, because the Kindle demonstrated that ebook readers are now workable.

It looks like Amazon may have killed off the Kindle’s buzz as an ebook reader today, though, by remotely deleting hundreds of people’s books:

This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned.

But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price.

It’s bad enough that Amazon is remotely deleting books that people thought they had bought – but the books happen to be the works of George Orwell – 1984 & Animal Farm.

What’s next – Fahrenheit 451?

It’s a public relations disaster for Amazon, resulting in headlines like Think You Own the Book You Bought for Your Kindle?  You Don’t, Says Amazon and Whose Kindle Is It Anyway?

The tragedy of the Kindle is that it’s cutting edge technology designed to enforce the status quo of publishing – and nothing revolutionary is going to come out of that.

Back in 2007, we noted:

The Kindle doesn’t make it easy for you to get Internet content; it isn’t a new platform that you can easily publish content for; and it doesn’t play well with the Web.

Now we know that the Kindle’s key feature – letting you buy ebooks – is broken.

The technology for ereaders is here, but we need something better than the Kindle.

And it looks like it’s not going to be coming from Amazon.

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No Responses to “Amazon Just Killed Off The Kindle’s Buzz”

  1. Steve Boyett says:

    Remote –> Orwell –> Unperson –> ENTER.

    Doubleplus good, Amazon!

  2. […] Podcastingnews sums it up well. It’s bad enough that Amazon is remotely deleting books that people thought they had bought – but the books happen to be the works of George Orwell – 1984 & Animal Farm. […]

  3. msbpodcast says:

    Bad Amazon. Bad!

    These people had bought their copies (note the word: COPIES) of the works in good faith.

    Why are THEY suddenly paying the cost of lawyer A not talking to lawyer B in time?

    Something else that is broken in the traditional info marketplace…

  4. msbpodcast says:

    Hey Amazon, get this:

    Once a transaction is done its DONE.

    While you could stop any FURTHER sales, this kind of ‘rewriting” of history and expunging from the records is (or should not be,) allowed.

    Otherwise, you get the sense that Bernie Madoff’s investors would get their money back and I’d get my job back because the economic meltdown would never have happened.

    You CAN’T roll back the clock.

  5. Rob Blatt says:

    You might even say Amazon remotely deleted their Kindle buzz. Zing!

  6. ron says:

    Public relations snafu ? Yes , but I would not say it was a disaster. There are copyright laws that Amazon is not immune from. The books in question were illegally scanned , copied and somehow ended up in Amazon’s repository. Orwell’s 1984 is not in the public domain as of yet either. At least not in the US.

  7. […] E-books are More Equal Than Others” and speculation on whether or not “Fahrenheit 451” would wind up being the next casualty (most likely because they want to use the headline “The Temperature at Which the Kindle Burns” […]

  8. Arnold says:

    I wonder what the Kindle may do to libraries and our concept of the book. Will our children have a completely different understanding of the word “text.” I found a good discussion on the matter at pandalous. It’s here:

  9. Big companies really annoy me, I used to like Amazon… Ebay too…
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  10. I still use it and find it useful when I can’t find what I’m looking for on Ebay.

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