Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tell Amazon What's What

Recently, Amazon deleted some George Orwell books from users' Kindles. The reason the company did this was because the books "had been mistakenly published." I saw this in the news, and didn't think much of it until I read this piece by Farhad Manjoo, published today on Slate.com.

Manjoo writes:

The power to delete your books, movies, and music remotely is a power no one should have. Here's one way around this: Don't buy a Kindle until Amazon updates its terms of service to prohibit remote deletions. Even better, the company ought to remove the technical capability to do so, making such a mass evisceration impossible in the event that a government compels it.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with his company's Kindle e-reader.

If this book-deletion episode bothers you, do this: Write Amazon a quick email, demanding what Manjoo recommends. Here is the link to write Amazon a note. (If you don't have an Amazon account, just click the "Skip sign in" button at the bottom of the form.)

And here is a basic draft of what you should send (feel free to use this verbatim):
To Whom It May Concern:

I was disturbed to hear about Amazon's recent remote deletion of George Orwell books from users' Kindle devices. I understand the reasons why you did so, but I do not believe that any company should have the power to remotely delete books from a computer or other similar devices.

As per Farhad Manjoo's article on Slate.com, I am writing today to request that you update your terms of service to prohibit remote deletions or, better yet, remove the capability to do so. I will not purchase a Kindle until this is done, and I will encourage my friends and family to do the same.

Thank you for your time.


Power to the people right now.

1 comment:

scram. said...

That's even more disturbing than Fahrenheit 451 in that you never even see the fire.

Done and done.