I’m currently in my yearly military reputation course (called WK). So I have a lot of time to read the newspapers. At Thursday the 21 of July there was a nice article in the “Tages Anzeiger”, one of the best newspaper in Switzerland. Amazon has a nice e-book reader called Kindle. The device has a kill switch which allows Amazon to gain full control over the device. Many of the next generation devices have this kind of access port like the iPhone, Vista, Xbox and PS3…
So Amazon sells books without having the digital publishing rights and afterwards uses the kill switch to delete these books from the customer’s Kindle devices and gives their customers the money back. The book that has been deleted was “1984” from George Orwell. I strongly recommend to read this book for all those who haven’t read it. The story is about a boy who meets a girl in London who is living in a totalitarian society led by the Big Brother. The Big Brother controls the mind of all citizens. To enforce his control the Big Brother deletes books.
Nice Irony I guess
Amazon deleted 2 books from the kindle devices: the mentioned “1984” and “Animal Farm”. The books were placed in the store by a company called “MobileReference”. This company didn’t own the rights for digital distrubution of the books. So amazon remotely deleted the books and people got their money back.
Despite the irony of the whole situation it was quite a PR-desaster. It was a precedent situation. A huge hit against DRM-secured media, beacuase it was shown how you lose power over your bought stuff.
I like to quote here a good consulant and engineer from Germany called Volker Weber (www.vowe.net). He says: “Repeat after me. DRM is bad for the customer.”