The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts)

A rather eloquent if occasionally overwraught essay on what the Kindle stands for on dive into mark opens with the dead-on juxtaposition of two Bezos quotes:

Act I: The act of buying

When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this.

Jeff Bezos, Open letter to Author’s Guild, 2002

You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content.

Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service, 2007

And in this single moment, the entire problem of DRM is laid bare. And we are reminded that what Amazon (and another other business) does is not about causes, not about morals, it’s about business.

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  1. 1
    George Girton

    Great juxtaposition — it fully captures why Kindle is so uninteresting.

    The most interesting aspect of Amazon.com (aside from its near-immediate delivery of books) always used to be its form as a social network — i.e. the reviews. As soon as another vendor supplies the same review network, and can deliver the books, then amazon may die.

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