Do You Own Your Books On Kindle?
This is an interesting concept, and one that I hadn’t really considered before reading a post by Brendan I Koerner on Wired.com. So, first let me ask and see if you know the answer – do you own your books on Kindle? I am talking about the books you buy, not the books you sell on Kindle.
Koerner answers the question as follows:
“If convenient euphemisms could somehow be outlawed, the “Buy now with 1-Click” button on Kindle pages would have to be relabeled “License now with 1-Click.” Amazon’s terms of service clearly state that, unlike those bulky slabs of arboreal matter that imparted knowledge to generations past, Kindle books can never be owned in the traditional sense.
Instead, your $12.99 merely earns you the right to view the work on your Kindle. This arrangement gives Amazon the authority to snatch back that content if the company thinks you’ve been naughty—say, by copying and distributing ebooks or by engaging in fraud with your account.”
I knew that borrowed Kindle books would disappear from my account, but it didn’t occur to me that the books I paid for could also disappear. This feature puts purchases of Kindle books in another category entirely, compared to e-books published on other platforms that are downloaded onto a hard drive for safe-keeping.
Naturally, Amazon wants control of the material on the Kindle platform, and a way to keep people from pirating ebooks the way many people pirate music. Koerner also asks a question, “If Jeff Bezos [founder and CEO of Amazon] showed up at your door and said he wanted to repossess your books, would you let him in?”