Monday, July 20, 2009

Rayne's Ramblings - I used to want a Kindle

I wanted a Kindle. Let me count the ways I wanted a Kindle! Being of German and Scot descent, however, I couldn’t justify the cost when my trusty old laptop works great for reading. My laptop usually goes where I go, even to bed, but after all these years, I was ready to throw it over for something smaller and lighter - a Kindle.

Maybe not so fast…

I’m a sucker for the Yahoo headline news. Every time I log on, there are one or two articles I can’t resist reading. It’s so freakin’ easy to just click and go. But, I digress, again.

On July 20, 2009, the headline popped up “Pirated copies of Orwell books pulled from Kindle.” Okay, I clicked. It seems the Kindle shop offered Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” when they didn’t have the clear rights to do so.

Someone at Amazon asleep at the wheel? It’s not the first time, the recent de-listing of GLBT literature being another example of snoozing. (They “corrected” that problem, too.) Amazon pulled the stories. BUT… and you knew there would be one…BUT they also wiped the stories off of people’s Kindles.

And this is where they lost my money.

I don’t care that monies were refunded. What I care about is BIG BROTHER. The very thing Orwell wrote about. To my way of thinking, that’s a bit too much control being exerted by a company that borderlines on being a monopoly.

I’d like to know why they didn’t let the people who purchased the stories, in good faith may I add, keep them, and pay the Orwell estate and publishers the going rate royalty. Other than the fact it’s too easy to be high-handed and just show the world how powerful Amazon has really become.

And what of those people who paid for merchandise with those little temporary credit cards? Did they get their money back, too? I’ve always wondered how that would work.

I think I’ll stick with my old trusty laptop that stills works like the day I got it. Save my money for something really special, whatever that may be.

A rep at Amazon did say they were taking steps that in the future, if this situation occurs again, customers won’t lose books. That doesn’t ease my concern that a giant company thought it was a good idea to build a "rescind" feature into their device.

One more thing, and this if for all the epublished authors out there. At the end of the article, the AP acknowledged that digital libraries are growing rapidly. They also said, in a nutshell, that piracy has not had a “measurable impact on sales.”

Just whose sales are they referring to?

Oh yeah. Amazon’s sales. The little guy in the trenches hardly counts.

Rayne Forrest

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