In July 2009, Amazon discovered
two of George Orwell's books had been digitally uploaded to its Kindle e-book store by a company that didn't own the rights.
Amazon pulled the e-books from its site and remotely deleted copies from customers' Kindles without notice.
That they could do that came as a shock. I thought any book I bought from them was mine.
Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble can revoke access to your ebooks, music and software any time they want!
All the books on your Kindle are not yours.
They belong to Amazon.
All that cash you have paid was simply to access these books on your Kindle.
You have not paid to own the books.
If you want to own books, pay for physical printed books and get Amazon to send them to you by mail.
Rather unsettling, right?
Of course, Amazon is not alone or totally a villain in this:
Barnes & Noble “reserves the right to modify or discontinue the offering of any Digital Content at any time”.
Apple’s terms and conditions state that “You acknowledge that iTunes is selling you a license to use the content made available through the iBookstore”
None of these terms state that you actually own the content at all.
Providers like Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble have
structured their licenses like this to protect themselves.
If there is a catastrophic site failure
that makes access to your books impossible, then you could sue for the return of your property.
They would be liable.
You can understand why they would want to protect themselves.
More and more in this Digital Age, we are renting services not purchasing products.
I once lost Maukie my virtual cat that way.
I was so happy to get the purring guy back!