Amazon waves DMCA in Kindle channel lock-down
Bans e-book shopping at own store
Amazon has invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent distribution of software for extracting the personal identifier from a Kindle, used by those wanting to shop at the Amazon-owned Mobipocket store.
The software concerned is called kindlepid.py. A simple Python script that extracts the Personal Identification (PID) from a Kindle, this file was linked to by MobileRead, who received the DMCA notice from Amazon demanding their remove both the tool and instructions on its use.
Users of Amazon's Kindle e-book reader are supposed to only shop at the Kindle store and have their books delivered over the whispernet direct to their device. But extracting the PID from a Kindle enables the more adventurous e-book buyer to purchase titles from Mobipocket and other sellers, prompting Amazon's reaction - though it's hard to see how extracting a number that enables perfectly legal shopping should fall foul of the DMCA.
But MobileRead don't want to take any chances, so it has removed the content - though mirrors are already popping up around the place.
Books bought at Mobipocket actually come from Amazon, but the Mobipocket software synchronises across devices - so a book bought once can be read on a mobile phone, an e-book device, and a laptop computer - whichever is nearest or gives the greatest impression that one is working.
So Amazon still makes money, and the extraction of the PID does not disrupt the DRM system, nor threaten to do so, so it's not clear why Amazon has taken such a step. Most likely, it's to do with keeping the Kindle ecosystem closed so Amazon can control, and monitor, closely. They want to know how many books users are buying and which ones. Keeping the system closed gives them greater control. We've asked the company and will let you know when they get back to us. ®
Actually... it's great.
Got my Kindle2, it's a gem. S'all I'm-a sayin'. I buy all my books from Amazon anyway and if you really want your own content on there it's a dime a document to email them to it*. I wouldn't touch an ebook reader from Sony, they lost the tech plot years ago, but this thing will be the iPod of books, with the largest retailer behind it.
* Don't even bother with the XXX "10ctheevilb*st*rds" crap, it's 10c, how many documents per pint of beer is that?
How not to market your own product.
1) Buy a well respected ebook reader company.
2) Ensure that development has all but stopped on that ebook reader (lets face it, mobipocket hasn't really advanced since Amazon took it over).
3) Develop your own hardware based reader.
4) Do not advertise it beyond a few technical publications.
5) Threaten legal action against anyone that writes software to enable people to use Mobipocket books (sold by you) on a device sold by you.
Kindle may or may not be a good piece of hardware (having played with one, I think it's OK, but not enough to want to buy one), but it will fail because Amazon have been totally ineffective at marketing it..
They should open it up so that Mobipocket books can be read on it. After all, Mobipocket has a huge library, and the Kindle has a far superior screen to most mobiles and PDAs. Both will help sell the product.
Re : Grammar vs the British
I think that the British beat the Grammar Nazis in about 1945. Thus they can use any pluralism and possessivisms that they desire.