Well not this very thing exactly. But something kinda similar to what this is. And, I can’t exactly prove if you laughed or nodded your head in agreement.
So I was reading this one article on Slate.com discussing how e-books (namely Amazon with the Kindle) will revolutionize a future which holds parallels with aspects of the novel Fahrenheit 451. (I love that book, by the way, and would probably never read it on a Kindle).
Amazon remotely deleted certain books off the Kindle. These books included George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. These books weren’t deleted for their content, but rather copyright infringement. Someone somewhere down the line uploaded a pirated copy of Animal Farm and a few other “Frightening Future” novels. So, to protect rights, Amazon deleted these books.
Now, when I first read the article I thought it was a well calculated plot by some eccentric (or publicity stunt by Amazon, but the latter part doesn’t make sense to I stuck with the
former one). The irony was a bit too blatant for me to think of it as anything else. I thought of someone somewhere intently reading the terms and conditions of Amazon’s terms of service (which state they can do this very thing) and intentionally uploading an illegal copy of a controversial book knowing the outcome. Hoping that people would be afraid of such a future. That probably didn’t happen.
Anyways, the article goes into how disturbing Amazon’s actions were. Which, I agreed with and disagreed with. On the one hand, if Amazon realizes they’ve made a mistake and allowed pirated content available for the Kindle, then they should have the right to rectify such a mistake. I don’t find that disturbing.
The fact that they can at any point take away something you’ve already bought is a little disturbing. However, I’m not convinced it will ever get to the point where this will be used as a form of censorship. Amazon is abiding by the law to protect rights. The rights an author has that his or her work won’t be reproduced without permission and their right to be paid for any reproduction. Now and hopefully in the future, we’ll always have the right to read whatever we want. Those rights will be protected as well (right?). Well, hopefully.
To be honest this isn’t really an issue for me because I never intend on buying a Kindle.
Though I do recall saying the same thing about the iPod and my facebook account. And blogs come to think of it.