Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kindle Fall-Out

Christopher was quite right to post quickly on David Pogue's news about Amazon removing Orwell books from readers' Kindles. It needed to be spread as quickly as it was spread. Ah, aren't we all happy (except Bezos) when the internet works for good not evil?!

So let the fall-out begin and continue. I enjoyed Sam Jordisan's take over at one of the best places for publishing news, the Guardian UK's Books Blog. Jordisan goes over the flags raised with this incident, getting to the point in 2 paragraphs in particular:

This early Kindle book-burning episode also provides a reminder of how closely ebook devices monitor their users' reading. And that provokes quite a few questions. What's to stop advertisers paying to find out about your preferences, for instance? What's to stop churches finding out about people reading pro-choice literature in their area? What's to stop governments finding out about your revolutionary reading preferences?

The question of whether it is safe or wise to blithely hand over so much of one of our most important industries and so many of our treasured freedoms to the gatekeepers of this revolutionary technology is an entirely modern one. The issue that underlies it, however, is one of the very oldest: who will guard the guards?

Indeed. Jordisan also includes a link to the coverage over at BoingBoing on DRM technology, which I've linked to before.

A link in the comments section will send you over to another nice summation and projection at Slate, from that publication's techno guru, Farhad Marjoo.

Fascinating stuff that is rightly scaring the pants off folks. Can anyone talk about anything else?

Oh wait, look over here! It's super agent Esther Newberg of ICM, giving us a run-down of her typical Sunday in the Hamptons. This is so f'ing civilized you'll spit out YOUR latte. I got halfway through the article but then got distracted by last night's new episode of Dynasty, but once Alexis kicked the crap out of Krystle, I got back to it and really enjoyed it. Yes folks, the '80s are back! As the publishing industry deal with layoffs and authors struggling to get paid and foreclosures and job losses abound, NY Times readers are reading about Newberg's 2004 Saab convertible she leaves in the Hamptons - "it’s fun to drive" - and how she loves to shop - "My nephew says I’m my own stimulus package." With recession comes leisure, it seems. I'm just glad someone's getting to enjoy it - am I right?!

Sometimes I can't believe we're all in the same business.

1 comment:

Nadine Laman said...

Seems some people were surprised that there was the ability to remove books from the system. It was as if they thought they were downloading a static file to their reader like when they buy a real book or even an eBook to download onto their computer. It seems to me more like pay-per-view to have access to read the book file off the server. Yeah, right...and I'm the techy one -- NOT.