In 2009 there was the Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle
In 2012 there is the Why Did Amazon Close a Woman’s Account and Delete All Her Kindle Books?
For those with long memories, these two separate and unconnected incidents might be a sharp reminder that what media/ebooks we buy on our Amazon Kindle account is not actually "ours" per se
. That's because of DRM (Digital Rights Management). Essentially, it seems that you arguably do not really own anything that you have bought with DRM, and the apparent de facto
proof to that argument lies in the above two incidents (QED).Caveat emptor - "Let the buyer beware".
There have now been two salutary lessons from Amazon: (and they needn't necessarily have both come from Amazon to be lessons - it's just that Amazon obligingly provided those lessons by its actions; they are demonstrations of its real and potential power/reach)
1. The 1984 incident in 2009.
2. The Norwegian account wipe in 2012.
It is generally good advice that, after being tricked once, one should be wary, so that the person cannot trick you again.
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"
If you waited around twiddling your thumbs (i.e., doing nothing about it) for a third lesson before doing something to independently protect your property from what appears to be ad hoc
and legalised theft, then you really would have only yourself to blame if/when it happens to you. That would seem to be self-negligent.Question:
What to do?Answer:
Avoid the risk by taking regular and incremental backups of all
the accumulating media on your Kindle starting now:
- Just take a separate, regular, incremental backup copy of all the media on the device, via USB connection to your Kindle.
- Or make a regular, incremental backup copy of the contents of the Kindle PC application (if you have it installed) library - typically on C:\Users\UserName\Documents\My Kindle.
Thus you will have avoided the risk and got your property backed up and under your control.
You could then always restore the content (copy it back) to the device, if needed.Question:
But what if it then promptly gets deleted, or if Amazon (say) take exception to your taking this precaution and (say) threaten legal action or account deletion?Answer:
Well, I haven't tried it, but you could presumably avoid that risk by taking a further step, based on the advice in this informative and helpful Lifehacker
post: How Do I Get Rid of the DRM on My Ebooks and Video?
It gives step-by-step directions for using Calibre and its de-DRMing plugins to sanitize your DRMed eBooks, so that they can be read on most other eBook readers - e.g., (say) the excellent Calibre PC application, or the Kobo and Nook devices, etc.
..."It seems like I could lose it at any time, or lose the ability to view something just because I switched devices. How can I get rid of the DRM so I can keep my own backups?"
..."[Since the '1984' incident in 2009 showed] that Amazon could wipe content they didn't have the license for, DRM is increasingly an issue with further reaching implications than simply keeping you from pirating content. Wiping content is one issue—but DRM also usually locks the media to your device or service—which means you often can't transfer your library between different devices."
Well, you can transfer it now, if you take the risk-averse approach outlined above.