Friday, July 17, 2009

Kindle Ninjas Strike!

So about a year back, I published a post about what books would be like if they were more like MMORPGs, and one of the comparisons was:
- Three years after purchase, if not enough people are reading the book, ninjas break into your home and remove all copies.
Little did I realize how prescient I was.

Only a year later comes this news, from Old Gray Lady herself, about Kindle owners discovering that books they had purchased were erased from their machines. So apparently the Kindle Ninjas CAN break into your home and remove all copies.

And I had the news first. Like before it even happened.

Now, Amazon DID reimburse the purchases. AND later announced that these were unauthorized editions. AND said they would not do this again, even though they've already done it. But all this raises some interesting questions that have laid at the heart of electronic publishing. That is, as a collection of electronic bits, what keeps the contents of your Kindle library from being changed or even erased, based on the intent of its corporate parent? Who owns the book in your Kindle?

Apparently, novels have become more like MMOs, and knowledge is now more like beer. You only really rent it.

More later,