Amazon Sued for Eating Kid's Homework
Justin D. Gawronski, a 17-year-old-high school student, is suing Amazon for deleting his electronic notes on the novel "1984" when they purged bootleg copies from the Kindle, a novel which he purchased electronically for his summer novel project.

" had no more right to hack into people's Kindles than its customers have the right to hack into Amazon's bank account to recover a mistaken overpayment," said Jay Edelson, Gawronski's lawyer.

Gawronski and Edelson have filed a class-action lawsuit, inviting other people with work deleted from their Kindles to come aboard. They are also seeking an injunction to keep Amazon from future deletions of purchased electronic property.

While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has apologized for the deletion, many critics feel that his apology is not enough.

"Technology companies increasingly feel that because they have the ability to access people's personal property, they have the right to do so. That is 100% contrary to the laws of this country," said Edelson.

Meanwhile, Google is preparing for the future in a different way, investing their time and energy into seeding the internet with persistent, online editions of ebooks stored "in the cloud" that can also be printed up at physical bookstores.

Google Books engineering director Dan Clancy spelled it out recently during a talk at Mountain View's Computer History Museum:

"Google will partner with all interested retailers, so you'll be able to buy books wherever you like -- at an online site or your neighborhood bookstore. The books themselves will be stored "in the cloud," meaning out on some Google server, rather than on your computer hard drive or in a device you own. And you'll be able to read them on any device you want: e-reader, phone, computer, or netbook."

These books will presumably be available from physical bookstores in a print on demand capacity:

"A huge amount of books are bought because people go into a physical bookstore and say, hey I want this, I want that. It's a mistake if we think of our future digital world as digital means online and physical means offline. Because if that happens and 10 percent of the world goes digital, that's going to be really hard for all the bookstores to sustain their business model."

And what happens when Google decides to delete an ebook from the cloud like Amazon? What happens when they decide to merely delete a few lines of text from some Roman classic that talks about what happens when you sell your rights to tyrants?

The American Association of Publishers and the Author's Guild have recently issued a statement to authors who may be staring at the digital future with something less than excitement. Their statement: "do not fight Google. The best thing you can do is nothing."

Independent publishers are giving up, too. Richard Nash, the former head of Soft Skull, is advocating that publishers move away from publishing books entirely, becoming part of "the cloud" themselves and working in some kind of social networking / digital publicity capacity, increasing writer's hit counts in order to increase their sales.

I say, here's the fucking problem:

"THE DREAM YOU HOLD -- What We Stand to Lose, No Matter What"

And here's the fucking solution:

"Wunderkammer Seeds: A Fantasia"

Who wants to fight about it?

Posted by miracle on Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:40:08 -0400 -- permanent link

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