1. More reasons to reconsider your Kindle purchase

    Posted December 18, 2010 in books, politics  |  No Comments so far

    I wrote a few weeks ago about my growing concerns over Amazon, the Kindle and censorship. Amazon – with its Kindle e-reader – is asking us to give it absolute control over what we can and can’t read. Now imagine books you own disappearing from your home without warning, just because another country’s government has deemed their contents politically undesirable. Would you tolerate that? If yes, the Kindle is for you – but if not, you should think twice before embracing it wholeheartedly.

    Yesterday, the Register published an article about further signs of censorship within the Kindle system. This censorship isn’t political – instead, the books affected are erotica novels with themes like incest and so on – but it’s still concerning.

    [Jess Scott, one affected author] went on: “I see other similarly-themed books still available for purchase, and see books with the subjects of rape, bestiality, etc, available for purchase (books that have not been deleted from Amazon’s catalog). If underage sex is illegal, why is Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita still available for purchase?”

    The reply from Amazon, according to Jess, boiled down to a simple statement that they would judge each case on its merit, and they would act as their own judge and jury in cases such as these…

    It looks as though the Kindle marketplace is going to become something like an iTunes App Store for books, where unexplained and arbitrary decisions are made centrally about what users are allowed to access. That policy isn’t great when applied to apps, but it’s even less appealing where books are concerned.

    I find these shady shenanigans especially annoying because I really like my Kindle, and I’d like to store books on it just as permanently as I do on my bookshelf. At the moment I’m investigating how to “jailbreak” the Kindle, and when I get round to it I’ll post up a guide here.