Doctorow on Amazon’s “Sale” of Kindle Books

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Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing expressed some late night frustration with Amazon early this morning. He doesn’t like the language Amazon uses in the fine print that refers to sales of Kindle books.

Here’s what he says: “When Amazon ‘sells’ you a Kindle ebook, they don’t really sell it to you. If you read the fine-print, you’ll see that they’re waving their hands furiously and declaring that you aren’t ‘buying’ the book, but rather ‘taking a license to a limited set of uses’ for the book.”

But, as Doctorow goes on to point out, not even Amazon consistently stands behind its own legalese: “It’s such a silly notion that even Amazon can’t keep its story straight. Take this press-release in which Amazon trumpets that its ‘customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books.” Purchased, not “licensed.'”

This is kinda scary stuff. It’s bad enough that we can’t just share our files as we wish, like we can our print books, but who wants to pay $10 for a long-term rental?