View Full Version : Hacks Kindle Touch - disable special offers & change screensaver


Touch
12-17-2011, 03:06 AM
With a trial and error approach I have sucessfully jailbroken my ad supported Kindle Touch, blocked and removed the special offer ads, replaced the screen saver and the banner ad at the bottom of the screen. I am extremely happy with the result.

It took me awhile because I had no previous experience with Linux commands. Changing the screensaver and banner was made possible using Yifan Lu's jailbreak and USBNet installation (http://yifan.lu/). Many thanks to him.

What is in the steps below is how to jailbreak, connect via SSH to a Windows7 PC using a Telnet client, block new ads and copy a screensaver and new banner graphics to your Kindle Touch. The banner replacement is optional, I think it looks cool to have some fancy scrollwork at the bottom of the page.

If you do not have basic computer skills, are not good at following instructions and figuring things out STOP RIGHT HERE and go back to reading your book. I take no responsibility for what you do. I am only saying what I did. Hopefully this will make it easier for others to do it, code a tool to make it more automatic and share it on their blog.

Place the screensaver image (600x800 greyscale .png) named screensvr.png and the ad banner replacement you want to use (600x90 .gif) named banner.gif in the main directory while connected via USB.

Step One:
On the Windows7 side you need to install RNDIS drivers. I got the driver by installing the Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center Driver (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=21783). Also make sure you have Telnet Client turned on in Widows Features.

Step Two:
Jailbreak and install USBNet per Yifan's instructions. While you are at it also change your password with the instructions he provides. Then put your Touch into usbnetwork mode by entering ;un in the search field on the Touch screen (again read his instructions) and connect the Touch to your computer via USB cable.

Step Three:
The RNDIS adapter should now be visible in your Network Connections window. I found how to set up the adapter here (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1343395&postcount=8). The key here is to turn on "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet Connection.
Here is where things differ a little from the instructions at mobileread.com. You need to set the IP address for Internet Protocol Version 4 to 192.168.15.1 for connection to the Touch.

Step Four:
Install PuTTY (free telnet/ssh client) on your PC. I already had PuTTY installed on my computer to run terminal commands on my iPhone. Run PuTTY and enter 192.168.15.244 in the Host Name (or IP address) field and click Open.

Step Five:
In the terminal window you will be prompted for the ID which is root and the password you created in step two above. At the promt type "mntroot rw" without quotes. This command allows you to change files.

Step Six:
Remove current ads and block their replacement:
rm -rf /mnt/us/system/.assets/
mkdir /mnt/us/system/.assets/
chmod -w /mnt/us/system/.assets

Copy your replacement screensaver and banner as follows:
cp /mnt/base-us/screensvr.png /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/screensvr.png
cp /mnt/base-us/banner.gif /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/banner.gif
Type exit and through the Touches menu option restart the Touch. Done.

Note: This is reverable by doing a Reset to Factory Defaults.

Update: Much simpler method without jailbreaking. Backup your Touches documents folder to your hard drive. Create an account at opendns.com (it is free). Using opendns's block feature, block address "adpublisher.s3.amazon.com". Enter OpenDNS's 2 DNS addresses in your router DNS fields or in your PC's IPv4 adapter settings. Do a Reset to Factory Defaults on your Touch. Copy the Documents folder you backed up back to your Touch, set up your Touch like you did when new and re-register. You will have the 19 sequential default screensaves and no ads. Turn off your wifi before leaving home and only use wifi at home or the ads will re-appear. Tested this on my wife's Touch and it works fine.

Morpheus Phreak
12-17-2011, 05:18 AM
You could also just do this on Amazon.com...by choosing to deregister the Kindle from the KSO program...

Martyd
12-17-2011, 03:51 PM
You could also just do this on Amazon.com...by choosing to deregister the Kindle from the KSO program...

Which seems like the right thing to do.

yifanlu
12-17-2011, 03:53 PM
Be warned that if you do this, there's a high chance that you won't be able to update your Kindle Touch when Amazon releases an update. Rule of thumb is to never modify/remove files on the rootfs since the updater checks for that and only includes patches, not the actual files.

Also, note that this only gives you one screensaver, if you pay amazon $30 and remove the special offers, you can install my simple screensaver hack that supports shuffling through up to 99 screens.

jonthedit
12-17-2011, 03:57 PM
@yifanlu exactly. If you payed a cheaper price, then you shouldn't cheat amazon out of that $30. It's not a huge price to pay, and its worth it. Even if you are a Linux genius, I wouldn't recommend ever tamping files on the rootfs.

Skydog
12-18-2011, 01:13 AM
You could also just do this on Amazon.com...by choosing to deregister the Kindle from the KSO program...

Or buy the non-SO Kindle.

Morpheus Phreak
12-18-2011, 02:30 AM
Or buy the non-SO Kindle.

Indeed, but the thread was targeted at existing KSO model owners.

I was pointing out that the easier (and morally correct) way to do this would be to just de-register it from the program officially through Amazon.

I actually enabled the KSO stuff on my Kindle on purpose just to see what the program is like and how it works. So far I'm leaving it on, but will probably turn it off again at some point if I don't see any good offers after a while. I still have admash installed and use that to vote for the ads I think look best.

ImpressedSkeptic
12-18-2011, 05:06 AM
Indeed, but the thread was targeted at existing KSO model owners.

I was pointing out that the easier (and morally correct) way to do this would be to just de-register it from the program officially through Amazon.

I actually enabled the KSO stuff on my Kindle on purpose just to see what the program is like and how it works. So far I'm leaving it on, but will probably turn it off again at some point if I don't see any good offers after a while. I still have admash installed and use that to vote for the ads I think look best.

Glad to see this thread. Just got my Kindle Touch today (yay for Christmas, thanks mom!) and was a little disappointed to see the ads, as I didn't know there were ads were on Kindles (I guess why wouldn't there be though, right?). Not that the ads are the end of the world, but it's not like they handed out the Kindle for free. I (or in this case my parents) paid for it, why should I look at ads?

I think I'll just go pay the fee on Amazon and keep my ability to get updates intact. But I also wouldn't paint this decision in moral terms; it's not like anyone is going to Hell for jailbreaking their Kindle. Amazon released the code for the programming thus allowing jailbreaking, so it's not like I'd be cheating them. And so the $30 is essentially a fee to continue getting updates. It's not a moral choice, it's an economic one. I'd like my product not to become obsolete when Amazon updates the software, so I will pay the fee.

ImpressedSkeptic
12-18-2011, 05:11 AM
But... it's $40 plus tax. Still, happily paid.

Asawi
12-18-2011, 05:37 AM
Not that the ads are the end of the world, but it's not like they handed out the Kindle for free. I (or in this case my parents) paid for it, why should I look at ads?


No, but they gave a $30-40 discount of the price for you to have the ads there.

Touch
12-18-2011, 11:44 AM
Be warned that if you do this, there's a high chance that you won't be able to update your Kindle Touch when Amazon releases an update. Rule of thumb is to never modify/remove files on the rootfs since the updater checks for that and only includes patches, not the actual files.

Also, note that this only gives you one screensaver, if you pay amazon $30 and remove the special offers, you can install my simple screensaver hack that supports shuffling through up to 99 screens.

I shortly got bored with the same screensaver and paid the $40 to get rid of the ads so I could use your screensaver hack. I was blown away by all of the nice wallpapers at kindlewallpapers.tumblr.com.

If I'm not able to update it is still worth it to me to have a choice of wallpapers.:thanks:

yifanlu
12-18-2011, 11:55 AM
Is the amount to remove ads different for each person? Some say $20, some say $30, and some say $40

tubemonkey
12-18-2011, 12:52 PM
I think it's time for Amazon to change the name of the program from Kindle with Special Offers to Kindle with Sponsored Screensavers.

The offers of late have been really pathetic and are causing quite a bit of disappointment for new buyers. Many were hoping to get deals similar to previous offers; but, I'm afraid that's a thing of the past. On top of that, many of the offers have been non-exclusive and Kindle ownership isn't even needed to take advantage of them.

SCION
12-18-2011, 01:12 PM
I think it's time for Amazon to change the name of the program from Kindle with Special Offers to Kindle with Sponsored Screensavers.

The offers of late have been really pathetic and are causing quite a bit of disappointment for new buyers. Many were hoping to get deals similar to previous offers; but, I'm afraid that's a thing of the past. On top of that, many of the offers have been non-exclusive and Kindle ownership isn't even needed to take advantage of them.

Yeah, I'm starting to get bitter. I was really excited about this option. The discount on the lighted cover for the Touch still hasn't shown up. Now would be the time!

Touch
12-18-2011, 02:23 PM
Is the amount to remove ads different for each person? Some say $20, some say $30, and some say $40

For the WiFi Touch it is $40. The difference between the subsidized with ads and ad free (139-99=40). It may differ by model.

Touch
12-18-2011, 02:43 PM
Yeah, I'm starting to get bitter. I was really excited about this option. The discount on the lighted cover for the Touch still hasn't shown up. Now would be the time!

You could try for this one on eBay. http://bit.ly/sR5Hh6

SCION
12-18-2011, 02:56 PM
You could try for this one on eBay. http://bit.ly/sR5Hh6

Thanks. I'd rather purchase something like this direct from Amazon. Sometimes the lighted covers don't work (Amazon.com reviews). It's either a problem with the case itself or the prongs on the device.

Blossom
12-18-2011, 07:57 PM
We all need to complain to Amazon about the offers. Let them know we are not happy.

graff_king
12-18-2011, 10:33 PM
I don't think there is a need to complain to Amazon about the ads. That is why there is an option to either buy a non-ad driven Kindle or opt out of the program. The fact that the ads save the purchaser of the device pretty much the cost of a case kind of make the ads a moot point. Plus, its a screensaver, not like it truly interferes with the reading experience. Just my 2 cents, nothing more. Been a long day of people feeling entitled and has grated my nerves, especially considering it is the holidays. Enjoy what you have, there are many who are going without

Morpheus Phreak
12-19-2011, 04:30 PM
And so the $30 is essentially a fee to continue getting updates. It's not a moral choice, it's an economic one. I'd like my product not to become obsolete when Amazon updates the software, so I will pay the fee.

No, it's most definitely a moral one.

They offer models with the 'Special Offers' and models without the 'Special Offers'.

The models with SO are sold at a lower price. Buying a Kindle at the lower price and then modifying the software to bypass the offers is bad from a moral standpoint.

That's why Amazon offers the ability to just pay the difference and have them removed. It's a sort of...hmm...I don't like the SO after all...should have paid for the regular model...oh wait I can just pay the difference and poof done.

It's there as a convenience for both the customer and Amazon.

tubemonkey
12-19-2011, 07:57 PM
I don't think there is a need to complain to Amazon about the ads.

It's not about the ads; it's about the offers. They're getting progressively worse and non-exclusive, while the ads have been increasing. That's a major shift in the program. It's time for Amazon to lay its cards on the table so prospective buyers can make an informed purchase.

markbot
12-19-2011, 08:35 PM
I actually think the special offers are saving me money. So far I have saved $5 on a bluray. I actually update the offers every so often so i can browse them. The offers are A LOT better than the old ugly screen savers on my DX.

alvareo
12-19-2011, 11:07 PM
Glad to see this thread. Just got my Kindle Touch today (yay for Christmas, thanks mom!) and was a little disappointed to see the ads, as I didn't know there were ads were on Kindles (I guess why wouldn't there be though, right?). Not that the ads are the end of the world, but it's not like they handed out the Kindle for free. I (or in this case my parents) paid for it, why should I look at ads?Because there are two editions for Kindles, and one of them has "Special Offers" (ads) for a lower ($30-40) price. The one your mum got was the one with the special offers.

tomsem
12-20-2011, 01:29 AM
The offers I've accepted so far have been okay, but I've probably accepted fewer than 1 in 10. As time goes by, that ratio may go down, maybe even to zero, but I don't regret choosing a KSO: money not spent is money I still have. The ads don't bother me at all, I barely notice them.

I suspect that the SO Kindles outsell the non-SO Kindles by several hundred percent. The 3rd party ad revenue probably more than offsets the lower price and cost of Amazon discounts and offers. Perhaps the non-SOs are even priced artificially high to drive sales at the lower price point. At least they seem that way to me.

Pricing strategy often includes models which aren't intended to sell at volume, or even be particularly profitable, but are there to make some other, more profitable model seem more attractive. Apple is notorious for this, but usually it is the entry level offer that is used to sell higher priced, more profitable models.

kindle19
12-21-2011, 12:14 AM
xxxxxx

richf
12-24-2011, 04:05 AM
I tried the instructions here wrt replacing the ad screensavers with one of my own, and it worked. Mostly. The ads went away, but about a week or so later, I woke up in the morning to discover the Kindle displaying an ad again.

One step in the instructions didn't work, and I was suspicious at the time, and this is probably why. It's the following instruction in step 6:

chmod -w /mnt/us/system/.assets

EVERY file (even if it's not an executable) in /mnt/us has permissions 755 (i.e. rwxr-xr-x). You can't change this with chmod. I'm not entirely positive right now if this is a limitation of the vfat filesystem, or the mount options, or both.

For this filesystem, /etc/fstab has:
/dev/loop/0 /mnt/base-us vfat defaults,noatime,nodiratime,utf8,noexec,shortname= mixed 0 0

which results in a mounted entry in /etc/mtab of:
/dev/loop/0 /mnt/base-us vfat rw,noexec,noatime,nodiratime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022 ,codepage=cp437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,utf8,errors=remount-ro 0 0

And I think it's the mask's of 0022 that are the problem. I tried setting the umask for the process to 0222, but the filesystem mask seems to take precedence.

This post:
http://superuser.com/questions/134438/how-to-set-default-permissions-for-automounted-fat-drives-in-ubuntu-9-10
Seems to suggest that if the fmask and dmask options in /etc/fstab were more fully specified (and not using "defaults"), that that might be a workaround.

But I tried something else first, before I found that possible solution, so I'll only try that if the other solution fails. (Although if someone else tries it, I encourage them to post results.)

Anyway, I believe that the update that suggests blocking DNS resolution of adpublisher.s3.amazon.com is somewhat in error. I can't get that host to resolve at all. I believe the proper address is likely adpublisher.s3.amazonaws.com. This is from:
http://www.pierotoffanin.com/2011/12/how-to-remove-ads-from-your-ad-supported-kindle-4-for-free/
which was the 2nd google result when I searched for the other address.

If you block it at your router, that solution will only work if you never enable wifi when connected to any other router.

What I tried instead was to always route this on the kindle to a bogus address, by adding the following line to /etc/hosts:
0.0.0.0 adpublisher.s3.amazonaws.com

vi is included and can be used to edit the file. Note that you will first need to make the root filesystem rw *before* you invoke vi, with:
mntroot rw

I suspect it would revert on a reboot, but when you're done, it's probably a good idea to put it back to ro with:
mntroot ro

Sorry if this isn't written in the most user friendly way. It's a little late at night right now for me to go about explaining unix permissions, mounts, filesystems, how dns works, and/or how to use vi for anyone that doesn't know. (And it would make this post even longer than it already is.) Someone else can explain any relevant parts. Or just google for "vi cheatsheet", since if this solution works, it's only really the part at the end that matters, you don't really need to understand why.

Oh, and for the naysayers here, I have absolutely no moral qualms about getting rid of the ads. I did not buy this for myself, it was given to me. So I never agreed to receive the ads, and I would never agree to this. I consider the Kindle a reasonably okay thing to have, and I don't mind having it for free, but it's not anything that I ever would have gone out and bought for myself, not even for the $30 that it would cost me to get amazon to stop force feeding me ads.

eliter1
12-27-2011, 09:30 PM
I want to have my own screensavers but I would like to keep the banner at the bottom of the screen. I have no problem with the ads but I don't see why I shouldn't be able to choose the screensaver and still keep the ads. If someone know of a way to do this please point me in the right direction.

alvareo
12-30-2011, 12:39 AM
but it's not anything that I ever would have gone out and bought for myself, not even for the $30 that it would cost me to get amazon to stop force feeding me ads.No one is "forcing" anything. There are two different editions, and the one that was given to you has the ads, and that's something the buyer chooses.

HarryT
12-30-2011, 04:08 AM
The MobileRead Moderating Team VERY STRONGLY DISAPPROVES of the practice of removing ads in this way, and would encourage those who wish to remove the ads to do so using the facility that Amazon provides.

dmcounts
12-30-2011, 06:41 PM
My K3 3G/WIFI did not come with the Special Offers but Amazon is offering me the option of getting them for free.

For those who do have the special offers how is blocking them any different than blocking the popups on webpages with a popup blocker?

Both are designed as a revenue enhancer.

When Amazon offered the popups...sorry, the "Special Offers" for free it changed my mind on the question of removing them if a person wished.


don

Morpheus Phreak
12-30-2011, 09:21 PM
My K3 3G/WIFI did not come with the Special Offers but Amazon is offering me the option of getting them for free.

For those who do have the special offers how is blocking them any different than blocking the popups on webpages with a popup blocker?

Both are designed as a revenue enhancer.

When Amazon offered the popups...sorry, the "Special Offers" for free it changed my mind on the question of removing them if a person wished.


don

I'll make this simple like I did in the other thread.

The Special Offers do not pop up. Full-screen ads only appear when the Kindle is 'off' replacing the older screen savers. The smaller version is a very small banner at the bottom of the home screen. Note what I said there, the bottom of the home screen.

The Special Offers do not show up while you're reading, and do NOT require effort to dismiss. I mean when your Kindle is 'off' you always have to turn it back on right? Well when you turn the Kindle back on the SO gets dismissed without any additional effort. They will only reappear again when you turn it back 'off' or when you're on the home screen.


So let me ask you this. Let's say you own a business selling cars, and you offer a customer a vehicle for 30% off IF they use a standard size license plate frame that has the name of your dealership on it. Let us then say the customer immediately after buying the car decides to take it home and remove that license plate frame.

You sold them that car under contract stating that they would receive the discount in exchange for leaving that license plate frame intact. They broke the contract. Do you want that type of customer buying your product?

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 12:15 AM
Many websites only source of revenue is from the popup ads they have.

When one uses the website with a popup blocker enabled for their browser they are taking the product without paying the price, in that case looking at the ad.

Are we all who utilize a popup blocker thieves worthy of scorn?

Ads are ads whether on a television program, a website, a side of a bus, or the home page of a Kindle.

If the ads are truly special offers that save the viewer money then Amazon should not need to force KSO owners to view them.

By offering non KSO owners the special offers without any money changing hands it appears Amazon considers the special offers a value in and of itself.

don

HarryT
12-31-2011, 03:19 AM
Amazon don't "force" anyone to look at special offers. They give you the choice of doing so, in return for which they knock between $30 and $50 off the price of the product. If you voluntarily choose to accept that offer, you're entering into a contract with Amazon. There is an obligation on you to stick within the terms of that contract.

Morpheus Phreak
12-31-2011, 03:43 AM
Many websites only source of revenue is from the popup ads they have.

When one uses the website with a popup blocker enabled for their browser they are taking the product without paying the price, in that case looking at the ad.

Are we all who utilize a popup blocker thieves worthy of scorn?

Ads are ads whether on a television program, a website, a side of a bus, or the home page of a Kindle.

If the ads are truly special offers that save the viewer money then Amazon should not need to force KSO owners to view them.

By offering non KSO owners the special offers without any money changing hands it appears Amazon considers the special offers a value in and of itself.

don

As HarryT and I have already stated.

User CHOOSE to buy the KSO at the reduced price. They enter into a contract.

If you want to justify theft then feel free to do so, and yes anyone who is condoning theft is worthy of my scorn.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 06:56 AM
As HarryT and I have already stated.

User CHOOSE to buy the KSO at the reduced price. They enter into a contract.

If you want to justify theft then feel free to do so, and yes anyone who is condoning theft is worthy of my scorn.


I chose to purchase a Kindle 3 3G/WIFI to read ebooks purchased from Amazon and entered into a contract.

I also chose to sideload ebooks purchased from other sources onto my Kindle thereby effectively depriving Amazon the profits from the sales of those ebooks.

I understand your scorn for my "theft" of service from Amazon and I am certain you have no ebooks on your device that was not purchased from Amazon.

Not reading an ad is a pretty minor infraction when compared to using Amazon's device to read product from Amazon's competition wouldn't you say?

We need to keep our scorn in perspective here and perhaps stop with the name calling.


don

HarryT
12-31-2011, 07:00 AM
I chose to purchase a Kindle 3 3G/WIFI to read ebooks purchased from Amazon and entered into a contract.

I also chose to sideload ebooks purchased from other sources onto my Kindle thereby effectively stealing from Amazon the sales of those ebooks.


With the very greatest respect, Don, that's not a valid comparison.

Using a Kindle to read non-Amazon books is a perfectly legitimate use of the device.

Removing the ads from an ad-supported Kindle by means other than those which Amazon condone is a clear breach of the Kindle's Terms of Service.

The two are not remotely comparable.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 07:46 AM
With the very greatest respect, Don, that's not a valid comparison.

Using a Kindle to read non-Amazon books is a perfectly legitimate use of the device.

Removing the ads from an ad-supported Kindle by means other than those which Amazon condone is a clear breach of the Kindle's Terms of Service.

The two are not remotely comparable.


Perhaps you could point me to the portion of the License Agreement and Terms of Use that specifies the Kindle can be used for the reading of digital content not obtained through the Kindle Store.

What I see is:
For the purposes of this Agreement:

"Content Provider" means the party offering Digital Content in the Kindle Store, which may be us or a third party; however, for Digital Content designated as active content in the Kindle Store, "Content Provider" means the publisher of the Digital Content.

"Digital Content" means digitized electronic content obtained through the Kindle Store, such as books, newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs, RSS feeds, games, and other static and interactive electronic content.

"Kindle" means our portable electronic reading device.

"Kindle Store" means our stores on Kindle, on Reading Applications and on our website, the homepage of which is located at www.amazon.com/kindlestore.

Amazon is a company that has control of their devices and when they decide to stop the Kindle from using digital content from other providers than the Kindle Store they will do so.

At the same time Amazon did provide the Special Offers at a discount to attract users to their new advertising concept and when they offered it to non KSO owners they signaled the intent to attempt to make it a value added service.

It is just as much a violation of the Terms if Use Agreement to modify the software to bypass the Special Offers as it is to change the font or modify the screensavers or to use the Kindle to read digital content secured from sources other than the Kindle Store.

All these can and will be restricted by Amazon when and if they decide that it is their best interests to do so.

Amazon can make those decisions and I will continue to not cast aspersions toward others who choose to use their Kindles in whatever manner they wish.

I see it as a matter between Amazon and them and I choose to not judge.


don

HarryT
12-31-2011, 07:53 AM
Perhaps you could point me to the portion of the License Agreement and Terms of Use that specifies the Kindle can be used for the reading of digital content not obtained through the Kindle Store.


It is outside the scope of the licence agreement. However, Amazon specifically provide facilities for adding your own content to the Kindle - heck, they even archive such content for you on their servers. There is absolutely no question of the legitimacy of reading non-Amazon content on a Kindle.

It's a complete red herring to equate the entirely legitimate use of the Kindle for reading non-Amazon-sourced content with the wholly illegitimate act of removing the ads, and I think, if you're honest with yourself, Don, that you realise that as well as I do. You can make all the excuses you want, but Amazon provide a perfectly legitimate method of removing the ads if you wish to do so, and you have voluntarily entered into a contract to access them. Nobody forced you to do so.

Do the right thing and stick to your side of the contract, please.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 07:59 AM
It is outside the scope of the licence agreement. However, Amazon specifically provide facilities for adding your own content to the Kindle - heck, they even archive such content for you on their servers. There is absolutely no question of the legitimacy of reading non-Amazon content on a Kindle.

It's a complete red herring to equate the entirely legitimate use of the Kindle for reading non-Amazon-sourced content with the wholly illegitimate act of removing the ads, and I think, if you're honest with yourself, Don, that you realise that as well as I do. You can make all the excuses you want, but Amazon provide a perfectly legitimate method of removing the ads if you wish to do so, and you have voluntarily entered into a contract to access them. Nobody forced you to do so.

Do the right thing and stick to your side of the contract, please.

"Outside the scope of the license agreement" Uhhh, sure, whatever you say.......

No HarryT, I have not entered into any agreement with Amazon to access the Special Offers.

I own a Kindle3 3G/WIFI and a Kindle 2 and members of my immediate family all own Kindle3 WIFIs that were all before their special offers.

I'm just getting a bit tired of all the holier than thou attitudes about the KSO owners being exhibited from some of you folks.


don

HarryT
12-31-2011, 08:04 AM
I'm just getting a bit tired of all the holier than thou attitudes about the KSO owners being exhibited from some of you folks.


You believe that it's a "holier than thou" attitude to consider it to be wrong to break a contract that you've voluntarily entered into? That's a very strange thing to say. Contracts are there to define rights and responsibilities on both sides. When you enter into a contract with someone, do you not expect them to do what they've agreed to do?

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 08:10 AM
You believe that it's a "holier than thou" attitude to consider it to be wrong to break a contract that you've voluntarily entered into? That's a very strange thing to say. Contracts are there to define rights and responsibilities on both sides. When you enter into a contract with someone, do you not expect them to do what they've agreed to do?


I would expect the parties that entered into those contracts to police themselves without interference from outsiders such as yourself casting aspersions on those so engaged.

It is a matter between Amazon and those who are using it and not between you and them.



don

HarryT
12-31-2011, 08:17 AM
I would expect the parties that entered into those contracts to police themselves without interference from outsiders such as yourself casting aspersions on those so engaged.


No. As a site moderator I am perfectly entitled to say that it is MobileRead's official policy to very strongly discourage this practice, and that's a point of view that the whole moderating team (and the site owner) share.

If you'd prefer to have it official:

MobileRead very strongly discourages anyone from removing ads from their "Kindle with Special Offers" by any means other than those provided by Amazon.


... and we will say so whenever the situation arises in which it's appropriate to do so.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 08:23 AM
No. As a site moderator I am perfectly entitled to say that it is MobileRead's official policy to very strongly discourage this practice, and that's a point of view that the whole moderating team (and the site owner) share.

If you'd prefer to have it official:


MobileRead very strongly discourages anyone from removing ads from their "Kindle with Special Offers" by any means other than those provided by Amazon.


... and we will say so whenever the situation arises in which it's appropriate to do so.


I see.

Well, carry on Mr Moderator, we all really need your judgement on what is moral here.


don

DiapDealer
12-31-2011, 08:31 AM
Perhaps you could point me to the portion of the License Agreement and Terms of Use that specifies the Kindle can be used for the reading of digital content not obtained through the Kindle Store.
So you honestly think Amazon is breaking their own ToS by offering the free conversion service to get your personal documents on your Kindle? And what would be the point of explaining how to transfer personal documents to your Kindle via the USB cable if you were only allowed to read things purchased from the Kindle store?

Case in point: the Kindle supports pdf documents, yet Amazon doesn't currently even SELL pdfs (print replica doesn't count).

And in my 5th edition of the Kindle Handbook:
In addition to purchased content, you can read your personal documents on Kindle.

Amazon.com (2010-01-18). Kindle User's Guide, 5th Ed (Kindle Locations 529-530). Amazon.com. Kindle Edition.

So let's put to bed this silliness that using the Kindle to read non-Amazon content is somehow violating the Terms of Service. That dog won't hunt.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 12:12 PM
So you honestly think Amazon is breaking their own ToS by offering the free conversion service to get your personal documents on your Kindle? And what would be the point of explaining how to transfer personal documents to your Kindle via the USB cable if you were only allowed to read things purchased from the Kindle store?

Case in point: the Kindle supports pdf documents, yet Amazon doesn't currently even SELL pdfs (print replica doesn't count).

And in my 5th edition of the Kindle Handbook:


So let's put to bed this silliness that using the Kindle to read non-Amazon content is somehow violating the Terms of Service. That dog won't hunt.

I wasn't referring to personal documents but to the ebooks you have purchased elsewhere and sideloaded to your Kindle.

But it is OK, whatever lets you sleep at night knowing you are stealing and violating the spirit and indeed the letter of the ToS.

We can all go back to focusing on those who are relegated to the "Cheap Seats" by their purchase of a KSO and continue to cast aspersions on their character if they so much as ask a question.



don

DiapDealer
12-31-2011, 12:23 PM
You should invest in a thesaurus for your Kindle. You've "cast aspersions" three times already.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 12:37 PM
You should invest in a thesaurus for your Kindle. You've "cast aspersions" three times already.


Well, excuse me.

Truth is I use my Kindle to read books and I don't spend all my life posting on discussion forums so perhaps I am not as proficient as you folks who are so busy looking down your noses at folks you consider in the "cheap seats".

HarryT
12-31-2011, 12:48 PM
Please give it a rest, Don. It is our official site policy to discourage people from illicitly removing ads, and that has absolutely nothing to do with "looking down" on those with KSO's. Heck - I have a Kindle Touch with Special Offers myself. We discourage the practice for the simple reason that we believe it to be unethical.

You're welcome to disagree, but that policy isn't going to change.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 12:53 PM
Please give it a rest, Don. It is our official site policy to discourage people from illicitly removing ads, and that has absolutely nothing to do with "looking down" on those with KSO's. Heck - I have a Kindle Touch with Special Offers myself. We discourage the practice for the simple reason that we believe it to be unethical.

You're welcome to disagree, but that policy isn't going to change.

It is not the policy I disagree with, it is the continued name calling.

It is the policy of this site to not discuss DRM removal methods as well but those who ask about it are directed to do a Google search. They are not immediately called criminals for asking about it.


don

HarryT
12-31-2011, 01:27 PM
Look at it this way, Don:

Amazon give you the free choice of buying a K4 with ads for $79, or the same model without the ads for $109. It's your choice which you buy. Perhaps you didn't know this when you bought it, or perhaps you buy the $79 model and then decide that you really don't like the ads after all. "No problem," says Amazon; "just pay us back the $30 we gave you to accept the ads and we'll take them away."

That's the deal. Amazon pay you $30 (or $40, or $50, depending what model Kindle you have) and in return for that $30, you agree to take the ads.

Now along comes some guy and says, "Hey man, screw you; I'm gonna take your $30, but I'm not gonna take your ads."

Is it really surprising that some people might think that this person is being dishonest? It doesn't surprise me at all that some might think so, and might even go so far as to say so.

It's not a case of looking down on those who choose to buy the Kindle with ads (as I said, I have one myself); it's rather a case of expressing annoyance at those who give the impression that they're trying to cheat the system.

DiapDealer
12-31-2011, 01:42 PM
folks who are so busy looking down your noses at folks you consider in the "cheap seats".
I'm not looking down my nose at anyone. My next Kindle will almost certainly be the cheapest one I can buy at $79. And I'll probably completely ignore the screensavers just as I do now.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 04:12 PM
This site has been a marvelous resource for me for years and I still find new things my kindles are capable of.

Let's stop being so judgmental and quick to condemn the new poster who has recently received his first kindle and found this site who asks questions about what and how to do things.

When those questions are against forum policy to answer we could simply say as much without questioning his character and driving him away.

Let's try to be a bit more friendly.


don

Morpheus Phreak
12-31-2011, 09:30 PM
I wasn't calling you a name. I was stating that someone who takes the discount and then doesn't uphold the end of their bargain is a criminal and a thief. Fraud and theft are crimes.

Those are facts, not opinion. I apologize if you took it personally.

dmcounts
12-31-2011, 11:17 PM
I wasn't calling you a name. I was stating that someone who takes the discount and then doesn't uphold the end of their bargain is a criminal and a thief. Fraud and theft are crimes.

Those are facts, not opinion. I apologize if you took it personally.


Why would I take it personally?

I do not own a KSO and don't have any intention of doing so.

Watching the attacks on new kindle owners who only need information is what I am unhappy about.

You guys see no problem with using your kindles to read products from Amazon's competitors because Amazon has not yet put a stop to the practice even though doing so is outside the Terms of Service you agreed to.

Every ebook purchased from other than the Kindle Store represents revenue lost to Amazon. At anywhere from $1.00 to $9.99 for each act (using the cheapest examples) you folks are stealing millions from Amazon and yet you get all incensed when a newby asks if he can remove the ads, in effect only taking the potential of making a sale from that ad from Amazon.


If it is a forum rule to not assist someone in removing the ads simply say that without the character attacks that have become so common when this particular subject is brought up.

Treat others as you would want to be treated when you are simply wanting to explore the great new gift you received for Christmas.


don

DiapDealer
12-31-2011, 11:44 PM
Treat others as you would want to be treated when you are simply wanting to explore the great new gift you received for Christmas.
I most definitely want to be told when I'm f-king up. That's why I don't hesitate to tell others the same.

And your "content purchased anywhere other than Amazon" mantra still doesn't make any more sense than the first time you mentioned it. Just sayin'.

dmcounts
01-01-2012, 12:04 AM
I most definitely want to be told when I'm f-king up. That's why I don't hesitate to tell others the same.

And your "content purchased anywhere other than Amazon" mantra still doesn't make any more sense than the first time you mentioned it. Just sayin'.


You are definitely "f-king up" every time you attack another's character over something like this.

I am sure the Terms of Service doesn't make any sense to you because you have decided it is OK to go outside it for your purposes.

I don't care what you put on your Kindle or how you choose to modify it. That is between you and Amazon and simply none of my business.

Minding one's own business is a virtue that is so often overlooked by busybodies online.



don

DiapDealer
01-01-2012, 06:10 AM
Minding one's own business is a virtue that is so often overlooked by busybodies online.
You honestly can't see the irony here can you?

You don't get to bring "your business" online and then complain when someone takes an interest in "your business." The easiest way to keep someone out of your business is to keep your business to yourself... otherwise, your business is fair game.

Denbo
01-01-2012, 12:24 PM
I wasn't referring to personal documents but to the ebooks you have purchased elsewhere and sideloaded to your Kindle.

But it is OK, whatever lets you sleep at night knowing you are stealing and violating the spirit and indeed the letter of the ToS.



Actually he should sleep quite well because legally speaking he is not stealing. Installing ebooks from elsewhere is similar to jailbreaking your iPhone and installing apps from other app markets like Cydia.

The Copyright Office has already ruled on that decision. They stated quite clearly that jailbreaking doesn't violate the DCMA.

Amazon, like Apple, can void your warranty but they can't legally stop you from jailbreaking your device and installing whatever you want on it.

Here is a blurb from CNet:

What does the Copyright Office's ruling mean?
The short answer is that jailbreaking your iPhone or other mobile device will no longer violate a controversial federal copyright law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Bypassing a manufacturer's protection mechanisms to allow "handsets to execute software applications" is now permitted.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20011702-260.html

dmcounts
01-01-2012, 03:30 PM
Actually he should sleep quite well because legally speaking he is not stealing. Installing ebooks from elsewhere is similar to jailbreaking your iPhone and installing apps from other app markets like Cydia.

The Copyright Office has already ruled on that decision. They stated quite clearly that jailbreaking doesn't violate the DCMA.

Amazon, like Apple, can void your warranty but they can't legally stop you from jailbreaking your device and installing whatever you want on it.


Amazon can indeed legally stop a user from jailbreaking their Kindle. The federal government will not get involved but under the ToS it specifically states:
This is an agreement between you and Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (with its affiliates, "Amazon" or "we"). Please read this Amazon.com Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use, the Amazon.com privacy notice located at www.amazon.com/privacy and the other applicable rules, policies, and terms posted on the Amazon.com website or the Kindle Store (collectively, this "Agreement") before using the Kindle or any Reading Application or Digital Content. By using the Kindle, any Reading Application, or any Digital Content, you agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement. If you do not accept the terms of this Agreement, then you may not use the Kindle, any Reading Application, any Digital Content, or the Service; and you may return the Kindle for a refund in accordance with the applicable return policy.
If you do not agree to abide with the ToS "you may not use the Kindle".

The same portion of the ToS that governs the removal of the ads also covers the issue of jailbreaking:
No Reverse Engineering, Decompilation, Disassembly, or Circumvention. You may not modify, reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the Kindle or the Software, whether in whole or in part, create any derivative works from or of the Software, or bypass, modify, defeat, or tamper with or circumvent any of the functions or protections of the Kindle or Software or any mechanisms operatively linked to the Software, for example, by augmenting or substituting any digital rights management functionality of the Kindle or Software.

What are the implications of all this:

Termination. Your rights under this Agreement will automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement. In case of such termination, you must cease all use of the Software, and Amazon may immediately revoke your access to the Service or to Digital Content without refund of any fees. Amazon's failure to insist upon or enforce your strict compliance with this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of any of its rights.

My contention is anyone who does any mods or loads any content they have not purchased through Amazon's Kindle Store or received from Amazon through their personal documents program is in violation of the ToS the same as one who removes the ads from a KSO device. Removal of the special offers is not any different than any of the other mods we make on "our" Kindles and those who do so should not be held up for any more contempt than the others.

The decision to violate the ToS agreement with Amazon is an issue between the individual and Amazon.

I am pretty sure there are a few here who have not violated the ToS in any way but most of us have.

Amazon can at their discretion brick any of their "mobile reading devices" if they decide to demand strict compliance with their ToS.

Let's let Amazon decide to enforce their agreement as they wish and stop attacking our friends online because we think they have broken the contract more than we have.

HarryT
01-01-2012, 04:36 PM
My contention is anyone who does any mods or loads any content they have not purchased through Amazon's Kindle Store or received from Amazon through their personal documents program is in violation of the ToS the same as one who removes the ads from a KSO device. Removal of the special offers is not any different than any of the other mods we make on "our" Kindles and those who do so should not be held up for any more contempt than the others.


This is complete nonsense. There is nothing in the ToS which prohibits the loading of content purchased elsewhere. It is entirely permissible. Ask Amazon if you don't believe me.

volwrath
01-01-2012, 04:49 PM
It is not *complete* nonsense as he also mentions modifying the kindle and if you don't condone the removing of the screensavers because it violates the TOS, then you shouldnt condone jailbreaking and the corresponding mods.

He is pushing it saying sideloading content is the same however

HarryT
01-01-2012, 04:52 PM
It is not *complete* nonsense as he also mentions modifying the kindle and if you don't condone the removing of the screensavers because it violates the TOS, then you shouldnt condone jailbreaking and the corresponding mods.

He is pushing it saying sideloading content is the same however

Jailbreaking is absolutely a violation of the ToS, yes. But loading your own content most assuredly is not.

haroldgh
01-01-2012, 05:36 PM
Guys, they said their policy is that they discourage it, not that they'll stop people from talking about it on the forums by moderating posts, banning people, etc. I don't see why that's so controversial. Their opinion is perfectly valid.

Personally, I haven't bothered to block ads. I never turn wifi on, so I never see them anyway.

dmcounts
01-01-2012, 05:58 PM
Jailbreaking is absolutely a violation of the ToS, yes. But loading your own content most assuredly is not.

Technically, loading any content that was not purchased from the Kindle Store or transferred through the Personal Documents is a violation of the ToS.

For the purposes of this Agreement:

"Content Provider" means the party offering Digital Content in the Kindle Store, which may be us or a third party; however, for Digital Content designated as active content in the Kindle Store, "Content Provider" means the publisher of the Digital Content.

"Digital Content" means digitized electronic content obtained through the Kindle Store, such as books, newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs, RSS feeds, games, and other static and interactive electronic content.

"Kindle" means our portable electronic reading device.

Amazon did provide a way to load the digital content in the case of a person not having wireless access:

If you are outside of range of a Wi-Fi network, or unable to connect to a protected Wi-Fi network, you can still download your Kindle content purchased from Amazon.com to your computer and transfer it via USB to your Kindle.

I really don't think that is even in question as far as the legal implications of the ToS.

What we are concerned about is the moral implications and whether a person has a serious character defect if he violates the ToS.

Let us explore that a bit shall we?

Amazon has provided us with a mobile digital reader to utilize digital content purchased through their Kindle Store. I doubt they make much profit on the sale of the readers but do indeed profit when digital content is purchased through their Kindle Store.

When the users download content from somewhere other than Amazon they lose that sale.

An example is the ebook The Door with Seven Locks by Edgar Wallace.

Here it is on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Door-Seven-Locks-ebook/dp/B004MPQCC4/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1325458096&sr=8-2

Notice the price is $3.99.

But here we can download it for free:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72147

(Thank you HarryT for that great book)

Everyone who downloads that ebook and sideloads it on their device costs Amazon a sale of $3.99 and has violated the ToS.

Amazon says just because they do not insist on strict compliance with the ToS does not negate it or keep them from enforcing it in the future.

We should continue to enjoy our Kindles and quit criticizing each other for enjoying theirs even when they push the envelope of the ToS.

Let Amazon be the enforcer of their ToS agreements.



don

HarryT
01-01-2012, 06:11 PM
Don,

This is utter nonsense. Nowhere in the ToS is there a prohibition against loading your own content. I would suggest that you ask Amazon if you're unclear on that point. While you're talking to them, you may wish to also ask them if it is permissible to remove the ads from the KSO.

But your or my personal feelings on the subject of ad removal are irrelevant. The fact is that, as stated, MR very strongly disapproves of this practice and will do our utmost to discourage it.

dmcounts
01-01-2012, 06:33 PM
I will continue to not question the characters of others who ask questions about what they can do with their devices even when it seems they may be violating the Terms of Service Agreement they have with Amazon.

I will continue to allow that to be a private issue between them and Amazon.


don

DiapDealer
01-01-2012, 07:05 PM
I will continue to allow that to be a private issue between them and Amazon.
It can only be considered private if they don't announce it on the internet. At that point it becomes fair game to be scrutinized and judged.

People can't have it both ways. You don't get to air your business on the internet and then expect people on the internet to "mind their own business." If you want privacy, then BE private.

dmcounts
01-01-2012, 07:33 PM
It can only be considered private if they don't announce it on the internet. At that point it becomes fair game to be scrutinized and judged.

People can't have it both ways. You don't get to air your business on the internet and then expect people on the internet to "mind their own business." If you want privacy, then BE private.

I will leave the judgmental declarations of a person's character to you.

If I can help a new person I will. If I decide I don't agree with what they want to do I will simply go on to the next thread and keep my opinion to myself.


don

DiapDealer
01-01-2012, 07:54 PM
You're my hero.

dmcounts
01-01-2012, 10:11 PM
You're my hero.

I am not a hero but I sure don't want to be the one who drives a new kindle owner away from the site for asking a question that he doesn't suspect will generate such a large amount of animosity directed at him questioning his character for having asked it.


don

Morpheus Phreak
01-02-2012, 01:02 AM
When you start a topic asking how you can avoid paying for something and how to violate a legal contract you SHOULD expect some upset people.

I mean seriously...why wouldn't someone be upset when someone asks how to commit a crime?

volwrath
01-02-2012, 11:00 AM
I mean seriously...why wouldn't someone be upset when someone asks how to commit a crime?

This *IS* complete nonsense. Perhaps it is unethical, and it is certainly against the TOS, but it is not a criminal offense, at least not in the US. It is a civil offense at best.

Morpheus Phreak
01-04-2012, 01:42 AM
This *IS* complete nonsense. Perhaps it is unethical, and it is certainly against the TOS, but it is not a criminal offense, at least not in the US. It is a civil offense at best.

It's not?

"In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain..."

When you agree to buy the device WITH Special Offers for a lower price, and then remove them by circumventing their ability to be displayed you ARE committing a criminal act...fraud.

dmcounts
01-04-2012, 09:00 AM
It's not?

"In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain..."

When you agree to buy the device WITH Special Offers for a lower price, and then remove them by circumventing their ability to be displayed you ARE committing a criminal act...fraud.

No sir it is not.

At the worst it is a breach of contract.

The only parties that would have standing in any litigation concerning it would be one of the signatories to that contract.

Why is it you want so much to involve the federal or state governments in private agreements between us and Amazon?

Oh, and by the way, according to the ToS agreement you agreed to when you began using the kindle neither you nor Amazon are allowed to pursue any claim of breach of agreement in any court either civil or criminal.

You and Amazon agreed any disputes will be decided by an arbitrator and only on an individual basis one case at a time.






don