They could have saved themselves a lot of bad PR.
No, they couldn't. It was as certain as gravity pulling down the rain. The people who make these decisions are the sort of people who are willing to work for a corporation; the sort who tend to keep their ethics in their wallets. In fact, they're probably proud that they do. (And were specifically proud -- until it blew up -- about their foresight, that allowed them to build such an anti-free technology into their reader, about licensing the dissemination of thought, about the half-a-dozen other things that Amazon has recently done that demonstrate the proto-fascist nature of their ethics.)
Big-time business-people, generally, are people who are incapable of doing things that are fair. The purpose of corporations is to extract maximum wealth, while providing minimum value. Take, but do not give.
The reason that the corporation was invented was to provide a way to shield the people running one from legal and financial responsibility for their actions and decisions. To incorporate, to embody -- to make an "entity". That "entity" does things, right? We rarely talk about the dead-hearted folks who make the decisions and do the dirty work.
People who use money as a metric for decisions about other people's lives and health and property, the value of art, the function of ethics, the purpose of culture, etc. are not the sort of people who should be allowed to have so much power over how we do things, but they do. Money is power, power is worshiped and feared. And it is used.
It's not like the folks who made the Kindle system didn't know what it was capable of -- they made it, after all. Someone ordered it to be made, with these and other, yet unknown capacities. Someone followed those orders, built it and made it work. But they don't
what it can do. Or they weasel, or lie, or obfuscate. It happens over and over and over again, from company after company, industry after industry. And we don't shun these people, we embrace them.
Over and over again, sociopathic behavior, dressed up in fine clothes and called proper. Emulated. Admired. Rewarded. Protected.
And you always hear "Well, business is about making money." "The only thing they should be concerned with is the bottom line." "Buyer beware." etc, etc, ad nauseum, etc.
Whenever I hear that, I hear an apologist for someone else's wrongs. An apologist who imagines the day when he will be the beneficiary of some similar scheme to take advantage of others -- although they can never
admit such a thing. Possibly because it's such a part of who they are, that they aren't even capable of understanding themselves.
The sort of people who cannot see the relative levels of power and information in the relationship of a corporation to a person, and the way that plays out, as anything to be ashamed of.
I mean, it was George Orwell's 1984
that they used this on. The utter lack of self-awareness and shame is telling.
The relative damage to us all for this one incident is nothing, really, compared to the ongoing destruction being wrought right now by this class of parasites. But it's indicative, and of a piece with all the other disasters brought to us by corporate mentality.
m a r