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Old 03-12-2009, 10:30 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Amazon uses DMCA to restrict where you can buy e-books

As some of you may already know, this week we received a DMCA take-down notice from Amazon requesting the removal of the tool kindlepid.py and instructions associated with it. Although we never hosted this tool (contrary to their claim), nor believe that this tool is used to remove technological measures (contrary to their claim), we decided, due to the vagueness of the DMCA law and our intention to remain in good relation with Amazon, to voluntarily follow their request and remove links and detailed instructions related to it.

A quick backgrounder: kindlepid.py is a small Python script allowing you to derive a Mobipocket-compatible personal identifier (PID) for your Kindle reader. This PID in itself has nothing at all to do with reading any copyrighted content. It is only used to make legitimate e-book purchases at stores other than Amazon's.

We believe in the freedom of speech and we encourage you to continue expressing your views and thoughts on tools like kindlepid.py. We only ask you not to provide any how-to instructions, source codes and/or links for obtaining kindlepid.py.

We would like to remind you to apply common sense when using the private message system, and not to use it for sharing information how to obtain or use kindlepid.py. We stress that we respect your privacy and that we do not monitor private messages.

Lastly, I would like to ask you for assistance and to contact us - using the report post feature for example - should you detect content that might not follow the guideline above.

Thank you for your understanding!

Alexander
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Last edited by Alexander Turcic; 03-13-2009 at 10:03 AM. Reason: notice added
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:38 AM   #2
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Even though our servers are in Canada, and the site owner is in Switzerland, we still removed the material.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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I am amazed at how companies think they can keep folks from finding this kind of information by issuing takedowns. Legal or illegal, trying to stamp out anything that can be placed on the web is like playing bop-a-mole. Apparently no one at Amazon has ever used Google.

What is even more stupid about this is that the actual content under discussion is all quite legal. Only Amazon has any potential to suffer and very little at that. It is interesting that they do not complain about NON DRM books that are available in mobi. like public domain and BAEN.

This would seem to encourage other providers to enable their books on other devices wherever possible or come out with their own device (in fact, more rumors of an Apple device as of yesterday). Pretty shortsighted, as I am sure time will tell....

Last edited by CCDMan; 03-12-2009 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:44 AM   #4
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i think it's particularly ironic that they should attack MobileRead the same week that we gave away a free Kindle in a contest.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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That is very rude of Amazon. I'm disappointed in them.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Even though our servers are in Canada, and the site owner is in Switzerland, we still removed the material.
I feel they are so wrong. What this script does is make the Kindle more useful. With Amazon using the DMCA to get rid of this, they are alienating their customers and causing prospective customers to purchase a different device. I know I wanted to win a K2. But because of what Amazon has done, I'd be selling the K2 had I won and saving the money to purchase a new reader with a larger screen.

Sorry Amazon, but what you are doing leaves a bad taste.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:51 AM   #7
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The funny part is that many people like me will never have even heard of the script until Amazon made a fuss about it. I found it with a simple google search. Same with how-to instructions.

Is that really what you wanted Amazon? (not that it makes any difference in my case. You can't even download the iPhone app in the UK).
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:52 AM   #8
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Well, they are only doing the most part of their business on the Web, why should we expect them to understand the Web, after all ....

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Old 03-12-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
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Well, they are only a big web store, why should we expect them to understand the Web, after all ....
But we should hope they'd care about their customers.

Jeff, if you are reading this, way to go! You've just given Amazon a black eye and your reputation has gone down the toilet. Well done!
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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Is it ok if someone tells me what this tool did? I'm a little confused.

edit* nevermind, missed the explanation
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #11
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This is the reason that I did not buy the Kindle. I did not want to be tied to the mother ship. I love my freedom to pick where I get my books and what firmware I use.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:56 AM   #12
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Doesn't Mobi Desktop 6.0 do the same thing? IIRC it did, at least for the K1.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
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Thanks for the explanation Alexander. I'm glad that MobileRead can still be a place to learn about great tools like kindlepid.py that empower ebook readers and force competition on companies that would rather restrict their customers' options. This attempt to suppress speech will only imply people must perform a google search to find the extra information they need. You wouldn't expect imposing this minor inconvenience is worth the damage to Amazon's reputation that they will receive from bullying a forum that has brought them numerous customers.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Doesn't Mobi Desktop 6.0 do the same thing? IIRC it did, at least for the K1.
Mobipocket Desktop 6.0 did indeed give the PID for the K1. But without kindlefix.py, you cannot shift Mobipocket eBooks to Kindle eBooks. So even if you could get the K1's PID inserted into a Mobipocket eBook, the K1 will not display it without changing the document identifier. And this change is what Amazon is upset about.

So basically the message I am getting from Amazon is....
You bought a Kindle, now we own your *ss.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:06 AM   #15
Alexander Turcic
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Mobipocket Desktop 6.0 did indeed give the PID for the K1. But without kindlefix.py, you cannot shift Mobipocket eBooks to Kindle eBooks.
Exactly. And they only pointed at kindlepid.py in the notice.
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