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The DRM Kindle Lockdown June 28, 2009

Posted by cmvlibrarian in Information Sharing, Reading.

I can honestly say that I’ve never had a negative experience with my Amazon Kindle. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I blogged about it in a previous post.  But I’ve just heard of something that could be a problem to many users in the near future.

Dan Cohen, author of the Gear Diary Blog encountered a series of problems when he tried to sych his Kindle books to his new iPhone. He was basically unable to add several of his books to his new device. When he called Amazon’s customer service center he received a series of conflicting reports. For the full story read Part 1 and Part 2 at his blog.

The final answer the Cohen ended up getting was that publishers limit the number of devices that you can have your Kindle Books on at any give time. When you buy a Kindle book there is currently no information regarding the number of devices you can have it on. While most publishers allow for several devices (which makes sense given you can read the books on the Kindle, iPod touch, and the iPhone) some only allow you to have it on one device.

Every time you upgrade one of those devices the system considers that an extra device, even if you don’t use the former device anymore. So eventually (and with the frequency upgrades these days it may not take too long) you’ll reach a point where you won’t be able to add the books you’ve already PAID for to your device.

Cohen was finally able to have Amazon allow him to download his books for no additional charge but it took talking with several different people, giving him conflicting information before they correctly followed Amazon’s procedure.

Who’s to say that someone else will be able to get a hold of customer service rep that’s familiar with this specific policy or that Amazon won’t at some point change this policy. While I still love the Kindle this is really going to make me leery of upgrading my version 1.0 device anytime soon-no matter how cool future models may be.



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