The Bitter Reality of Ebooks and the Kindle Model

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2023-11-20 12:00:06

A few years back, I jumped into the world of ebooks to broaden my reading without stacking so many physical books. I went with the ever-popular Kindle; yet the full weight of “owning” ebooks, particularly from Amazon, was not something I understood.

…Until I decided to break up with Amazon, despite its convenience. You know the drill: Amazon exploits workers, aggressively avoids taxes, dominates markets, and I was just itching to explore alternative bookstores. The hiccup? My Kindle was firmly rooted and entangled in Amazon’s ecosystem. Without Amazon, I could no longer conveniently or legally read books on my Kindle, and without Kindle, I could not legally read books I once purchased on Amazon.

Digital Rights Management (“DRM”) might not be a household term, yet its fingerprints are everywhere. Ever wondered how we consume content via proprietary software, rather than owning the content?

Think Spotify (you never own the music), Netflix (you never own the film), Adobe Creative Cloud (you never own the software), Steam (you never own the game), and Amazon Kindle (you never own the ebook). You download those proprietary software on your device, not the content itself. While you may have a license to the content, but it’s not truly yours.

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