Critical Section

on book ownership

Monday,  01/04/10  06:37 PM

the Kindle bookshelfFrom Dave:

I know from being a regular reader of your blog that you are a big fan of the Kindle. Amazon's sales figures for this past Christmas suggest many others are as well. I'm curious about your thoughts on the issues raised in this speech by Cory Doctorow:

How to Destroy the Book

Do these considerations temper your Kindle enthusiasm at all? Is Cory bringing up real ownership issues of concern, or are they the complaints of someone not willing to consider progress?

From Ole:

I like Cory and like his posts on Boing Boing and elsewhere, but he is definitely at the edge of anti-DRM activism. Although it would technically be possible for Amazon to destroy all the books I’ve ever bought from them for my Kindle, I don’t lose sleep over that. I guess I trust them at some level, or maybe I trust the market; there would be such an uproar if they ever did anything like that, I am confident eventually my books would be restored.

Think of it like this – I have money on deposit at my bank. That money is represented by little 1s and 0s in some computer. Yeah, the bank could destroy all my money but I don’t lose sleep over that, either.

There is a new world now, “information” is being stored digitally, including entertainment content like music, movies, and books. The devices for translating the digital forms of this information into human consumable experiences are getting much better, like the iPod and AppleTV and Kindle, and this is enabling a transition. I am sure in 100 years nobody will have physical forms of any of this information. Books will go into the dustbin of history, just like records and CDs and VHS tapes and DVDs. I must tell you I love books – my house is full of them – but that is the future. I loved records, too, and while I didn’t love VHS tapes I sure had a lot of them, and still have a lot of DVDs which I never watch because of my AppleTV. I know I love my Kindle :)

PS look for this conversation in a blog post … :)

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