back to article Amazon waves DMCA in Kindle channel lock-down

Amazon has invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent distribution of software for extracting the personal identifier from a Kindle, used by those wanting to shop at the Amazon-owned Mobipocket store. The software concerned is called A simple Python script that extracts the Personal Identification ( …


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  1. Justin Smith

    DMCA abuse

    This kind of thing is an abuse of the DMCA, and the U.S. Federal courts have already ruled several times that the DMCA cannot be used to enforce 'business models.' See, for example, "Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc." and "Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc."

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "But MobileRead don't want to take any chances..." ?!??!?

    Seems the author of this article needs to learn some grammar.

  3. Frank Thomas

    Poor kindle

    a Kindle will never have the pleasure of being owned by me. but the first DRM-free competitor will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

  4. John Smith Gold badge

    Is this not restraint of trade?

    So they don't like people being able to buy stuff through a reseller (which still originates from them) because then its not totally locked to their hardware.

    Amazon could have made it impossible to extract this information.

    Amazon could choose to not supply to 3rd party re-sellers with books in digital format.

    But they have done neither.

    Now an app is out there to do it does anyone think its going to be alone for long?

    I like the concept of the kindle. its the size, weight and shape I'd like. But the cost. With notebooks going at <$300. Do eInk charge *that* much to license their technology?

    Can you smell the Fail?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The code wasn't actually created or hosted by Mobileread.

    Note that the code in question wasn't actually created or hosted by Mobileread-- the takedown referred to discussions that provided an offsite link.

  6. Neil Cooper
    Paris Hilton

    No Kindle for me.

    I've got a new resolution in my life. I don't buy products that weren't designed with usability and the puchaser/end-user's needs and rights being the most important factor.

    I just don't buy anything with DRM or vendor lock-in or artificial limitations on functionality there to force a particular business model on us.

    I probably would have bought a Kindle by now if it could just display what I gave it.

    Thats $350 of my money Amazon will never get, solely because of their stupid DRM corporate-greed mentality.

    Paris because even she is smarter than Amazon/Kindle's marketing dept.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Grammar vs the British

    "But MobileRead don't want to take any chances..." ?!??!?

    "Seems the author of this article needs to learn some grammar."

    I think it's a British thing - they're weird over there ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No other purpose?

    There is one other thing you can do with a PID. You can use it with the python script to strip away the DRM from a DRMed Mobipocket .prc or Kindle .azw file.

    So that, now that the iPod Touch and iPhone can shop for ebooks at the Kindle store, means that you could buy books from the Kindle store, strip the DRM, and then read them on other eInk devices, like the BeBook or the CyBook, without owning a Kindle.

    Although quite why this would upset Amazon enough to throw the DMCA at Mobileread is a puzzle. If they only wanted Kindle owners to buy from the Kindle ebook store, they just had to not released the iPod Touch/iPhone software.

    Once again DRM and the DMCA are only inconveniencing those people who actually buy their electronic media. People downloading copyright ebooks from unauthorised sources aren't affected by any of these issues - their ebooks are already without DRM.

  9. John Smith Gold badge


    "Although quite why this would upset Amazon enough to throw the DMCA at Mobileread is a puzzle. If they only wanted Kindle owners to buy from the Kindle ebook store, they just had to not released the iPod Touch/iPhone software"

    Or indeed permit other retailers from supplying what I presume is their proprietary product. Their behaviour is bizarre. They want to sell Kindle specific products through 3rd parties. Except they don't.

    Am I missing something in this Sales "strategy."?

  10. Frank

    re. Mobile Read Grammar

    We've been through this before. An organisation can take the singular or the plural depending on context.

  11. Soruk

    How to go up in flames

    To start a good fire, it's often best to start with a bit of Kindling.

  12. William Boyle

    Amazon - Sony all over again?

    First off, I will not purchase any consumer product that requires DRM. Second, I will not purchase any consumer product that locks me into one platform. Third, well I'm thinking about that. In any case, it's this sort of cruft that will keep me from purchasing a Kindle, ever - at least until Amazon realizes that they are only shooting themselves in the foot and alienating their customers. I buy several hundred U$D of ebooks yearly - none of them are DRM-encumbered, and in the future, none of those will come from Amazon... So, to you Amazon, I say :-(>

  13. Anonymous Coward

    DRM and control freaks

    They want to eat their cake and have it too. And any cake you have is also their cake, They want you to pay for the same cake several times all the while it's still their cake.

    The DCMA (Dat Cake is MINE Act (TCMA was already taken)) is used to make sure that you only pay them and never get to eat any cake.

  14. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Does there have to be an explanation?

    Some high ranking lawyer at Amazon saw a piece of software that "extracted" (Ooo, missus) something from one of his products and immediately invoked the DMCA to kill the pirates.

    Later it was pointed out that this wasn't an encryption system and didn't actually result in a financial loss for the company. They are now wondering how to get out of this mess without looking like a bunch of clueless idiots with bullet holes in their shoes.

    Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity.

    Oh, and never criticise someone's grammar on the internet. English doesn't have an Academie Anglaise and grammar is no different from spelling and pronunciation. (You *do* know that *those* differ from place to place, don't you?) Consider "gotten", the 17th century fossil that some people insist on dredging up at regular intervals, apparently believing that it needs to be consistent with "forgotten".

    My asbestos overalls, please.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Re : Grammar vs the British

    I think that the British beat the Grammar Nazis in about 1945. Thus they can use any pluralism and possessivisms that they desire.

  16. Andraž Levstik

    @Frank Thomas

    They have existed since before Kindle at that... look up Hanlin Jinke V3 is about the same age as the kindle but they also have devices that go farther back...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "But MobileRead don't want to take any chances."

    So how would you put it? It seems fine to me.

  18. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    How not to market your own product.

    1) Buy a well respected ebook reader company.

    2) Ensure that development has all but stopped on that ebook reader (lets face it, mobipocket hasn't really advanced since Amazon took it over).

    3) Develop your own hardware based reader.

    4) Do not advertise it beyond a few technical publications.

    5) Threaten legal action against anyone that writes software to enable people to use Mobipocket books (sold by you) on a device sold by you.

    Kindle may or may not be a good piece of hardware (having played with one, I think it's OK, but not enough to want to buy one), but it will fail because Amazon have been totally ineffective at marketing it..

    They should open it up so that Mobipocket books can be read on it. After all, Mobipocket has a huge library, and the Kindle has a far superior screen to most mobiles and PDAs. Both will help sell the product.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually... it's great.

    Got my Kindle2, it's a gem. S'all I'm-a sayin'. I buy all my books from Amazon anyway and if you really want your own content on there it's a dime a document to email them to it*. I wouldn't touch an ebook reader from Sony, they lost the tech plot years ago, but this thing will be the iPod of books, with the largest retailer behind it.

    * Don't even bother with the XXX "10ctheevilb*st*rds" crap, it's 10c, how many documents per pint of beer is that?

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