Dear Jeff Bezos,
I am a Kindle owner. I requested a Kindle for Christmas when they first came out and was delighted to receive one. I've been very happy with my Kindle. I've also been happy with the selection of books and the price of books provided by Amazon. Another delightful surprise was the number of free books available for the Kindle from websites such as Feedbooks, Manybooks, and Mobileread.
The Mobileread site in particular is one of my favorites, because it also provides a forum where happy Kindle owners such as myself can discuss issues regarding our Kindles and the ebook market in general. They even inspired me to create my own website devoted to the Kindle.
So it is with a pallor of sadness that I write you this letter. On March 9th, 2009, your lawyers sent the online community at Mobileread a letter demanding that they remove all links to the kindlepid.py script. The implication of this demand was that Mobileread was violating copyright protection laws.
As a participant in these forums, I know this accusation is completely unfounded. In fact, I have seen Mobileread go out of their way to remove links to scripts or posts that would break Amazon's DRM, and I have also witnessed Mobileread's moderators make spirted arguements in favor of copyright laws. So accusations that they violated copyright protection laws is especially insulting. Furthermore, the script in question doesn't break DRM, but only allows the Kindle to read electronic library books and other mobi-DRMed books. Even worse, the letters sent by your lawyers went out on the very day that Mobileread was giving away a Kindle 2 in order to welcome and increase participants to their Kindle forums.
Sites like Mobileread, and the visitors that participate in these sites, are the individuals responsible for making products like the Kindle go viral. They are the backbone of that segment of society that helps a new product grow. In addition, they can also be the seed for disseminating dissatisfaction with a companies business practices. It is my hope that Amazon will take this into consideration in the future.
David Ivey (Daithi - on Mobileread)
2 months ago