Amazon and stolen Kindles

Article in the NYT about what Amazon does when a Kindle is stolen.

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Kindle tied to individual

>The complaints have left Amazon with a new public relations dilemma. In >July, when Amazon remotely deleted titles from Kindles, citing copyright >reasons, it was accused of heavy-handedness. If the company were to >shut down a Kindle that had been erroneously reported as stolen, it >might be accused of playing cop, judge and jury.

What is not right about this is that each Amazon Kindle is tied to a specific person. If that person contacts Amazon and wants the device deactivated they should be able to do that. For a Kindle to be transferred from one person to another the first owner needs to give a thumbs up for the transfer. The guy in the article that had his Kindle stolen on the plane should be able to keep anyone else from using that Kindle.

Kindle Stolen: No Help from Amazon

Blog post by someone that had their Kindle stolen at the grocery store. What was one of the first books bought after the Kindle was stolen? The Bible.

Other companies

I don't know about the iPhone, but on two occasions I have been in the Apple Store when someone came into the Genius Bar with a stolen item (an iPod and a laptop) and was kept waiting while the staff waited for police to arrive. In both cases, the owner had reported their item stolen to the store (this was when we only had two Apple stores in the area, probably not so easy now) and the item was recognized by the serial number.

Software companies do it...

A couple of years ago, I started a job where I needed a different set of Adobe graphic design software than what my predecessor had used. So I deactivated and sold my company's upgrade-license copy of Adobe Creative Suite to someone else (on eBay) who wanted the upgrade package I had. Then I was able to go back to my earlier version of Creative Suite and use it to upgrade to the package I needed.

Adobe had a process in place for registration and activation of their software, but also for deactivation and transfer-of-license.

Surely a company with the technology resources of Amazon could do something similar for resold Kindles, as the victim in the article suggests. After all, they want people to upgrade to a newer model, don't they?

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