Rights? You have no right to your eBooks.

Further to our previous story on a Kindle reader's library being wiped by Amazon, Stephen K. has posted an update (as comment), which deserves to be its own story.

From Computer World UK Simon Phipps continues the saga of Linn, the Norwegian individual who purchased a Kindle in the UK.

The story first emerged on a friend's blog, where a sequence of e-mails from Michael Murphy, a customer support representative at Amazon.co.uk were posted. These painted a picture some interpreted as Amazon remotely erasing a customer's Kindle, but in conversation with Linn I discovered that was not what had happened - something just as bad did, though.

Linn lives in Norway, where Amazon does not operate (Amazon.no redirects to the Amazon Europe page). She bought a Kindle in the UK, liked it and read a number of books on it. She then gave that Kindle to her mother, and bought a used Kindle on a Danish classifieds site to which she transferred her account. She has been happily reading on it for some time, purchasing her books with a Norwegian address and credit card. She told me she'd read 30 or 40 books on it.

Sadly, the device developed a fault (actually a second time, it was also replaced in 2011 for the same reason) and started to display black lines on the screen (something I've heard from other friends as it happens). She called Amazon customer service, and they agreed to replace it if she returned it, although they insisted on shipping the replacement to a UK address rather to her in Norway.

More from Computer World UK.

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Foreign book rights

This type of language in the blog post:

She bought a Kindle in the UK, liked it and read a number of books on it. She then gave that Kindle to her mother, and bought a used Kindle on a Danish classifieds site to which she transferred her account. She has been happily reading on it for some time, purchasing her books with a Norwegian address and credit card. She told me she'd read 30 or 40 books on it.

indicates that we are dealing with foreign book rights. Publishers have contracts that only allow for distribution of books in certain countries. Amazon is going to have to enforce these foreign book rights or publishers will not do business with them.

So the story here is that Amazon shut off someones account. (Likely for violating foreign book rights) The did not delete anything off of the persons Kindle. Seems like this is not much of a story. Has Apply not shut off anyones iTunes account before making someone lose access to all their apps? How is that not the same story as this?

That the thing. It wasn't the

That the thing. It wasn't the story people thought it was.
They just jumped on it without looking at the details as we weren't told all the details in the original story and some people just went on their standard Amazon is bad rant they always wheel out/.

How many people (outside of those of us working in the field) know anything about foreign book rights though?
The idea that you can't buy something online now is unbelievable to some people. They simply wouldn't believe that is possible.

Interesting point though, about the longevity of the Kindle. On Watchdog (BBC Consumer programme for those not in the UK) there was a whole section on this. A year seems to be expected life for Kindles according to some Amazon service representatives (although Amazon in their official annual report say up to three), and that's if you look after them.

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