walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

kindle, DMCA, Igor's script for grabbing the pid

The best coverage I've seen so far:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/161250/site_removes_ebook_script_reference_after_amazon_threat.html

But this is pretty recent stuff. Igor's the guy who reversed kindle 1 and kindle 2. Grabbing the PID apparently lets you take non-kindle DRM'ed stuff and get it to work on the kindle. This is what a lot of people are clamoring about saying, why would Amazon want to stop that (obvious: to protect sales in the kindle store, but never mind that now)? And it's not an infringing use so how can this be a problem.

But according to the PC World article, the PID is also useful for:

"users can buy ebooks from Amazon purportedly for their iPhones but transfer them onto readers other than the Kindle. Users of the iPhone application are supposed to be able to only transfer books to Kindles."

That's a lot closer to being an infringing use than running someone else's book on the kindle. The obvious parallel is DeCSS (remember, the idea with DeCSS was to be able to use something you had a right to, but under Linux), which was upheld under the interoperability section. But before you get really excited about, see, this is okay, remember that guy actually went through a full trial and got off because _he_ was interested in interoperability and couldn't be held responsibility for, say, 2600's bad behavior (but 2600 _was_ held responsible).

iTunes went through some similar gyrations, without full court cases. Apple did the same cease-and-desist routine for a while before switching gears and joining the information-wants-to-be-free crowd.

Greyware manufacturers (specifically, some people modding Sony Playstations to play other countries games) have had their goods seized under this law -- dunno if a court case ever occurred and how that turned out. I do know it was always fairly straightforward to purchase greyware -- but the details of how at any particular point in time for any particular device changed pretty rapidly.

There are a variety of cases where someone made something that was supposed to help people get into their own stuff (whether it was a file, or a garage). Some are ongoing. The ones that are resolved don't have any particular consistent trend to them.

Read the law at:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00001201----000-.html

The case summary I worked off of was here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA_1201#Section_103_cases

To the extent that there is a moral to this story, I would suggest everyone to work up some seriously righteous outrage and complain to Amazon, and also to every media outlet they can get to listen. Companies often back off and decline to pursue DMCA-based claims when they're getting smeared publicly over it. This is _exactly_ the process that converted Apple from DRM'ed music to not-so-DRM'ed music, so if you want the same outcome over on the kindle, now is the time to step up and bring that hammer down. Think of it as providing Mr. Bezos with the ammo he needs to apply pressure on the rights-holders to behave in a reasonable fashion.
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