Amazon sells the Kindle, an e-reader that up until recently, I was thinking of buying. I had been leery because the Kindle uses DRM. DRM and I always seem to have this problem-I like to use media the way I have always used media growing up. DRM on the other hand tells me that I can only use media the way someone else wants me to use media. So it goes.
Then came the Orwell fiasco, where Amazon deleted copies of “Animal Farm” and “1984” without so much as a by-your-leave from their customers. That really put me off. And now, enter Rupert Murdoch.
Kindle sells subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, now one of the crown jewels in the tawdry crown that sits upon Mr. Murdoch’s head. During recent negotiations with Amazon, Rupert demanded both more money from Amazon and more information on the Kindle users. OK, I can see him wanting more money, as the media empire that is known as
RumourAndFlatOutLiesCorp News Corp has lost money recently (I guess the recession has hit everyone, but I doubt old Rup’ is eating just mac and cheese for dinner). But he now wants information on Kindle users. While I can see Murdoch rightfully wanting more information about his subscribers (and what business wouldn’t want that), the news is unclear as to whether he wants merely information on WSJ subscribers or all Kindle subscribers. You can never tell with him, you know?
The benefits of knowing the names of any Kindle user are obvious if you’re a company which sells Kindle subscriptions. News Corp would have the knowledge required to send targeted advertisements. And where Murdoch goes, then expect every company that sells subscriptions to Kindle to follow. After a while, a Kindle may wind up to be nothing more than an overpriced black and white TV with the sound off.
Which beings us back to Amazon, who is all ready skating on some pretty thin ice after the Orwell deletions. My solution to all of this is really quite simple-ask your customers. Send a message over the Kindle to all WSJ subscribers, asking them if they want to give the information that Amazon has over to News Corp. If the customer says sure, then give Rupert what he wants. If the customer says “Hell to the No!”, then don’t. All others accounts should not apply. Simple as that.
Murdoch may not like it, then again, I stay away from all of his products anyway. Something about truth in advertising. I’m funny that way. BTW, I think I just talked myself out of buying a Kindle. Maybe tablets really do have a place in the electronic eco-system.
Now Playing: Simple Minds – Glittering Prize: Simple Minds 81/92 – Don’t You (Forget About Me)