DRM hysteria, Reviews erased, Amazon enforces quality standards, and more

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The Amazon world is a-Twitter (lame joke) with news about a Kindle user who had her account summarily shut down and most – if not all – the contents deleted.  The Consumerist, not a big Amazon fan, it appears, opines that they will not get a response from Amazon, despite their attempts to contact customer service.  The Kindle Boards are also all in an uproar with warnings to be sure to 1) back up your Kindle content to another drive and 2) use various methods (which I am not about to detail) to strip Digital Rights Management from the downloads.  It’s unclear from either of these sources – or any other, for that matter, what actually happened, but it appears that the user (who goes by a rather anonymous-sounding “Linn”) either overstepped some boundaries with downloading from the “wrong” site, or was “associated” with someone who had done some nefarious, but unspecified deed.

As an Amazon user in many different roles (reader, writer, seller, associate, etc.) I have never had one minute’s trouble from Amazon, and they have, indeed, been exceedingly quick to reply and straighten out questions that I have had.  I also know that sometimes, depending on the situation, it’s better for a large company like Amazon to just shut up and take its lumps rather than try to explain the reason for an unpopular action.  I am guessing this is why Amazon isn’t going into detail about the situation.  It’s a no-winner for them at this point.

But I am curious what experiences any of you have had in this regard?  Have any of you had your account(s) at Amazon restricted or closed?  Have they been slow to respond to requests for assistance?  I am curious to see what experiences the rest of Amazon-lovers have had in this regard!

In another story that didn’t get quite as much press, Michelle Gagon of the Kill Zone reports that several of her fans have had their reviews of her books either taken down or they never appeared.  When questioned, Amazon states:

We do not allow reviews on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product. This includes authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product.

Read the rest of the story at The Kill Zone.

In some (to my mind) very refreshing news, TeleRead reports that Amazon is now putting a warning on certain books that appear to be poorly designed in many regards.  The warning looks like this:

Of course, I don’t know what the problem is, and I am not going to point out the book, but my opinion is: it’s high time.  Some of the crap I’ve downloaded puts shame to the name “book.”  I hope this is just the start for Amazon to enforce some high quality standards.

And in my last story for today (I saved the tax stuff for last, because I am probably the only one of thousands that actually LIKES to read about taxes):  The Guardian.UK is accusing Amazon of forcing publishers in Britain to pay some 20% VAT tax, when the real rate is only about 3%.  You can find the story at the link.

2 thoughts on “DRM hysteria, Reviews erased, Amazon enforces quality standards, and more”

    1. Interesting stuff! Thanks for the update and I’ll be looking for additional information.

      The very bottom of that link tells an interesting story, if readers didn’t make it down that far…:

      “Update @ 00:30 – Amazon PR just wrote to say: “We would like to clarify our policy on this topic. Account status should not affect any customer’s ability to access their library. If any customer has trouble accessing their content, he or she should contact customer service for help. Thank you for your interest in Kindle.””

      Didn’t I just read that because her account was closed she was unable to contact customer service? I wonder what would have happened to her if this hadn’t all hit the news? (Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE Amazon, but really?)

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