I'd be interested to see whay my friend Richard, who is a recently-retured
leading copyright lawyer
Makes of all this. Please write off-list to let me know whether I have
permission to share this thread with him.
Could it be that some blind people may be more inclined to return items which
they buy and then discover to be inaccessible, or only partially usable? If
that could be argued, there may be indirect discrimination going on here too.
If not, then kindly disregard...
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Sent: 16 February 2016 01:17
Subject: [access-uk] Re: DRM is Evil! an observation
I am beginning to consider that as an option, I'm looking at all my options
right now. I can accept that Amazon don't want to do business with me which is
their perfect right, however when you've invested thousands of pounds in
content, you naturally expect that content to be accessible to you. It's like
filling up your house with valuable works of art, furniture and other pieces
only to have Amazon take the keys from you, locking you out of your home and
denying you access to the content you rightfully own. It's only when it hits
you do you realise what a catastrophe it is. Whenever you write to Amazon's
account specialists, you get pro former emails, obviously scripted with no
recourse. You don't get a name, the agent who sends out the email doesn't even
introduce themselves, it's shocking impersonal dehumanising service.
Anyway, I need to rest this sleepy head of mine. Take care.
From: James English
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:02 AM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: DRM is Evil! an observation
You should certainly pursue legal action against Amazon. This is a breech of
the consumer rights act, and is fundamentally against the law.
On 2/16/16, Ibrahim Gucukoglu <ibrahim_gucukoglu@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi Everyone.** To leave the list, click on the immediately-following link:-
This little piece was written about me by my brother, it discusses the
consequences of digital lockouts. I was unfortunately enough to loose
access to my Amazon account last week, and the likelihood is that I
will not be able to have it reopened. This wouldn’t be a serious
issue if it weren’t for the enormous audible library I thought I
Amazon have closed my brother's account because he was returning too
many articles to them. He'd apparently crossed some sacred threshold
or other--presumably one calculated to be the least profitable to
Amazon--with the result that he can no longer log in to his account.
And you'll never guess what that means for his very handsome
collection of Audible books.
Go on, take a guess. You'll probably get it first time ...
The DRM on Audible content requires that any device obtain a key from
Amazon, after logging in to an account. Any device already possessing
that key can of course continue to download and play any content, but
without logging in, a new device cannot obtain the key. Amazon have
made it very clear to my brother that they have no intention of
allowing him further access to his account. So Amazon has put an
effective end-of-life date on all of my brother's Audible "Purchases";
as soon as he resets the devices, sells and replaces them, etc., his Audible
collection will be no more.
I'd just like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that DRM is
thoroughly and fundamentally evil. It's wicked. It's corrupt. It's
iniquitous. And it's not about piracy at all, it's about control. You
don't own the things you "buy" if the content is locked with a key you
don't have and can't get. The true owner is simply parting you from
your money with the vague promise of letting you use the key, which
they endeavour to keep you from discovering, lest you use it in ways
not approved by the owner--for instance by unlocking your digital
content permanently and thus freeing yourself from the owner's
grip--but which they will make available to you while using software
that they trust to protect their, and not your, interests. And of
course, the owner always has the option of not letting you use your
key at all, by telling the server not to give it to the software.
While your decryption key is in their hands, anything might happen to
your content, at any time, even if the owner promises to the contrary.
This racket is only possible because we give these content
distributors the money to enable it--to write the software that keeps
the keys safe from discovery while in your hands, to write laws that
prohibit people from breaking the software to access the content
without use of that software, and to criminalise perfectly legitimate
uses of content that are inconvenient for the bottom line, but that
are recognised by copyright and common sense as being reasonable and
fair. I sincerely hope you take something from this incident, as I
surely do, with something like this so close to home happening, and I
hope you'll be willing to think carefully about whose business
practices you'll be willing to support if you have the choice. I
understand that we don't all have the choice to exercise all the time,
and that it's easy to make up excuses and pray that it never happens
to us. I'd say that this was particularly true for blind people and
those with other reading challenges, because the selection of material
is already very limited. Audible makes a fantastic, sometimes
exclusive collection of audiobooks available.
But they, and any other DRM peddler, simply cannot be trusted. I have
made it a habit never to value any protected content too highly, and
I'm gratified to see the truth in it, sad as I am for my brother's
plight. For your own sake, wherever possible, you should make
arrangements to avoid DRM.
Try not to purchase anything you wouldn't keep from a DRM merchant.
You never know, it could be you this happens to, and you might be the
next person to own a handsome collection of strongly encrypted,
utterly useless files that you have no hope of playing, and who will
be out of pocket for the amount you "Bought" them for.
Hope this encourages some debate on the issue and those who use
Amazon, take heed!