Group Calls On Amazon To End Kindle DRM

    August 4, 2009

The Free Software Foundation has launched an online petition to convince to drop its use of digital rights management (DRM) technology on its Kindle.

The move comes after Amazon deleted customers copies of George Orwell’s "Animal Farm" and "1984" without notice. Amazon says the titles were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have the rights to them and it removed the copies at the request of the publisher from both its Kindle store and users personal electronic readers.

The online petition currently has more than 1,400 signatures including those of free software advocate Richard Stallman, Creative Commons and Change Congress co-founder Lawrence Lessig and Harvard law professor John Palfrey.

Peter T. Brown"The freedom to read without supervision or interference is central to a free society," said FSF executive director Peter Brown.

"When ebook products like the Kindle use DRM to restrict what users can do with their books, that is a clear threat to the free exchange of ideas."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized for the error in a Kindle Community forum post. "This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our ‘solution’ to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles."

The Kindle terms and conditions state digital content is licensed to the user, but not owned by them.

"Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon."