By now, everyone and their uncle is talking about how Amazon took back a couple of Orwell titles from Kindle users. They have, of course, the right to do this. You’re not actually purchasing ebooks from Amazon. You’re licensing them.
Or so the argument goes.
The linked article says that there’s nothing in the published user’s agreement that actually lets people know that. And, when you go to “buy” a Kindle book on Amazon, it says “buy now” not “license now.”
This is a PR disaster by any stretch of the imagination.
But I wonder if it’s not a violation of the ADA. For some of us, if they want to read any book at all, they have to read it on a Kindle, because it’s lightweight and doesn’t require the dexterity of holding a book while turning pages. This might seem like a small thing to most of us, but to those of us who can’t do it? It’s not like arthritis is an uncommon condition.
So, yes, for many of us, if the Kindle book is no longer there and Amazon gave us back our money, we can just go actually buy the book, now that we’re aware that Amazon doesn’t think we’re actually buying a book when we buy a Kindle version. But what about the folks whose only option is the Kindle?
I know that there are buildings who don’t have to be ADA compliant, so, if there never was an elevator in this 1840s building, you don’t have to put one in. But, if you put one in, you now have an obligation to keep it working.
So, maybe folks who physically can’t use books don’t have a right to a book in an electronic form if it’s not, but once it is, isn’t there some obligation to keep it that way?
Seems like there might be.