Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bezos: "stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles"

Jeff Bezoz, the founder and CEO of Amazon, wisely had this to say today about the recent Orwellian 1984 memory hole fiasco:

Initial post: Jul 23, 2009 12:16 PM PDT
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. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

With deep apology to our customers,

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO

(emphasis added)
I must say that such a quick and unequivocal apology is to be commended. (lessons here to be learned by the RIAA, CRIA, ASCAP, Access Copyright, etc.)

What Bezos clearly understands, and the RIAA and its ilk clearly do not, is that "the customer is always right." It's not a good idea to sue and/or screw your fans and/or customers.

Yes, "it's the copyright law, stupid" could become the reply to many burning questions. It was in this instance, since the edition remotely deleted by Amazon was legal in most countries because the copyright had expired, but not in the USA, which had foolishly extended the copyright term to life + 70 years just in time to cover Orwell.

There are obvious lessons to be learned here for Canada.

"It's the DMCA + , stupid" might be a good place to start as CRIA, CIRPA, CMPDA. ESA and others try to bring the DMCA + to Canada.

The DMCA + term extension + "three strikes" are the triple crown that CRIA, CMPDA, ESA and their various emanations are trying to bring to Canada. This is precisely the kind of regime that led Bezos and Amazon into this fiasco.

Ministers Clement and Moore and their officials will hopefully take note.


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