Thursday, December 30, 2010

Amazon Kindle - The Anti-Social Reader, how clipping limits make pirated ebooks better than paid ebooks

Full disclosure, I've never bought an e-book before. This week I bought Infinite Jest. I figure if you're gonna pay ten dollars for something that isn't real, you should really get your money's worth out of that ten dollars.

I like to highlight things. I like to share them. That's why I got a Kindle. I wanted to become a SOCIAL READER. I wanted to share quotes from the books I'm reading to my social network, I wanted to write about the books I'm reading using quotes from the books. Amazon Kindle seemed like the right way to do this. Boy was I wrong.

While at lunch, reading my Kindle, I attempted to make a highlight. I was greeted with this omniously foul screen:

"Unable to share. You have reached the clipping limit for this item."

WTF! Clipping limit? The book is 1,079 pages. WTF limit! I understand if you had a limit that stopped people from clipping the entire book, or if it was based upon the length of the individual clip, but I only want to share a paragraph. It's not going the ruin the 1,079 pages for anybody. The publisher already has my 10 dollars. I also bought a hardback copy of the book for 15. The publisher has made a full 25 dollars off me, what more do they want?

Can they really stop me from clipping? No.

a footnote from Infinite Jest

But they can ruin Social Reading. They can take away our ability to read and share easily, which was the whole point of the Amazon Kindle.

It was supposted to be a gateway into a new world of social reading. I've always quoted passages in my history papers, footnoted passages with credit to the author and information on how to find the book. This allows others to seek out the source material and read it for themselves. If I quote a passage from Infinite Jest, I'm advertising the book on the internet for you, so that others will hear about it and buy the book. Other than the above mentioned case of someone clipping the entire book, they have nothing to worry about. The only thing they're doing is annoying their paying customers. I've paid. Why fuck me in the mouth when I'm trying to do you a favor and share information about your book? Discussing it on the internet with other readers brings life to the text. That's what social reading is about. Not "clipping limits", which I may add were NOT defined when I purchased this book, NOT negoitable, as though I could expand my clipping limit by paying more and pretty much turns this magical ebook into a rotten piece of shit. Readers of the freely downloadable pdf copy that's floating around out there don't have to deal with this restriction. So basically you've made your paid product less useful than the free version. And you didn't stop me from sharing, you just pissed me off.

Also, please tell me, where on this page does it say this book comes with a "clipping limit"? Seems like false advertising to me. I smell a lawsuit.

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