Sometimes the language we use fails to capture the essence of what we’re doing when we are online, or lulls us into a false sense of security about our behavior and what it means. For example, we’ve gotten pretty used to the idea that we can “buy” ebooks from Amazon: we just click a button and pay with a credit card and there it is on our Kindle. Except that we aren’t really buying it in the traditional sense of the word; we are merely renting it, or paying for access to it under a specific set of circumstances — and a recent incident in which a woman’s account was blocked and all of her books removed without explanation is a healthy reminder of that.
Norwegian technology blogger Martin Bekkelund describes how his friend Linn Jordet Nygaard found that her Amazon account had been shut down and access to all of her Kindle books (about 60 of them) had been blocked. Although some initial reports said that her books had been wiped from her device remotely — echoing an earlier incident several years ago, in which Amazon deleted copies of 1984 and Animal Farm from users’ Kindles because of a licensing error — it later emerged that Nygaard’s Kindle had malfunctioned, but she still wasn’t able to access her books even through her account.

Read the rest at gigaom

And another report on the subject