Don't like DRM and Amazon's ability to access your Kindle? The solution is easy: Don't buy a bloody Kindle!
The blogosphere and regular news outlets are buzzing again with a rekindled (pun definitely intended) story of the young man who lost summer work when Amazon deleted his copy of George Orwell's 1984. Apparently the media exposure Justin Gawronski received during the previous uproar wasn't enough. Now, according to PRNewsChannel.com, Mr. Gawronski is suing Amazon for damages over his lost work. According to the complaint,
As part of his studies of “1984,” Mr. Gawronski had made copious notes in the book. After Amazon remotely deleted “1984,” those notes were rendered useless because they no longer referenced the relevant parts of the book. The notes are still accessible on the Kindle 2 device in a file separate from the deleted book, but are of no value. For example, a note such as “remember this paragraph for your thesis” is useless if it does not actually a reference a specific paragraph. By deleting “1984” from Mr. Gawronski’s Kindle 2, this is the position in which Amazon left him. Mr. Gawronski now needs to recreate all of his studies.
Gawronski's lawyers also allege
“Technology companies increasingly feel that because they have the ability to access people’s personal property, they have the right to do so. That is 100% contrary to the laws of this country,” said Edelson.
Of course, a quick read of the Amazon Kindle Terms of Service shows that Amazon absolutely does have the right to do what they will with your books:
You acknowledge that the sale of the Device to you does not transfer to you title to or ownership of any intellectual property rights of Amazon or its suppliers. All of the Software is licensed, not sold, and such license is non-exclusive...
Amazon reserves the right to modify, suspend, or discontinue the Service at any time, and Amazon will not be liable to you should it exercise such right.
Further examination of the Terms of Service show them to highly favor Amazon and leave users with little recourse no matter what situation might arise. Guess what, Mr. Gawronski? When you opened your Kindle, you agreed to these terms.
If you have a problem with the terms, don't buy a Kindle. If you just want access to a vast, convenient library of titles, then go for it. If DRM and Amazon's Draconian Terms of Service bother you, then plenty of new e-readers are coming to market to challenge Kindle. Just don't turn around and sue Amazon when they live up to their terms.