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December 6, 2012
Guess What, E-Books Still Suck
It's been a while since I posted anything in the "ebooks suck" category, so how about this one from the recent backlog: If your credit card on file happens to have expired, B&N will prevent you from reading their e-books
No, really, I can't make this stuff up. I suppose this is some bizarre marketroid's idea of how to prevent you from ever taking your business elsewhere. Not only will we not
sell rent you new e-books if your card has expired, we'll just glue shut the pages of ones you thought you already owned. Insert Cartoon Evil Villain Laugh here.
As Consumerist (and following up Techdirt) point out, it's not the e-book per se that is at fault here. It's the DRM. The DRM lock is what is preventing this legitimate user from reading her legally purchased e-books. The fact that she will now have to become a DRM criminal too is a shame.
However, saying "it's the DRM" is sort of like blaming the car that blew through the stoplight and rammed into you, as thought the car had no driver. The DRM exists because companies put it there, and it's configured to enforce paranoid and crippling restrictions because someone - a person, or group of persons - decided it should be so. "Paranoid" and "stupid" are not properties of software; they're attitudes of people, who choose to use, encode and configure the software. This is not a fight about technology, it's a fight about social and business policies. And one of the most effective ways to change business policies is to take your business elsewhere.
B&N has clearly shown that once you give them the slightest chance, they'll do everything they can to lock you in. So take your money elsewhere, people.
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