Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Digital Road To Nowhere

After experimenting with his new Kindle DX, rock star David Byrne (Talking Heads) identifies a problem I hadn't (but should've, given the amount of energy federal archivists have put into trying to solve the same problem as it pertains to other digitized documents):
Years from now, having gone through a few computers, your music collection is unplayable except for the files without DRM. Well, same with these books — if you migrate to a different tablet (the forthcoming Apple one we hear so much about, for example), you are [unlucky]. All the unread books in your Kindle library are stuck on what will eventually become antiquated technology.
And yet...As Kindle users know, the books you buy (though not the newspapers, magazines, and blog articles) are saved indefinitely on Amazon's servers. If the buyer retains the right to view the texts even after the Kindle is replaced by something else, maybe Amazon will end up with the responsibility for making sure the data is available to the users who purchased them.

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