Amazon states that “a copy of every book you purchased from the Kindle Store is backed up at Amazon.com in case you ever need to download it again. You can wirelessly re-download books for free any time. This allows you to make room for new titles on your Kindle, knowing that Amazon is storing your personal library of Kindle books. We even back up your last page read and annotations, so you’ll never lose those, either. Think of it as a bookshelf in your attic–even though you don’t see it, you know your books are there.”
Sounds good. Not too different from eReader’s policy where I can download books I bought more than decade ago to my iPhone, a device that didn’t even exist when I bought them. My problems occurred after downloading my copy of Freakonomics to my Kindle 1, my iPhone and iPod touch. I discovered I couldn’t download the book to my Kindle 2. I kept getting error after error that simply said this book can’t be loaded on this device. A little time with Google revealed I was not alone. It seems there’s a finite number of times each book can be downloaded, even if it’s downloaded to the same device. This number is set by the publisher and varies from book to book, but Amazon never mentions this, and there’s no indication of it anywhere during the purchase process. In short, it obviates the reason why one would buy an e-book in the first place. If I want to read Freakonomics at this point, I either have to find a device that I’m no longer using that has that content on it or buy a new copy. Sorry. That’s just not acceptable and I’ve been debating what books I’d buy in the future. That was until last week.
I think this is the point where people come to terms with how bad some of the DRM systems are for the Kindle, as well as the sheer thoughtlessness of design.