July 27, 2009
[efoods]Don’t look now, but no matter where you go, you’re connected. We — or most of us, at least — have opened our front doors to large corporations, hardware manufacturers, software firms and search engines. We have allowed them to rifle through our jacket pockets and handbags. And now they can do as they wish with us, or do the bidding of the powers-that-be — in the form of a totalitarian government, for example.
Don’t believe it? Well, consider a recent incident involving the Internet bookseller Amazon and two works by — ironically enough — George Orwell. Amazon had been selling the titles, “1984” and “Animal Farm,” to owners of its Kindle reader, the special e-book device the bookseller developed. However, it turned out that the publishers of the Orwell books didn’t own the electronic rights to the works. And so, to the surprise of buyers, Amazon erased the two books — which had been paid for and delivered — from the electronic reader. Amazon’s readers had unwittingly purchased pirate copies, it turned out.