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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a semi-paranoid question, and maybe someone can give a clear answer to it here:

Does Amazon know what's on each Kindle aside from the books we purchase from them? As with CDs, it seems like it should be Fair Use for someone to scan their own, purchased, hardcover books into a digital format, but would Amazon have a problem with it? Would they even know or care?

`Just curious. I want to be legit, you know.
 

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If you send something for conversion via Amazon that is is a protected format, they won't do the conversion for you.  I guess if you produce it yourself and convert it to a digital format they can't stop you.  They keep content you purchase from Amazon on backup for you but I don't think they pay attention to anything else, even if you send it through them for conversion.  For instance, if you send books from feedbooks, for instance, and later delete it from your Kindle, it will not be backed up on Amazon.

Also, I don't know much about copyright laws, but I'm fairly certain that publishers would not consider it 'fair use' to completely copy a book to a digital format.  I completely understand your point about CD's and that you're only using it yourself and have no intention of distributing or re-selling.  I just don't know if the publishers would see it that way.  Even if it is o.k. to do. . . .it seems like an awful lot of work to me. . . .but one person's work is another's fun, I guess.  :)

Ann
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
Also, I don't know much about copyright laws, but I'm fairly certain that publishers would not consider it 'fair use' to completely copy a book to a digital format. I completely understand your point about CD's and that you're only using it yourself and have no intention of distributing or re-selling. I just don't know if the publishers would see it that way. Even if it is o.k. to do. . . .it seems like an awful lot of work to me. . . .but one person's work is another's fun, I guess. :)

Ann
I think that is exactly what folks do over on mobileread.com. But I believe that the books that they scan and convert are supposed to be "public domain" books that they own a copy of. Someone correct me if I have this wrong.
 

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As far as I know the reputable 'free' book sites (feedbooks, manybooks) only have legitimate, legal, books, most of which are public domain.  Some are under copyright but the authors have permitted the digital conversion and distribution for free. 

Ann
 

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It is not fair use and you would be breaking the law. Look at any book that is copywrited and on the page with the copywrite and publication info you will see this or a similar phrase: "All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any format or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher."

Period.
 

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You were safe until you confessed your crime here!!  There is a $25 Amazon gift card bounty for criminals like you.  Drop you Kindle and run like ..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Specifically, I'm talking about books that are long out-of-print that I want to preserve in a digital format so I can re-read them without damaging the original codex.

I can't see Amazon or the publisher digging into the archives to start making digital versions of books they're no longer even selling, so I'm probably out of luck waiting for them to be converted to digital. A few don't even even exist on Amazon.com in used form, otherwise I could at least click the "I want to read on Kindle" button.

I guess I could always write to the individual authors (the ones who are still alive, anyway) and ask if they mind!  :D
 

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You might look on feedbooks and manybooks and see if someone has already done the work for you. . . you may be surprised.

I certainly understand your desire to preserve books not easily replaceable because of being out of print.  If we're talking letter of the law, well, I think you're breaking it.  I also think the likelihood of 'getting caught' is very very low. 

To further answer the original question, I really don't think Amazon has any ability to 'see' anything on your Kindle except Amazon purchased books and then they'd only see it for purposes of syncing  with more than one device.  And you can turn that off.

Ann
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
To further answer the original question, I really don't think Amazon has any ability to 'see' anything on your Kindle except Amazon purchased books and then they'd only see it for purposes of syncing with more than one device. And you can turn that off.
I don't know if it's that they don't have the capability so much as that they have not been reported to be using it.
 

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I've no doubt that Amazon can probably "see" the titles of documents on your Kindle, but I doubt they can see the content of those documents. Make of that what you will.

For the sake of argument, let's say you did have an infringing document on your Kindle (however it got there). Even if Amazon can see the title, they probably can't confirm it's what it says it is (huh?). Also, I suspect they don't care.

It's only the copyright holder who could "go after you" for it anyway, and there's no way they get that information without asking Amazon for it. I doubt Amazon can release that information (assuming they even store it at all...) without a subpoena, or at least violating your privacy pretty badly.

Short answer: Yeah, they probably know. But they're not making a record of it, and won't do anything about it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, that's kind of what I figured. Of course, if Amazon makes good on their goal of getting everything that was ever in print onto the Kindle, I'll purchase the legit ebooks... But that goal seems like it will take a long time at the current rate!

I wasn't really worried that the book police would come after me.  :eek:

Now, if only publishers would realize that making e-books out of lot of those older, out-of-print-but-still-technically-under-copyright books would be a total win for them (and with barely any risk). I have titles in my library that I love but don't want to handle over and over, and there are lots of books that I missed when they were they in print. Sure, I can get used copies (sometimes) but really, with a Kindle in hand, I'd rather just pay for a digital version and avoid the used bookstore hunt.

The Kindle has the potential to allow older, forgotten books to make a comeback. That's a function I can get behind.
 

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Depending on how it got converted, they could probably see it.
 
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