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Discussion Starter #1
I sent the following to Amazon Customer Service yesterday. I understand that Amazon is trying to 'get this right', but sometimes feel like the right hand isn't talking to the left. I'm also wondering on what mandates are making it down to the software development group.
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Before I begin, note that I own a Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 and at this time had planned on keeping up with major hardware updates. I have plenty of family members who are readers and would appreciate the use of my pre-owned Kindles as I purchase new ones.

With that fact in mind, I would like clarification on book ownership. I recently called to ask how I remove a book from my Archives and was told I could not as I own the book and it would always be available to my account. I then read the policy about reaching the 6 device limit and the fact that even if a Kindle is deregistered from my account, any books on it would be associated to that Kindle. Please offer clarification on the policy statement from Customer Service "Kindle Book Licensing Restrictions-The licenses associated with most books and other non-subscription content purchased from the Kindle Store allow you to download and view each item for your personal use on up to six Kindles registered to your Amazon.com account. If you deregister a Kindle for whatever reason, the licenses for any books downloaded to that Kindle remain linked with the device.", particularly with the statement "your personal use on up to six Kindles registered to your Amazon.com account".

If a device is no longer registered to my account or gets registered to another user's account, how can that content license still be associated to MY account when the Kindle is not? A new owner cannot access the content from their account and if content licenses travel with the Kindles, how does that reconcile with content licensing being registered to my Amazon.com account? The content license for that item is now out in the ether with no owner according to my understanding of your current policy.

In the case of my purchasing a 7th Kindle and disposing of the 1st, that would mean that I have a content license that is not available to me.

I raise this issue because I frequently go back and re-read book purchases from 10 or more years in the past and unless something drastic happens, I see myself enjoying my current and future Kindles far into the future. So before I invest more time and money rebuilding my book library in electronic format, I need clarification on your policy.

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It seems to me that not much thinking should be involved with fixing this. You have to re-register a Kindle on the device itself, it cannot be done from the website; the first time you do so, the initial sync should be able to wipe out any previous Amazon purchases from the device while leaving other content. Am I missing something here?

Customer Service is supposed to respond to all inquiries within about 12 hours, so we'll see what I'll have in my Inbox in the morning. I plan to be patient; the telephone Customer Service is exemplary, but I find the email CS a little lacking. There seem to be a lot of boilerplate emails initially sent that require nastygram clarification followups.

My hope is to get the issue nailed down without the ambiguity that exists now. Wish me luck!
 

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thank you -- you put my thoughts into perfect form  ....

I am thinking that with the addition of being able to put Kindle books on your iPhone and iTouch that Amazon will have to address this sooner rather than later since many people replace or update those items quite frequently.

As I have said before I have many books on my Kindle including ones that I have in DTB form and have repurchased for my Kindle - if this is true and it doesn't change - then I feel that I am only leasing the books (at a high rate) rather than purchasing them.  Not a fan of that idea at all.  :(
 

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That's good. Their policy isn't too clear on this specific issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What's even more confusing about the policy is that Amazon has the power to remotely remove a book from your Kindle when it syncs.  That leaves me wondering if the problem is that they don't want to expend resources on the issue rather than it being that they can't. 

 

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Jesslyn said:
What's even more confusing about the policy is that Amazon has the power to remotely remove a book from your Kindle when it syncs. That leaves me wondering if the problem is that they don't want to expend resources on the issue rather than it being that they can't.
Maybe in the short run that may work, but they may soon find themselves scrambling as people add/replace iPhones & iTouches to their account as well as replacing and adding Kindles to their household. Amazon is going to have to address this issue, it's just a matter of if they address the issue now while the issue only affects a small minority of their customers, or later when a large percentage of their customers are contacting customer service about this issue.
 

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Jesslyn said:
Customer Service is supposed to respond to all inquiries within about 12 hours, so we'll see what I'll have in my Inbox in the morning. I plan to be patient; the telephone Customer Service is exemplary, but I find the email CS a little lacking. There seem to be a lot of boilerplate emails initially sent that require nastygram clarification followups.
I'd be surprised if they address this at all. When I have emailed CS about a confusing topic such as this, they've simply ignored it. Then the one time I got really frustrated and demanded non-form-letter clarification of something less confusing but that they'd responded to with serial form letters, they sent me that horrible email about how my problem actually paled in comparison to the problems of homeless people dying in the street, child abuse, and arctic whale poaching. I am SO unhappy with the email CS from amazon it's not even funny. The phone sector is much much MUCH better.
 

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I know that reading this policy made it very clear to me that I would not be sharing my Kindle account with anyone. Well, maybe my Fiance if he ever wanted a Kindle. And I suppose my parents.

I do wonder what some of the folks who sold their K1's with books on them will do now? The old Kindle still has the book license.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
webhill said:
I'd be surprised if they address this at all. When I have emailed CS about a confusing topic such as this, they've simply ignored it. Then the one time I got really frustrated and demanded non-form-letter clarification of something less confusing but that they'd responded to with serial form letters, they sent me that horrible email about how my problem actually paled in comparison to the problems of homeless people dying in the street, child abuse, and arctic whale poaching. I am SO unhappy with the email CS from amazon it's not even funny. The phone sector is much much MUCH better.
In the past when I've been ignored, I send a 2nd (3rd, 4th) request nastygram that evenutally gets addressed. 4th is probably too much because I usually call after #3 and have an irritated customer conversation :-\

Sparkplug said:
Maybe in the short run that may work, but they may soon find themselves scrambling as people add/replace iPhones & iTouches to their account as well as replacing and adding Kindles to their household. Amazon is going to have to address this issue, it's just a matter of if they address the issue now while the issue only affects a small minority of their customers, or later when a large percentage of their customers are contacting customer service about this issue.
They are going to have to address this now or they'll end up doing major backend work a couple of years from now. I would imagine that any database conversions they have to deal are growing everyday that passes.
 

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Thx for posting this!  I had gotten conflicting answers.  One customer service rep on phone told me once I deregistered, the liscense gets added back to my account (I was sent a replacement K2).  However, earlier, I had emailed amazon and they gave me a response which is not really helpful...all it said was we are aware of the issue and if I have issues downloading a book contact customer service.
 

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I'm glad you wrote the letter, and it sums up my own feelings quite well to boot. Having said that, I think Amazon is a pretty solid company, and it's certainly in their best interest to get matters like this remedied. They may not always be the most organized, but I'm sure they'll get it taken care of.
 

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In hindsight, I guess this could be another reason why they removed the SD Card slot...previously could we just store the books on the sd card and take it Kindle from Kindle as long as it's registered to us?  (I never used that feature...)
 

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I'm tired of paying for things and losing them.. like Itunes... Itunes should be able to keep a record and know I bought that song 5 years ago and should have full rights to download it again.
 

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rho said:
thank you -- you put my thoughts into perfect form ....

I am thinking that with the addition of being able to put Kindle books on your iPhone and iTouch that Amazon will have to address this sooner rather than later since many people replace or update those items quite frequently.

As I have said before I have many books on my Kindle including ones that I have in DTB form and have repurchased for my Kindle - if this is true and it doesn't change - then I feel that I am only leasing the books (at a high rate) rather than purchasing them. Not a fan of that idea at all. :(
It's like you took the words right outta my mouth. How many more versions of Kindle or how many times might I upgrade my phone or Ipod in the next oh, 10 years? Even though I just purchased my first Kindle, I will still definitely replace items enough to go through more than 6 licenses within the next decade...I would wager nearly anything on it. And that's just ME....without even entertaining the possibility of sharing my library (account) with my hubby or my daughter.

I definitely don't like feeling as though I'm only leasing the books I'm purchasing, but that's exactly what it's feeling like. :-\ I can't wait to hear the outcome...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update on the issue from my Blog:
A couple of days ago, I blogged about emailing Customer Service on the six device limit and what to do when I reach the 7th Kindle device.  Just so you know, I am up to 3 devices, a Kindle 1, a Kindle 2 and an iPhone.  I'll be at 5 with one more iteration of each, so I'm a little worried.

Well, of course, Amazon did not get back to me even after two additional email follow-ups, so I contacted them today; I had another question to ask about the iPhone sync so was looking to kill two birds with one stone.  I spoke to a nice man named Maurice.

Book Licenses - 6 Device limit

Basically, I was told that this limit was put into place because of potential book club abuse.  I guess since they couldn't get away with telling you what you can and cannot do with a book you purchased, they have to limit the number of devices that you can put it on.  I can understand the sentiment and appreciate their dilemma, but think that their execution sucks big-time.  Amazon is taking the lazy route. 

I don't think many average Kindle owners have a problem with the 6 devices at one time limit.  We have a problem with the license being forever tied to a device that we a)sold to someone who is using a different Amazon account, b)threw away because of age, etc. or c)have replaced with the newest model.  Like I said earlier, I have been a Kindle owner for one measly year have 3 devices by Amazon's count and could be at 5 devices by this time next year.  When I mentioned that to Maurice, he quickly assured me that there was no date for the Kindle 3, to which I reminded him of the statements by Amazon about (less than?) 6 months ago that there was no date for Kindle 2; that doesn't even take into account the possiblity of a new iPhone in the near future. Riiiiiight....

I was assured that all Amazon has to do is "look at the logs" to figure out if someone was abusing their licensing and that when I got to my 7th device, a phone call would be able clear things up and I would be able to pull my books down to that 7th device.  Okay, but what makes them think I want to go thru a long list of  my books with some Customer Service guy to have them manually released?  Amazon was quick enough to automate the deletion of a book that I returned and received a refund on--why would it be hard to do so on a device I de-register?

I am a little insulted by the policy.  As it stands right now, I can't delete any book that is in my purchase list (currently at 123 books), but I only own them up to six times.  So even if I read and delete, keeping only one book at a time on any Kindle/iPhone pair, two licenses go up in smoke.  This is a prime case for the Kindle hack that allows purchasing of non-Amazon content--at least I OWN those for any device I want to upload them to.

So there's the answer; its not very satisfying.   

I have gotten so tired of this trend to legislate against the few rule-breakers while inconveniencing the majority--and not just with Amazon.

Oh--the iPhone sync issue?  I'll write about that later.  One problem at a time.
 

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Worse yet, from luv's experience it sounds like you have to keep track of what books you have on what device. And then they have to hand delete the license. I have a sneaking suspicion that the policy will change when they have a flood of people calling in to have hundreds of books deleted from their K1 or K2 or old IPhone and ITouch.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah--didn't bother me until I realized that a new iPhone and new Kindle (3?) will bring me to 5.  That means no reference book purchases for me!
 

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Not that it makes me feel any better but I think that it refers to books that have been put on 6 actual devices - you have to actually send a book that was on Kindle 1 for example to Kindle 2 or to (in my case) my iTouch.  But it would mean we would have to keep track of what books were where (since I can't see anywhere that shows which is where) to know if you had used up your 6 licenses on that particular book.

I don't see why it can't be set up that if you de-register a device that it frees up whatever books are on that device for another license.  I'm not a computer type person but I can't imagine that would be impossible to set up -- after all if you sell your Kindle and de-register it the person who buys it doesn't have access to your account - and they can delete books from your Kindle if you return it so it should be able to be done that when it is de-registered all books on that particular device are deleted from that device but not your digital library.

I hope that made sense - very tired tonight so forgive me if it is clear as mud.  :p
 

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I'm one person and I guess I've used up four licenses for each of my books (broken deregistered K1, replacement K1, spare K1 and an iphone).  I interpreted Amazon's policy regarding book licenses to refer to "any six devices at one time registered to my account" rather than "a total of 6 licenses per book period."  I used my 1st K1 for two months before it broke.  I've owned the spare K1 for approximately one month.  I registered it to my account and transferred book content to test functionality since I bought the device used.  I registered my iphone and transferred book content just to try the new functionality.  I have no intention of reading books on my iphone.

I too contacted CS about this issue. They deregistered the spare K1 and the iphone (something I could have done myself) but said, that indeed, I only had 2 licenses left of each book I purchased from Amazon.  I did get my account flagged and a written email confirming that Amazon would do a book-by-book transfer to any device I registered after the six license limitation has been reached.......it will require me to call CS for each time I add a new device.

I do think Amazon electronic book customers should be warned and all electronic books on the Amazon site should clearly state that you are only purchasing the right to transfer a book six times.  I really do feel that Kindle purchasers and Amazon electronic book purchasers have been or are being mislead. For many, this issue has not come to fruition yet.  When it does, I would not be surprised if class action consumer lawsuits end up being filed against Amazon.  The problem will grow in magnitude the longer Amazon delays in resolving this issue fairly and definitively.
 

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I agree with everyone that this policy seems very unfair in its present configuration.  I haven't been particularly worried about it because I don't reread too many books.  I have KK, DH has K2 and there are only about half a dozen books we have on both Ks, but the CS rep I talked with couldn't even confirm for me whether every book I had before DH got his K2 counts as "2" now because they are on the same account.  He also couldn't tell me whether downloading to the computer and then transferring to a K counts as a third license.  Very frustrating.  If both things are true and we have downloaded most books thru the computer because of lousy WN coverage, then every book is 3 licenses and will only require one upgrade from each of us before we are already at 5  - NOT GOOD!  Guess I will skip the I-phone app completely and think again about buying Kindle copies of DTBs already in my library.
 
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