Amazon and Two Sides of the Intellectual Property Coin
Last week, Amazon sent a DMCA takedown notice to MobileRead requiring MobileRead to stop hosting, or even linking to, a kindle script that allowed users to buy mobipocket books at other retailers and load those mobipocket books onto the Kindle. The unique thing about the kindle script was that it did not remove any DRM, but instead allowed you to change the Mobipocket DRM to match that of the Kindle. It allowed a Kindle user greater flexibility in enjoying discounts other retailers on the internet offered.
On the other side of the coin, Amazon is being sued by corporate entertainment big wig Discovery (of the Discovery Channel) for infringing on the patent Discovery has for the delivery and sale of digital ebook content. The patent Discovery has seems to cover DRM schemes so I’m not sure why Discovery hasn’t sued before although it might be due to the issue that the patent is more broadly about delivery schemes:
The patent’s abstract describes how “a portable book-shaped viewer is used for secure viewing of the text” and how “a billing system performs the transaction, management, authorization, collection, and payments.” That last bit appears to be describing Amazon’s role as gatekeeper for the transactions involved in putting content on the Kindle.
Discovery doesn’t want an injunction halting the sale of the Kindle. Instead, it wants in on the cash flow Kindle might/will be generating.