Yet another Kindle DRM oddity

A recent Gizmodo article reports on Kindle users being left in the dark with regard to knowing how many times they can download a purchased book, and on how many different devices they can read said book.

The limits vary by publisher, but obviously Amazon has to maintain them on the servers responsible for the digital restrictions management (DRM). Yet, somehow, it’s beneath Amazon to actually tell the users. This excerpt detailing a tech support call to Amazon says it all:

“How I find out (sic) how many times I can download any given book?” I asked. He replied, “I don’t think you can. That’s entirely up to the publisher and I don’t think we always know.”

I pressed – “You mean when you go to buy the book it doesn’t say `this book can be downloaded this number of times’ even though that limitation is there?” To which he replied, “No, I’m very sorry it doesn’t.”

Jack Loftus, who wrote the article for Gizmodo, opines:

With certain books, you could be limited in such a way that your reading material does not follow your gadget’s natural upgrade cycle.

Such is the pitfall of DRM. My take? It’s time to give DRM the burial it deserves. Everywhere.