Digital rights (was: kindle)

John G Heim jheim at
Tue Sep 15 15:34:15 UTC 2015

For pete's sake, Sam, would you please stop saying I (or anyone) said 
that Amazon has an ethical obligation to write a command line app for 
linux. This is the second time I've pointed out that I haven't said that 
and I don't think anyone else has either.

What I've said is that it is not unethical to hack DRM on a kindle book 
so you *can* read it on your linux command line platform. It's not 
ethical for Amazon to keep me from doing that.

It is absolutely NOT reasonable for Amazon to say you have to buy their 
computer to read their books. Holy cow, have you ever heard of a public 
library?  Do you think a publisher should be able to say a public 
library cannot carry their books?

I think it's very easy for you to say these things but if the world you 
envision actually existed, you wouldn't like it very much. People with 
this libertarian attitude don't understand the huge amount of hard work 
that has been done on their behalf by some very dedicated people over 
many years. If everybody thought the way you did, there'd be no speakup, 
brltty, or orca. Android and IOS wouldn't have screen readers. Bookshare 
wouldn't exist. Public libraries wouldn't exist.

On 09/15/2015 10:02 AM, Sam Hartman wrote:
>>>>>> "John" == John G Heim <jheim at> writes:
>      John> No one on a linux users list should criticize someone else for
>      John> their choice of platform.
> I don't criticize the choice of platform.
> Beyond a certain point--and I definitely think command line linux is
> well past that point--I don't think it's Amazon's problem to make it
> accessible.
> I think it's entirely reasonable for you to try and convince them they
> should.
> If I were in there position, I would be very hard to convince.
> However,  I reject the idea that there is some ethical judgment against
> Amazon because they choose not to support command-line Linux.
> I'll note that they almost certainly don't support command-line Linux
> for sighted users either.
>      John> Otherwise, Amazon could say if you
>      John> want access to our books, you have to buy our computers and
>      John> use our software.
> I think it's entirely reasonable for Amazon to say this.
> I'd choose not to do business with them if they did.
>      John> And if it doesn't work for you, too
>      John> bad.
> I wouldn't go that far.  Amazon for a variety of reasons has obligations
> related to accessibility.  However, I think those obligations are only
> related to the platforms they support.  I was very frustrated at
> Amazon's Android accessibility, and cases where they used captchas with
> no audio option on their websites (and had a nice chat with a VP at
> Amazon about that issue).
> However, in these cases, they have chosen to support Android and the
> browser respectively.
> They have not, and I don't think it is reasonable that they should be
> obligated to, support command-line Linux.
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at

John Heim, jheim at, skype:john.g.heim

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list