As I said a year and a half ago:
Amazon’s named the device the Kindle, “to evoke the crackling ignition of knowledge,” in journalist Steven Levy’s phrase. Unfortunately, the name is more revealing than intended. The only “crackling ignition” most Kindle users will hear is the sound of their e-books going up in flames.
In related news, I now own a Kindle and I love it. It’s an amazingly convenient way to read, and I expect it to cause a substantial increase in my fiction consumption. With Amazon’s help, we’re finally figuring out how to do e-books right.
That’s why it’s all the more important to get the law and policy right, too. With dead-tree media, the bookstore can’t come to your house and steal back your books, and copyright law doesn’t put pressure on them to try. It’s time for a real law of digital property, one that’s capable of trumping intellectual property, just as first sale rights in physical property trump intellectual property.