Von: "Millie Niss" <men2 at>
Datum: 12. Dezember 2006 17:17:48 GMT+01:00
Betreff: [webartery] Amazon Noir
Antwort an:

I think I understand the theoretical "ideas" behind the Amazon Noir
project as well as anyone (questioning the validity of copyright, etc.)
and I even sympathize with these ideas in many ways (for example,
I defend the rights of artists to "remix" or "mashup" published
material to create new art).

However, the Amazon Noir project, which consisted of subverting
Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature to reassemble and redistribute
entire books, then extorting money out of Amazon in exchange for not
publicizing the technique's details. This seems to me like a criminal act
more that conceptual art, but what bothers me most is that it is the
kind of behavior that destroys what is good about the Internet, namely
the easy availability of information for free.

I use Amazon's "Search Inside" feature almost every day. I often use it
to make a final decision about buying a book. Often, searching inside
shows me that I do not in fact want the book, but equally often, it gets me
to buy a book from an author I do not know and whose book I would
never buy blind. It is of mutual benefit to me and to Amazon-- a classis
win-win exchange.

This feature allows me in particular (and I note that Amazon.France
was a target of the Amazon Noir campaign) to examine French books
which I have no way of looking at in real life, being in the US. It also
allows me to get books I need when I am too ill to go to a bricks and
mortar store. Internationalizing culture and providing remote access
to the disabled are extremely valuable services provided by the Internet,
and these opportunities are jeopardized by irresponsible and arrogant
projects such as Amazon Noir.

The "Search Inside" feature asks publishers to risk a small loss of sales
from people who get all they want online and do not buy the book in
exchange for potentially greater sales and goodwill from customers
who use the feature to find and buy exactly what they need. It is a
loosening of the stranglehold of copyright, and as such should be
applauded by opponents of copyright. Actions such as Amazon Noir
only serve to tighten the grip with which publishers will hold on to
their proprietary data.

Millie Niss