Quick thoughts on publishing: Kindle and last.fm

Ok, so the Kindle 2 is out, with read-out-loud feature which the publishers don’t like. I don’t get it. This is a prove of concept feature. People will realize, they like having a book read to them, when they are driving. Or on the treadmill. And the Kindle 3 will have more HD space and Amazon will ship real audio books. And have a color display. And play music, too. And Steve Gillmor will be right again about the value proposition of liner notes. And I about audio books. But let the publishers complain for now, we shall not tell them about how giving away something for free actually entices people to later buy more.

And last.fm got all upset about Techcrunch writing that they give their data away, in this case about users playing the new U2 record before it was published. They are right to be upset, but the issue is different in my opinion. Again, users shouldn’t be blaming the company but their own behaviour. Downloaded an album before the release? Played it on iTunes, let it scrobble, maybe even broadcasted what you’re playing via the iChat status or the Skype status? How stupid are you? You were going to buy the album later anyway? That’s fine, but not the point, downloading is still illegal. And telling everybody you did. That is the really troublesome part to me. Do I trust last.fm with what they said? Sure I do, but when a court were to make them release that data, they’d have to anyway, so I’ll just be careful how I use the programm.

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