There are some people that believe Amazon is taking steps to slowly eliminate the option that allows Kindle owners to download purchased ebooks from Amazon’s website for USB transfer.
Earlier this year Amazon stopped allowing people to download Kindle Unlimited titles for USB transfer, and the option to download samples was removed some time ago as well, so they’ve already started to remove the USB download option in some instances.
The advantage of downloading ebooks from Amazon’s website for USB transfer is the fact that they get delivered in Amazon’s older format, and the DRM can easily be removed from them so they aren’t locked into the Kindle platform.
There are still some people that don’t have WiFi access as well, so they need a download and transfer option in order to get purchased ebooks onto Kindles, but the number of people in this category is likely very low and shrinking by the year.
There are also some people that simply prefer to use other brands of ereaders instead of Kindles but they still buy ebooks from Amazon for some reason or other, and Amazon has locked many authors that use Kindle Unlimited into exclusivity contracts so they’re not allowed to sell their own ebooks on other platforms.
Most other options for downloading Kindle books result in ebooks getting delievered in Amazon’s newer KFX format, and DRM cannot be removed from KFX ebooks.
Older Kindles don’t support KFX format so Amazon has to keep their older ebook format around for them. But what’s going to happen in 5 or 10 years when the usage numbers for these olders Kindles is so low that Amazon can cut them off with minimal impact? Kindles don’t last forever. Eventually older models will become unsupported at some point.
When that happens, is Amazon going to disable USB transfers altogether? The option is kind of a holdover of an older time anyway when WiFi wasn’t so widespread. Not all ebook stores offer a USB download and transfer option. Maybe Amazon is headed that way too, or maybe they’ll just switch everything over to KFX format and leave older Kindles out of the loop.
Or maybe AI will flood Amazon with such a ridiculous amount of self-published rubbish that Amazon loses its virtual monopoly ? It is already starting to happen : I purchased an AI generated summary, of, a non-fiction book,and it wasn’t very good.
Ross Presser says
Before decryption of DRM came out, there were efforts, by various individuals, to use screen capture in the service of converting encrypted ebooks to ordinary text. As long as people are permitted to view ebooks on screens that can be screen-captured, or that can be photographed using a cell phone, this option will be available for those who care about it. Sure, you lose the fancy CSS formatting unless you manually rebuild it. For a great many books, especially most fiction, that doesn’t matter.
I assume they will at some point. It is a ‘hole’ after all in their desire to keep everything locked down. I back up my purchases from Amazon monthly. I do it in case Amazon/Kindle disappears all together i want the ability to read my books on another ereader. Which I am sure won’t happen but I want the peace of mind. When/If Amazon discontinues this feature I will stop buying from them and get books elsewhere that still affords me the option to find ways to backup my books.
Yes, I expect that they probably will do something like this at some point. I don’t think it will be immediately, because there would likely be a hue and outcry from those keeping older Kindles. But eventually, yes.
And, that may be the end of me purchasing ebooks from Amazon. I don’t purchase many, just some authors I’ve enjoyed who only publish there, but some. Barnes and Noble pulled that stunt and I haven’t bought a single ebook from them since, not even a freebie.
I can only hope that Kobo and Google don’t go down that path. But it could eventually happen. I’m sure publishers are in favor of ebooks only through certain apps and devices.
If Amazon does go down that path and Kobo does NOT, it might push more folks over to Kobo though.
I’ll be done with Amazon if this occurs and I but a ton of books every year from thenm.
I use a Kobo but buy from Amazon because I can do this and their prices are frequently the cheapest. Would suck if they cut that off, but I’d sooner pay more for the books than switch from my Kobo. Not sure Amazon stands to gain anything here.
I seriously doubt Amazon will block USB transfers. No other e-reader does that, so why shoot themselves in the foot by all of a sudden stop doing something others do? Secondly, it just doesn’t make sense at all. I can see them wanting to protect the books they sell from being pirated, but not stopping users from adding their own content outside of Amazon.
That’s not what this article is about at all. It has nothing to do with sideloaded books. It’s about being able to download purchased books from Amazon for USB transfer.