Yet Another Reminder That You Don't Own Your Ebooks: B&N Nook Deletes Files, Blames User

from the poof-gone dept

Just as Barnes and Noble is updating the Nook, its ebook reader that hasn't gotten much traction, comes reports that of an upset customer who found that the Nook deleted all of his files, and when he complained to B&N, the company basically told him it was his fault and there was nothing it could do. While B&N was able to restore the ebooks, it could not restore anything else, not from B&N, such as his own documents and notes:
I tried to turn my Nook on this morning and it wouldn't turn on. Finally, it gave me a screen that said it was updating and that I needed to leave it be, so I did. When it had finished updating it had wiped all of the files off of my nook. When I reregister the device, the books from B&N will return, but everything, including documents not from B&N, has been deleted.

When I called technical support (1-800-THE-BOOK) to complain/make sure they were aware of the problem so that it wouldn't happen to other people, I was informed that this can happen when the device hasn't been updated in awhile. I asked if this was something they were trying to fix and I was blamed for the fact that everything had been wiped from my device because I had not been studiously updating the device. I asked if he understood how absurdly incompetent this was, my computer, after all, does not delete all my files because I don't update it for awhile. I was informed that my computer updates everyday, whereas I have apparently not updated my nook in a terribly long unspecified length of time, which was just too long and too many updates for it to handle without deleting all my files.
Amazon got in a lot of hot water years ago for deleting copies of an ebook. You would think Barnes & Noble would know better than to do the same.
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Filed Under: ebooks, nook, ownership
Companies: barnes & noble


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2010 @ 11:04am

    i cannot believe how misleading this headline is. i expect this kind of reporting from the consumerist, not techdirt.

    and i am calling you out on it.

    during a nook update all his files were lost. but they were only lost ON THE NOOK. the books were still there in his account, and all were fully restored to the reader by B&N (which is strange, he should be able to just log in and get them)

    His other files? the ones he put on there? well, those files should also be somewhere else, like his computer. You cannot generate content (other than notes) on your nook. you can only consume it. And the chance of losing files is present in ANY device when conducting an update, your ipod, your phone, your computer.

    imagine if the story was: guy loses all of his iTunes when he updates to windows 7, Apple restores all of the purchased files but refuses to restore the MP3's he got from ripping personal CD's. Would your headline be about how evil Apple is?

    basically you are using one guys lack of back up to prove we don't own ebooks, even though he got all of his ebooks back? B&N does the right thing and he does the wrong thing, and ... what exactly?

    look, DRM bad, yes, ebook policies which allow sellers to erase ebooks, bad, yes. but seriously, false reporting is bad too. i expect better of techdirt.

    i expect better.

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