Kindle Unlimited is a new service from Amazon which gives the customer free access to thousands of books for a fee of $9.99 a month.
But what happens to our notes, highlights and bookmarks? Do we get to keep those if we leave Kindle Unlimited?
I just asked Amazon customer service and the answer turns out to be “no.”
When you cancel your Kindle Unlimited subscription, you will be able to access your Kindle Unlimited books until the next billing date listed on your Kindle Unlimited subscription. At the end of your subscription, you will lose access to all your Kindle Unlimited books. Your bookmarks, notes, and highlights will be saved to your Amazon account, but won’t be available until you purchase the book later or renew your Kindle Unlimited subscription. (emphasis added)
This means that if you want to keep your research materials (your research materials, mind you) you will have to pay Amazon a ransom every month for the rest of your life. Right now it’s around $120 a year. Clearly, Amazon can set this ransom at any amount it wants.
This must be one of those new fangled business strategies they call making a service “sticky.” Sticky, yes, and golly if it doesn’t smell too.
A rule of thumb: Content created by the customer belongs to the customer.
We could split the difference here, if need be. Amazon may have a legitimate claim to withholding our bookmarks and highlights. But notes? Notes belong to us.