In another episode of “Sticking It To The Man Through Lego” we present a spider that manually clicks through the pages of a Kindle book and then signals a computer to take a picture of the e-ink screen, perform some OCR, and spit out a completely DRM-free copy of the text. In short, it’s a sort of intelligent photocopier that is, in theory, completely legal.
Created by Peter Purgathofer of Vienna University of Technology, the project is more of an art piece than a working bit of technology so don’t go expecting to see the plans on The Pirate Bay. Purgathofer believes that Amazon’s original promises in regards to loaning and reselling books have been broken and that the publishing industry, in concert with Amazon, has bolstered copyright law. “The DIY kindle scanner is an art installation reflecting this loss of rights Jeff Bezos first defended for us, but then chose to remove. It also is a statement about the futility of DRM,” Purgathofer wrote.
“Please note that this is a project i did in my private time, as a private person, and it reflects my private views. I do not consider it part of my work at the Vienna University of Technology.”
This project falls into the “analog hole” of the DMCA which allows you to take pictures of content under the doctrine of fair use. It’s a bit sneaky once you get those pictures into the computer, but it is legal under digital copyright law. And hey, Lego.