A minor storm has been brewing over the past few days regarding Findings, a company that until recently allowed readers to share their Kindle highlights. It seems Amazon has told Findings that it can no longer offer this service, a decision that has been blamed on the demands of publishers.
It’s not hard to see why some in the publishing world might be aghast at the idea of a service like Findings. If you’re of the mindset that sharing is just a fancy name for copying, then you might fret that customers could end up sharing highlights in a way that circumvents the need for other customers to actually buy a copy of the book. Never mind that publishers can already limit the amount of a book that can be highlighted.
Some conspiracy theories have already developed regarding the real reason for Amazon’s decision to cut off Findings. Is it, as has been stated in public, due to resistance from publishers? Or is it, as others have suggested, a little more complicated? Either way, customers have lost access to a function that many found useful, and Findings has had to focus on its web clipping business.