Earlier this week, many sites and some publications reported that Amazon released the source code to its Kindle products, making them “open” platforms for development. While it is true that Kindle source code updates were released, the company has been doing this for a while, as is evident from the different versions of source code available on the site. It’s required by the license under which Amazon is using open-source applications and the Linux operating system, known as the GPL.
However, it is not a release of source code of the system for displaying e-books on the device, but of the GNU-licensed code used in the device. It is possible to get at some of the features of the operating system using this code, but one cannot access any of the code for the e-book reader, the Kindle format or digital rights management (DRM) features of Kindle, as Ryan Paul of Ars Technica explains here.
I didn’t post about this until now, because it wasn’t news, but a misunderstanding. We now return to things that are really happening.