Why? It all started with a patent. In 1997 Amazon introduced a feature on its web site called 1-Click shopping. The idea was that the site would remember your address and billing information from prior purchases so that you wouldn't have to re-enter them every time you bought something. It was a pretty good idea, good enough that Amazon applied for, and received, a patent on it. MORE >>
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos is indisputably the man of the moment around the offices of TIME magazine — what with him being our Man of the Year and all — but it's important for us to remind ourselves that not everybody is quite so enamored of him. Take Richard Stallman, for example. Stallman, a top-flight computer programmer and a prominent spokesman for the open source movement, is calling for a boycott of Amazon.com.