Until the Kindle Runs Out: Amazon Erases Orwell from Kindle

The Internet has changed the rules of ownership forever. I mean how much did you pay for those 347 songs in your iPod?

Somewhere between 0-and zilch!

Don’t B.S. me, I know it, you know it, everybody knows it. I’m not going to tell on you, OK?

So chill.

But what if you bought your digital copy of, I don’t know, a book. And let’s say (for argument sake, I feel very argumentative today, must be the heat) that you’re reading it in the train on your way to work and poof, it disappears from your digital reader/book thingy?

Did the batteries ran out?

Corrupted file?

401 Error Message-Massive Existence Failure?

The database hates you?

The answer is–Amazon just yanked your copy from your machine through the interweb ether. Congratulations! Welcome to the digital age!

Don’t believe me?

On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole — by Amazon.com.

In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.

An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function. “When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers’ devices, and refunded customers,” he said.

But what about that annoying window that pops up and “informs” me of my rights under the license agreement? You know the one nobody reads?

Turns out that Amazon doesn’t care if you read it or not:

Amazon’s published terms of service agreement for the Kindle does not appear to give the company the right to delete purchases after they have been made. It says Amazon grants customers the right to keep a “permanent copy of the applicable digital content.”

Yeah, that didn’t stop them from reaching into your files and erasing whatever the hell they wanted. Which led to some, just a few mind you, irate costumers:

People who bought the rescinded editions of the books reacted with indignation, while acknowledging the literary ironies involved. “Of all the books to recall,” said Charles Slater, an executive with a sheet-music retailer in Philadelphia, who bought the digital edition of “1984” for 99 cents last month. “I never imagined that Amazon actually had the right, the authority or even the ability to delete something that I had already purchased.”

Which is the polite way of saying, “WFT! I paid for this shit! You motherfucking retards! I want my money back, you hear me!,” or words to that effect.

It’s like they don’t want you to pay for it, or something. Way to go Amazon.


And now for another bastard child of the digital age (because the Internet makes no claims of ownership or parentage, but it whores itself on a first come first serve basis), Bill Maher’s New Rules comment on how America is like Michael Jackson (which now has been canceled so we bring to you something completely different):

P.S. The internet makes no claim of ownership, but HBO certainly does.

10 comments on “Until the Kindle Runs Out: Amazon Erases Orwell from Kindle

  1. Can you imagine the shit-storm that would erupt if this kind of behaviour was rolled out across all companies, and into real life? Think about the consequences of some guy turning up at your front door, barging in, then taking away the copy of Transformers bought off “a friend”… Never happen.

    What Amazon has effectively started, by taking this action, is a slippery slide into Big Brother tactics. Ironic, huh? They are proving that they have the ability to find out what you are reading, what you are buying and what you have downloaded illegally. If this is how they treat people, then I don’t think that I’ll ever be using their services.

    I just thought of this, and I might be wrong, but doesn’t data privacy law prevent them from taking material off e-books? Was their action undertaken with the consent of their lawyers? I’m going to be taking a better look at this later. 🙂 Thanks for throwing light on Amazon’s behaviour.


  2. How I love my paper books….


  3. Hells yeah, I’m sticking to paper!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    God, could you imagine if you pulled a book off your shelf and its pages had gone blank??????????

    Wow. I feel faint just thinking of it…..


  4. yep, I’m sticking to paper for now. and when I do eventually get an e-reader (because I know I will, once they aren’t ridiculously priced) you can bet it won’t be made by Amazon.


    • Again, I agree. I’ll like to keep what I buy, thank you very much. Sony got my vote (or whomever comes up with a better product that has nothing to do with Amazon).


  5. I find it an additional irony that the video you posted was removed for a terms of service violation.


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