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Amazon Remotely Deleting Books From Kindle

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 60 comments

Beware of Big Brother.

Those who have adopted the Amazon e-book way of reading today discovered something that they surely weren't counting on – having their books remotely deleted from their Kindles.

In what is glaring irony, George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm were the two books that the publisher decided it no longer wanted Kindle owners to have access to. Instead of just pulling the book from the store and stopping any further sales, it had Amazon send out a kill notice to delete all those books from any device that they were purchased on.

Amazon said that this occurrence is rare, but for those who purchased the books and were halfway through reading them – even once is too many times, even if they were issued refunds.

If there was any argument for owning physical media – and books, out of all possibilities – this would be a prime example.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    Raid3r , July 17, 2009 10:59 PM
    wtf
  • 24 Hide
    FilthPig2004 , July 17, 2009 11:08 PM
    Way to destroy fledgling consumer confidence in digital distribution, Amazon. No wonder so many turn to piracy.
  • 14 Hide
    jsloan , July 17, 2009 11:17 PM
    wow, i almost bought one of those things, came real close, didn't because unlike mp3 you really don't own the books you get and now i see just how much you don't really own the books, not only can't you sell them later on, like you can with regular books, or give them away, like you can with other books, but they can take them away from you at anytime they and the copyright owners are fighting with each othr.

    yeap, even after people pay for them. wow, and they give lawyers a bad name, sounds like a class action lawsuit is what is needed.

    customer is poorly represented in this new electronic world...
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Hitokage , July 17, 2009 10:56 PM
    What.
  • 29 Hide
    Raid3r , July 17, 2009 10:59 PM
    wtf
  • 12 Hide
    Ramar , July 17, 2009 11:00 PM
    What on earth are they thinking?

    There's usually a "good" reason for this, and if there isn't, someone start the Anti-Amazon petition.
  • 24 Hide
    FilthPig2004 , July 17, 2009 11:08 PM
    Way to destroy fledgling consumer confidence in digital distribution, Amazon. No wonder so many turn to piracy.
  • 14 Hide
    jsloan , July 17, 2009 11:17 PM
    wow, i almost bought one of those things, came real close, didn't because unlike mp3 you really don't own the books you get and now i see just how much you don't really own the books, not only can't you sell them later on, like you can with regular books, or give them away, like you can with other books, but they can take them away from you at anytime they and the copyright owners are fighting with each othr.

    yeap, even after people pay for them. wow, and they give lawyers a bad name, sounds like a class action lawsuit is what is needed.

    customer is poorly represented in this new electronic world...
  • 9 Hide
    ricardok , July 17, 2009 11:30 PM
    This is the proof that no one really cares about things you BUY!! If you bought the ebook than you can still have it. Oh, I don't want anyone to have my printed book, let's call the police and search every single house for a copy of the book and burn it (a little bit nazi for you? ;)  ) So, the big brother is taking a different approach. Instead of the governments it's companies.

    Congratulations America. This is the so called FREEDOM..
  • 5 Hide
    Regulas , July 17, 2009 11:31 PM
    WTF, I will stick with good old paper and guess what, no batteries required.
    This is another reason I don't do DRM that requires a internet connection to activate the game and download games like Steam. You can argue that steam would never block a game but I bet a week ago no one would say they would books (I guess they rent/lease) deleted off their kindle.
  • 8 Hide
    socrates047 , July 17, 2009 11:42 PM
    lol.. irony indeed...
    Big brother really is watching!
  • 8 Hide
    knutjb , July 17, 2009 11:54 PM
    That is morally wrong, legally too, I would imagine. If they put a book up for sale electronically it should be treated just like the paper copy. I certainly have lost interest in this kind of technology regardless of how rare the occurrence.
  • 9 Hide
    Regected , July 18, 2009 12:05 AM
    Four legs good. Two legs bad.
  • 4 Hide
    NuclearShadow , July 18, 2009 12:05 AM
    So are those who lost the books due to this getting refunds? If I as one of those effected by this I certainly would demand one.
  • 5 Hide
    maigo , July 18, 2009 12:08 AM
    Yeah, I like owning my books. I can't lose them all at once or delete them... oh and I can lend them (old-school piracy)
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , July 18, 2009 12:39 AM
    I have been purchasing ebooks through EReader.com for several years now (they are part of Palm One). No activation, I have the books on several devices, and never had a problem. I cannot remember the last time I actually purchased a paper book. This is a really bad business move on Amazon's part.
  • 3 Hide
    smithereen , July 18, 2009 12:54 AM
    Why George Orwell?
  • 13 Hide
    Greg_77 , July 18, 2009 1:12 AM
    So, basically, this is one of those "you don't own the software, you only license it" deals, except it isn't software, it's a book. Well, at least I can rest in peace knowing Amazon or a book publisher won't walk in my house and STEAL my books from my shelf. In my eyes this is stealing, even if their is a refund. How is this different from the publisher asking for its book back from your shelf with a full refund. This makes the Kindle that much more unappealing.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , July 18, 2009 1:25 AM
    This is WHY:
    - Digital Downloads of movies are NOT secure. Why BluRay or other solid-state future storage for movies will still be better.

    - Windows XP and newer MS-OS kind of suck. The EULA states that MS has the rights to: modify or delete ANYTHING on YOUR computer. Remember, Windows caches and stores all kinds of personal information... that other OSs don't seem to "need" to do.

    - This is not good for Kindle, Amazon. Another idiot media company, not understanding the future. Lets see... anyone can lend a friend a book or DVD, etc. I just lent a work-buddy my box-set of Fire Fly (which I've done 6 times before), he'll be buying his OWN box set now.
  • 5 Hide
    San Pedro , July 18, 2009 1:50 AM
    I would never buy kindle. I rarely buy books at all, even though I read a lot. There's a thing called a library where I can go to borrow a book free of charge, and then take it back once I'm done. It's really great. I highly suggest them for people who read a lot.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , July 18, 2009 1:57 AM
    The article linked to has an addition:
    "EDITOR’S NOTE | 8:41 p.m. The Times published an article explaining that the Orwell books were unauthorized editions that Amazon removed from its Kindle store. However, Amazon said it would not automatically remove purchased copies of Kindle books if a similar situation arose in the future."
    So these ebook sales weren't legal in the first place, because the real rights holder apparently didn't approve. Amazon says the remote deletions were a bad idea and won't be doing that again, even if the same situation pops up.
    Still, now way am I getting a Kindle now.
  • 4 Hide
    ira176 , July 18, 2009 2:07 AM
    Tantamount to a larceny.
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