Kindling A Firestorm

Why I won’t buy a Kindle from Amazon. They send books down the memory hole:

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.

Amazon effectively acknowledged that the deletions were a bad idea. “We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances,” Mr. Herdener said.

A truly, stupendously stupid move by Amazon. This could very well be a disaster for the Kindle. As the article acknowledges, the people who bought this edition did nothing whatsoever wrong, nor was Amazon within its rights to do what they did.

I’m betting lawsuits will be forthcoming on this.

A lot of people just got an education on how easily technology can be abused, too. 

We are trying to ascertain if there is any truth to the rumor that politicians are interested in publishing their campaign promises via Kindle from now on.

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3 Responses to Kindling A Firestorm

  1. Plumpplumber(balding) says:

    Orwell, indeed? Wow! The average person who shops with Amazon is fairly literate, I believe, and the obscene irony won’t be missed. Amazon will be monitoring these blogs to see the impact of this bone headed, illegal enforcement of a spurious arguement.

  2. Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET says:

    Wow, a book I had to read in High School! And I am closing in on 55.

  3. Bob Sykes says:

    What Amazon did is breaking and entering and theft. Those were felonies. The chanting about license agreements and copyright law is a red herring.

    On the bright side, this shows how very dangerous technologies like Kindle and iPod are. Similar write/delete/monitor capabilites may not already exist in iPod and iPhone but they could.

    This also raises issues about online backups and computing. The potential for abuses like theft of data and identity, monitoring activities, thought, friendship networks and communications is extreme. The temptation to companies is extreme, too. Because the online data has also sorts of commercial, police and political uses, and various groups would pay handsomely to get it.

    If a company like Amazon would do this without a second thought, think what Google might do, or what a company with criminal management or political connections might do.

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