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Amazon Pulls Purchased E-Book Copies of 1984 and Animal Farm

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the miniplenty-malquoted-kindle-rectify dept.

Books 645

Oracle Goddess writes "In a story just dripping with irony, Amazon Kindle owners awoke this morning to discover that 1984 and Animal Farm had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for, and thought they owned. Apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by George Orwell from people's Kindles and credited their accounts for the price. Amazon customer service may or may not have responded to queries by stating, 'We've always been at war with Eastasia.'"

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645 comments

Whatever The Party says (5, Funny)

acrobg (1175095) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735901)

...must be the complete truth. Or else the thought police will come get you.

Not Big Brother. (3, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736043)

Big Amazon.
for those of you old enough to have seen the schlock sci-fi "rollerball" it's central theme was that big brotherism actually is more likely to be durable under corporate control rather than government control. A kind of facism where the role of the state is secondary.

I think it was big oil in rollerball. but it could have been big amazon.

plus the idea of a big Amazon woman is somewhat scarier than a big brother.

Re:Not Big Brother. (4, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736197)

plus the idea of a big Amazon woman is somewhat scarier than a big brother.

Obligatory Futurama reference: "Death by snoo snoo."

haha (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28735907)

fuck kindle. buy real books and support real trees

Re:haha (5, Funny)

TheRon6 (929989) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736009)

buy real books and support real trees

If by "support" you mean "dismember and ground up," then yes.

Re:haha (4, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736131)

If by "dismember and ground up", you mean "carbon capture". It's not rain forest trees going into your books. It's farm trees + natural trees with strict replanting laws.

Re:haha (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736145)

Yes! Woo hooo! Ground up! Dismembered! Pulp!

At least I can be relatively sure Barnes & Noble won't break into my house and steal my copy of 1984 simply because their agreements have changed.

Yes, even if they leave money on the nightstand I still consider it stealing.

Re:haha (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736313)

Hear, hear! Didn't like it in the first place! I too will stick to my nice, PRINTED books, thank you very much!

With DRM (5, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735919)

You always lose. This is just another example.

Stay away from the Kindle! (5, Informative)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736069)

For "$DEITY" sake, don't use, buy or recommend to anyone the Kindle!

It was designed from day one to be enable Amazon to fuck you and this is exactly what happened. I'm not surprised.

An alternative ereader with better hardware, open architecture and NOT defective by design is the iLiad by iRex. Yes, it runs Linux and you can install third-part programs. And, yes, it costs a little more, but if you value your freedom (and your books) it's more than worth it.

Disclaimer: I don't work for iRex, I'm only an happy customer.

Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736153)

Error $DEITY undefined.

I'm atheist you insensitive clod.

Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (5, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736223)

Maybe I'm confused, but I thought the atheists defined it as an empty string, while the agnostics leave it in an undefined state.

Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736283)

MOD UP PLEASE

Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736327)

Works for me. \o/

root@matrix:~# echo For "$DEITY" sake
For Charles Darwin sake
root@matrix:~#

Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (2, Informative)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736231)

Not to nitpick, but 1984 and Animal Farm aren't available for the iRex at all. Not legally anyway. And if they are, I will certainly mod you up for linking me to them.

This isn't a karma hunt, just looking for legitimate copies of the books on an e-reader.

Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736279)

You can just ignore the fact that the Kindle supports azw format books and use it for reading pretty much the same stuff as the iLiad (well, Kindle doesn't support .mobi drm, but you can use the Kindle to access Wikipedia from anywhere it has service, and you have to use USB for file transfers to the Kindle).

Also, the Kindle is available in the United States without jumping through hoops.

The key to dealing with DRM is to make sure you are aware that the media is encumbered before you decide to buy and to factor the DRM into the purchase (for instance, most people that know about and understand the DRM used on DVDs purchase them anyway), not to avoid any and all hardware that supports playing that media.

The Whispernet support is similar, I doubt Amazon will keep it turned on until 2020, so think about the fact that it may get turned off before purchasing a Kindle for that feature.

Re:With DRM (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736217)

I was actually thinking about buying a kindle but after reading this story I 100% against buying one. Way to go amazon.

Re:With DRM (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736299)

Why would you buy something that you can't back up your books on? With even other DRM-laden readers out there this can't happen because they all have memory slots that would allow you to have multiple places where you keep anything you buy. My Sony Ebook reader has 32 gigs of books ( mostly pirated ) that is 16x the amount you can get on the Kindle.

Legally, how? (5, Insightful)

SkankinMonkey (528381) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735923)

This seems extremely shady legally. You bought and paid for something. Electronic or not, how do they have the right to take it away from you? I could MAYBE understand if it was a subscription-based service in which you had access to a collection, but for them to take this away from someone who specifically bought the book seems legally dubious at best.

Re:Legally, how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28735955)

its like a product recall -- they just recalled the product. perfectly legal, since its included in the kindle license contract that all kindle reader owners agreed to. they might even give a refund if you ask nicely.

Re:Legally, how? (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735993)

No, all product recalls are strictly voluntary.

You're dumb if you don't participate in a recall, though, because you /are/ compensated or given a safer/better-working/improved product in return.

This is not a recall.

--
BMO

Re:Legally, how? (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736061)

You're dumb if you don't participate in a recall, though, because you /are/ compensated or given a safer/better-working/improved product in return.

I would say it depends on the recall. If it's for e.g. a Battlestar Galactica toy that shoots rubber darts but which can fire nails equally well, you're probably better off keeping the toy (out of reach of small children) as a collector's item.

Re:Legally, how? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736357)

Not always. In the UK they recalled perfectly working Pace Satellite boxes (only think wrong was there was a nonzero chance of the cables getting trapped, so they needed cable ties adding) and replaced them with secondhand Thomsons (3 year old plus) with dodgy power supplies, or if you were *really* lucky Amstrads that were, well, Amstrad.

Smart people told Sky to F Off and kept their nice boxes.

Re:Legally, how? (5, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735961)

This happens all the time (the Major Leage Baseball deletions, Microsoft's older DRM, etc). The difference here is that Amazon was generous enough to refund the price; usually the company just keeps it because "all sales are final".

Personally I think they should be banned from using the word sale; indefinite rental is more accurate.

Re:Legally, how? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736181)

"All sales are final" makes me think that they couldn't do this. If the sale is final, then how can the negate it!?

Re:Legally, how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736295)

"All sales are final" wouldn't exactly fly in court when this whole issue is about that Kindle sales quite obviously aren't.

Re:Legally, how? (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735999)

If they got a refund then it is probably OK. Besides it's probably in the EULA. You *did* read the EULA, didn't you?

Re:Legally, how? (5, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736157)

The relevant part:

Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon.

They contradict themselves with the use of "permanent copy" and "will be deemed licensed to you". If you read that last line, it doesn't even make sense. "It will be deemed licensed to you unless otherwise provided by Amazon"? That's poor grammar at best. I think what they mean to say is, "You get the license unless we take it back," but that's not what they've written.

Regardless, whether to force someone to sell you something is legal under their "terms of service", it's bad business. As this story grows, I can see e-bay piling up with Kindles.

Re:Legally, how? (4, Insightful)

lucif3r (1391761) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736239)

As this story grows, I can see e-bay piling up with Kindles.

I think you greatly overestimate the overlap between 1984 fans and Kindle users. Most (if not all) people unaffected will ignore this in a "...and then they came for me" type of ignorance.

Re:Legally, how? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736317)

I think the last sentence means that all content falls under that license unless a specific title expressly says otherwise.

Re:Legally, how? (4, Informative)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736229)

Except it's NOT in the license. Quoted here in case it mysteriously changes:

Use of Digital Content. Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200144530&#content [amazon.com]

Re:Legally, how? (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736247)

so? it's bad ethically. My wife, non techie, now doesn't like the kindle after I told her this. It's bad publicity for them. She loves the Sony reader I bought, she's got tons of book from the Gutenberg project (and now google is helping make it easier for her through the sony ebook store).

Re:Legally, how? (5, Insightful)

whterbt (211035) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736031)

It's because you paid money for access to DRM-protected content. You didn't buy shit. It's their device (you paid money for the use of it), their content (you pay a fee to get to view it). At no time did they actually give you anything.

It's just like a DVD. What are you paying $20 for? Is it for the right to view the content? If it were, then you should be able to get a cheap replacement when the disc fails, right? Well if it's not that, then you paid for the copy of the movie, I suppose? But then, why can't you make a copy?

Pay money for DRM'd content and you'll get exactly what they want to give you - smoke and mirrors.

Re:Legally, how? (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736097)

It's just like a DVD.

No, it's not.

The studio can't send out a kill-signal disabling all copies of a DVD. They can't even do that to Blu-ray. Not even DRM'd stuff from iTunes can be remotely deleted or disabled, just prevented from being downloaded again.

Re:Legally, how? (1, Insightful)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736129)

Not even DRM'd stuff from iTunes can be remotely deleted or disabled, just prevented from being downloaded again.

Didn't you just get that iTunes update? It fixed this problem. (Not really, of course. It'll be the next update that does.)

Re:Legally, how? (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736117)

When they bought the kindle, there was probably a clause on the EULA that said this (and more!) was possible.

I buy that more than "they got a refund so it's ok". In the "real world", if you buy, for example, a first edition of a rare book, they can't just say "we want it back, here's your money", because it's possible that its value will have increased since the time you purchased it (imagine it's an important book, first edition is rare, etc). I wonder how that argument would translate to this case tho..

Re:Legally, how? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736135)

This seems extremely shady legally. You bought and paid for something

Well probably technically you didn't buy it. Generally when you "buy" online content, you're not really buying anything. You're paying a licensing fee, and the terms of the license include "we can pull the content and rescind your license whenever we want without an explanation."

Re:Legally, how? (1)

Bluecobra (906623) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736147)

If the policy is the same as Amazon's MP3 store, you are paying for the "license" to read a book and therefore you don't own the book. Likewise, I don't own any of my MP3's from Amazon--I just have a license to listen to it. And I'm sure Amazon holds the right to terminate a license anytime for any reason. It's just now they have the technical ability to do this on every Kindle device out there.

Re:Legally, how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736149)

You bought and paid for something.

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.
The word you are looking for is LICENSED.

Though Amazon's terms of use [amazon.com] are kind of ambiguous (suprised?)

Use of Digital Content:
  Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon.

Re:Legally, how? (1)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736319)

I can't stress this enough to friends, coworkers, online buddies, and everyone I meet in airports toting Kindles.

When you download a book from Amazon on the Kindle, you are not purchasing the contents of the book. You are purchasing a license that allows you to view the contents of that book. Those contents may change due to online interaction, to put it in gamer terms for the local crowd here.

Does this put me off the Kindle? No. I think they are extremely nifty. Would I be pissed were I halfway through Animal Farm when it got yanked? Yes. Quite.

This is a Brave New World, friends. How we react is what defines the future of the medium. Marches? Protests? Griping on a message board? Refusing to purchase it? Calling your Senator? All very valid responses.

I do wonder how many Kindle owners will throw them away after reading this. I also wonder how many of the loudest voices here in this forum actually own a Kindle and will cast it aside due to this startling turn of events...

My guess is that nothing changed today, and nothing will.

People speak loudest when they are least willing to act. Welcome to the farm.

The author has been dead for 60 years! (5, Insightful)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735931)

How can there still be a copyright on this?

No wait - politicans of course.

But more to the point SHOULD there be a copyright on something from that long ago?

And if someone says it is public domain, how can they not only sell it but also deny people right to use it?

Re:The author has been dead for 60 years! (5, Insightful)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736059)

In the US, you can thank Disney for copyrights being extended to death of author plus seventy years. Orwell died in 1950. For corporate authorship, it is 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier

Re:The author has been dead for 60 years! (4, Insightful)

bitrex (859228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736175)

In the case of music copyrights, one can also thank the Gershwin estate [asu.edu] among others for lobbying on behalf of copyright extension - Gershwin's music is big business and the copyright holders would like to make sure that American Airlines (as one past example) would have to keep paying large sums of money for the rights to use "An American in Paris" for as long as possible.

Re:The author has been dead for 60 years! (4, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736323)

In the USA Copyright lengths are very simple. Anything older than Mickey Mouse is public domain and everything else is still copyrighted.

Re:The author has been dead for 60 years! (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736273)

At most, copyright should last for until original authors death + ZERO years. For commissioned work where the creator was never the rights holder, it should last for average life expectancy minus the average age of a country's workforce - retested regularly (though not frequently). Anything else is ridiculous.

Class Action Lawsuit? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28735963)

Please, oh, please, Kindle owners sue! This would make for an interesting case. If the property in question were concrete like a lawn mower that I purchased at Home Depot, HD decides they want it back so they pull it from my back yard but credit my account isn't that still theft? I'm dying to see what is made of this.

I can see Amazon no longer allowing it to be purchased for download but actively pulling content that has already been purchased and downloaded sounds criminal.

Re:Class Action Lawsuit? (4, Insightful)

brusk (135896) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736241)

If the property in question were concrete like a lawn mower that I purchased at Home Depot, HD decides they want it back so they pull it from my back yard but credit my account isn't that still theft?

In this case it seems that Amazon didn't actually have the rights they needed to sell it to you in the first place. A better analogy would be if you bought a used car, then the dealership came back to you and said, "it turns out the car we sold you was stolen, and we had no right to sell it to you in the first place. Here's your money back." Yeah, that would suck, but I don't see any alternative (under the current legal regime).

If Amazon sold the product without having had the rights to it in the first place, and they don't recall it in this way, they're liable to be sued by the copyright owners. It's not (apparently) a matter of them arbitrarily deciding that the value had gone up and changing their minds.

Re:Class Action Lawsuit? (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736307)

I think it's important to note that in your analogy, the alternative to giving back the money for the stolen car is to just take the car and not give you the money. That could actually happen.

In this case, could that happen as well? Yes, I think it could.

Re:Class Action Lawsuit? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736345)

Please, oh, please, Kindle owners sue!

Disclaimer: IANAL.
Reading the license agreement, it looks like Amazon has no right to do this, which implies that buyers should be compensated for the loss of their purchase -- the question is, what is compensation? A refund? Or replacement (hardcopy)?
The biggest problem, though is that the license agreement specifies arbitration for any disputes (unless Amazon decides otherwise).

Why Buy it When you Can Get it Legally for Free? (5, Informative)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28735975)

Who would buy a book from a publisher and sales person who think it's okay to sell you DRM crap and then take it away on a whim when you can get those exact same books legally, and for free?

Animal Farm: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100011.txt [gutenberg.net.au]

1984: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100021.txt [gutenberg.net.au]

Re:Why Buy it When you Can Get it Legally for Free (4, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736037)

when you can get those exact same books legally

That's great if you're kicking it in the Outback or somewhere else sane, but here in the States 1984 it is still under copyright (I assume using the simple heuristic that it was created after Steam Boat Willie) and so probably not actually legal.

Re:Why Buy it When you Can Get it Legally for Free (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736125)

True [wikipedia.org]...

Copyright status

Nineteen Eighty-Four will not enter the public domain in the United States until 2044 and in the European Union until 2020, although it is public domain in countries such as Canada, Russia, and Australia.

95 Fucking Years?

Re:Why Buy it When you Can Get it Legally for Free (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736189)

created after Steam Boat Willie

This will only work for "company" copyrights (works for hire, etc), since they are strictly based on years from creation.

For anything copyrighted by a real person, you have to factor in the date that person died.

What it says is (0, Flamebait)

microbee (682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736007)

Your data is not safe with us -- Kindle.

Imagine Bush were going to read the novel from his Kindle at an elementary school..I wonder what his facial reaction would be when he couldn't find the book. Must be very confused. :-)

Think of the possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736013)

Think of the censorship possibilities this presents.

MobileReference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736025)

Looks like MobileReference is the publisher. I think they deserve their fair share of the blame for this as well.

Not irony in the literay sense... (-1)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736041)

Not really Irony...

"A statement that, when taken in context, may actually mean the opposite of what is written literally; the use of words expressing something other than their literal intention, notably as a form of humor; The quality or state of an event being both coincidental and contradictory in a humorous or ..." - Wickonary.org

Let the fighting begin... (Any Alanis Morrissett fans? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironic_(song) [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Not irony in the literay sense... (3, Insightful)

KTheorem (999253) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736213)

Nineteen Eighty-Four has a very noticeable anti-censorship/information destroying bent to it. This is ironic because it's a coincidence that Nineteen Eighty-Four is the book being removed and it is contradictory in that one of the messages of the book is that information should not be removed which is humerus because it is so obviously going to attract bad publicity when it could have been avoided (yay for schadenfreude).

Forced to download edits to books (5, Interesting)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736057)

I was quite surprised when an automatic update for a copy of the Stand (Stephen King) was pushed onto me, without my consent and without notification as to what had changed. Backup copies aren't hard to make. But who owns the copy? Does Amazon own my Kindle? Do I not have a right to refuse an update?

Re:Forced to download edits to books (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736261)

Yes you do have a right to refuse an update. Even Microsoft gives you this right.

Just now Windows Update ran by itself, downloaded updates and popped up an alert saying "New updates are now ready to install." Underneath was a "CANCEL" button that you can press to refuse the update.

Time to avoid the Kindle? (1)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736077)

More importantly for me, this incident highlights the problem with Kindle. I guess you don't really own anything you buy, and you're subject to the whims of the publisher. At least with a paper book or even say a PDF, you have the copy (eletronic or physical) in a means you can control.

I was contemplating about buying a Kindle but this incident, puts it on the backburner for me. Instead I'm going to wait for a device that I can control, and avoid an e-Book store like Kindle has.

I really hope all electronic content stores aren't headed in this direction. I understand publisher/content owners rights but if a vendor can control what is removed from my device how soon until a book, music, video, electronic format, appears and it upsets a lot of people to the point where a government or company caves in and gets it censored. At that point, imagine people who aren't offended by the content having a device like Kindle that removes the censored content that wasn't offensive to these people. Maybe an alarmist thought, but a scary one.

If I own it, I want it with me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736079)

That's why I like to have my own copies of the PDF's on my own LOCAL storage period. I do NOT trust any global corporation to hold on to my stuff for me with free access to my files. Screw that.

The largest flaw with the kindle is that I can't just put my own files on it without going through some type of service.

We called it the "Library of Alexandria" problem. (3, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736085)

Back on the Xanadu project we called the single-server model for content the "Library of Alexandria" problem: A disaster wiping out the server (and its backups), like the burning of the Library of Alexandria when, for many works, it contained the only (or or one of very few) copies, permanently removes the documents served by that repository from the literature. (The solution is the "multiple record" - mass printing of dead-tree books prior to automation, broad distribution of the immutable content and versioning information in the case of an "electronic literature".)

Of course centralized and mutable serving of content also enables, and greatly simplifies, the "rewriting of history" described by Orwell in the two books in question. So it is particularly ironic that these are the ones that were pulled.

Well, suspicion confirmed (2, Informative)

corran__horn (178058) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736095)

Well, this at least confirms that Amazon does have absolute power over the Kindle and relegates it to the land of Zune for me. That, and that iRiver's mp3 player has a text reader as well.

Put down the pitchforks (-1)

changedx (1338273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736103)

Amazon deleted it because the seller didn't have rights to the book. It's not censorship or thought suppression.

Here is a *legal* copy: http://www.amazon.com/Nineteen-Eighty-Four/dp/B002A9JO9W/ref=sr_oe_2_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247861828&sr=1-2 [amazon.com]

It's not any different than if I took a public-domain work and tried to sell a Kindle version on Amazon. Once it was discovered, Amazon should refund the end customers (which it has done in this case) and then take up action against me.

Re:Put down the pitchforks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736201)

Why are they charging $10 for a book that anyone can legally download for free?

Re:Put down the pitchforks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736263)

IANAL, but I think(from what I have seen discussed before) that if you were to do some formatting issues (ie fix spellings, rearrange bits and pieces, add chapter marks, index, glossary, etc) you could claim copyright on that new edition(or at least the parts added to it), but not on the original work.

So you would end up with 2 versions, one that someone has a copyright on(because they added stuff to it, and really I think only has copyright on the new stuff but it might be in such a way as to make it inseparable), and one that is in the public domain.

Re:Put down the pitchforks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736309)

Really? You can't sell public domain works for profit? When's the last time you read a dead-tree book version of Shakespeare?

The Prime Reason Why (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736107)

I'll never buy a Kindle. When Amazon pulls this shit they're depriving a customer of their license to view the book. The customer now has a grievance against Amazon.

I'm sure this is contractually okay (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736127)

The fine print in the EULA probably allows for this, but this is certainly not in the spirit of good and normal commerce and is probably actionable under several state laws and possibly even federal laws.

I have to wonder if this "retraction" of books isn't merely an irony, but an action taken to call attention to certain issues?

Re:I'm sure this is contractually okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28736209)

I have to wonder if this "retraction" of books isn't merely an irony, but an action taken to call attention to certain issues?

If it were anyone else but Jeff Bozos and Amazon I might agree, but that outfit is questionable in many other areas already.

Kindle has a remote kill feature? (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736173)

I had no idea that Kindle had such a feature where Amazon can wipe stuff off your device without your permission.

I was seriously considering buying one for myself, and one for my brother's birthday (pre-loaded with all his favorite SF novels). No way in hell i'm gonna buy one now. I guess he's getting a set of ShamWow this year.

BTW do iPods have a similar feature, wherein Apple can delete shit off your ipod that you purchased from iTunes? I've been wanting to buy an iPod Touch and access the App store for a while now, but the things that kept me from it are 1) battery not user-replaceable and 2) concerns about hidden powers Apple might have to mess with my device without me knowing.

So that cuts it. I'll not buy a Kindle. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736187)

I thought about buying one on and off. But now that I've learned Amazon doesn't respect its customers purchased property, forget about it.

This kind of thing will Doom the Kindle out of the mainstream. Who wants to buy something that could at any moment, and without warning disappear? Nobody likes things they thought were tangible suddenly becoming intangible. It's the same reason the original Circuit-City DIVX scheme never took off.

suckers (4, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736205)

Oh dead tree books are so obsolete, even though they are cheap, last longer than I ever will, can't be altered from a distance, and don't need electricity! Same with CDs, DVDs, and other durable backup media that can't be taken from me and don't depend on some here-today-gone-tomorrow license server! And land lines! Who needs them when we have such fickle and expensive cell phone service with far less coverage!

You know, it's one thing to be a Luddite, and quite another to stay with reliable, cheap, and fully functional technologies until the newer alternatives truly surpass them.

All Geeks Unite (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736207)

The irony of this is almost too thick to cut through. This is absolutely unacceptable, and Amazon must recant this position. Once books are legitimately purchased, it is decidedly wrong and completely unethical to even have the power to perform an action such as this. This cannot be tolerated.

Please flood the Kindle product page with negative reviews so that prospective buyers can be aware of this jaw dropping breach of trust and display of power:
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Amazons-Wireless-Reading-Generation/dp/B00154JDAI/ [amazon.com]

While I have long taken a stance against DRM, this is horrifying and cannot and should not be tolerated by anybody, out of principle if nothing else. I sincerely hope this results in a class-action lawsuit.

Amazon also breached their own EULA (1)

snitty (308387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736255)

They actually breached their license agreements with their users who downloaded the book:

http://www.technicallylegal.org/amazon-breaches-kindle-user-contracts/ [technicallylegal.org]

The EULA does say that you can't collect damages, and have to arbitrate confidentially in Seattle.

Makes you wonder if people who had this are free to breach the other parts of the contract now that Amazon has breached their duty? Could they reverse engineer now?

Public domain in Australia (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736267)

Australians are probably wondering why anyone would buy an e-book that's already in the public domain. These books probably would be here in the US too but for all the copyright extensions we've had purchased over the years by certain organizations like Disney.

Please (2)

SoVeryTired (967875) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736329)

Vote with your wallets. *Do not buy kindles*.
If you own one and are sickened by this, sell it second-hand for 4/5 of the price. This, more than anything, will hurt Amazon. Let them know why you're reselling/refusing to buy, too.

Stupid stupid stupid (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28736341)

I'm amazed at this. Not that some company wanted them to do it; but that Amazon did it. All comments about "big, evil corporations" aside - are they trying to kill the Kindle? Don't they see what a PR nightmare this could be?

Why on earth should I buy an expensive electronic book reader from them, EVER, when they've just demonstrated that I might have my legally-purchased books deleted at any time?

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