Skip to comments.Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle
Posted on 07/21/2009 11:54:55 AM PDT by nickcarraway
In George Orwells 1984, government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called 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.
Customers whose books were deleted indicated that MobileReference, a digital publisher, had sold them. An e-mail message to SoundTells, the company that owns MobileReference, was not immediately returned.
Digital books bought for the Kindle are sent to it over a wireless network. Amazon can also use that network to synchronize electronic books between devices and apparently to make them vanish.
An authorized digital edition of 1984 from its American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was still available on the Kindle store Friday night, but there was no such version of Animal Farm.
People who bought the rescinded editions of the books reacted with indignation, while acknowledging the literary ironies involved.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,
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I don’t know what the word is for this type of irony but I see images of a snake eating itself in between two mirrors that reflect ad infinitum...
And we all know who the number one Kindle fan is...
And still I see 0 point in owning a Kindle.
Reminds me of Al Gore living in a mansion, flying all over the world, and eating the fanciest richest chow. All while telling everyone else to live like cavemen to avoid some fake enemy.
While I like my Kindle I’ve found this story disturbing. Hope it’s a one-shot, since Amazon has gotten a lot of bad publicity here. They should have erased the book from their server but not from their customers’ Kindles without first getting their permission.
Here's what I see:
Not ironic at all.
Respecting PROPERTY RIGHTS is not government censorship.
No way, no how.
art is subjective, indeed. but we can sure both dig your tagline.
Orwell told Malcolm Muggeridge that Bog Brother was the BBC.
Can’t they be charged with theft?
I used to read books onmy Palm TX. It was great. Always had abook at hand. Ended up with like 600.
How long does a copyright last?
Apparently it's a rights issue, Amazon didn't have the rights to that edition of the book. Technically they were in the right to delete all copies, it's just that it smells bad, plus they deleted the notes of at least one person who was doing a school project, which was doubleplusungood. By refunding the customers money it isn't theft, just lousy business practice.
Reasons we like it:
1) Over 300,000 titles available. Many older titles are free, or $0.99 each.
2) Download books via wireless. No waiting in line. No out of stock titles.
3) Holds over 1,000 books in memory, but is the size of a couple of paperbacks.
4) A battery charge is good for DAYS, not hours.
5) Newspaper and magazine subscriptions are delivered automatically and wirelessly. They are just THERE to read.
6) Email other books / documents to Kindle for automatic conversion.
7) Free book samples before buying.
And still I see 0 point in owning a Kindle.
For the CONSUMER, they make little sense. That $300 could be better spent on a netbook (same size as a Kindle) that can be used for multiple purposes (including reading electronic books.)
For AMAZON, they make a lot of sense. You are locked into purchsing titles from them, and they can control the content on the device.
How long does a copyright last? The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the United States Code). More information on the term of copyright can be found in Circular 15a, Duration of Copyright, and Circular 1, Copyright Basics.
Far too long.
It should be something like a patent, IMO: 20 years.
If I recall correctly, this is significanlty longer than previous law, which I think was 28 yrs renewable once.
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