Amazon Apologizes To Kindle Customers

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Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has apologized for the way his company handled the deletion of two George Orwell titles from its customers Kindle readers.

Last week Amazon, without notice, deleted customers copies of Orwell’s "Animal Farm" and "1984" later saying the action was taken at the request of the publisher. After removing the titles from its catalogue, Amazon deleted the titles from all of its customers Kindle devices. Customers were refunded for their purchase of the titles.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos

In a Kindle Community forum post, Bezos apologized for the error. "This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our ‘solution’ to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles.

"It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission."

 "With deep apology to our customers."

The Kindle terms and conditions state digital content is licensed to the user, but not owned by them.

"Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon."

Amazon Apologizes To Kindle Customers
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  • Madmike13

    Big Brother is watching you… and controlling what you read…

  • Guest

    Indeed, it is strangely ironic that 1984 was one of the books removed.

  • CharlieG

    It’s 1984 here on the Animal Farm!

  • http://www.glenwoodfin.ws Glen Woodfin

    This could be the beginning of the end for Kindle. Unless they come up with an amazing Kindle 3, I believe it will die.

    Major mistake! So sad.

  • Guest

    I do not understand how reading material purchased by you – even if its digital and for use on a reader – is “licensed” and not owned. Licensed for how long? Will it be illegal to read it a year from now?

    What’s the difference if I go out and purchased the book? Did I miss something – is everything in my bookcase only “licensed” for me to read?

  • Holmes Wilson

    Hi there,

    Saw you’d written about the Amazon / 1984 flap, and I thought you might be
    interested in the petition we launched yesterday:


    We have over 1400 signatures already, and signers include Lawrence Lessig,
    Clay Shirky, Cory Doctorow and other notable authors, librarians, and

    The petition opens:

    “We believe in a way of life based on the free exchange of ideas, in which
    books have and will continue to play a central role. Devices like Amazon’s
    are trying to determine how people will interact with books, but Amazon’s
    use of DRM to control and monitor users and their books constitutes a clear
    threat to the free exchange of ideas.”

    Please have a look, and if you support the cause or think it would be
    interesting to your readers, a blog post would be great!


    -Holmes Wilson
    Free Software Foundation

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