Amazon deletes George Orwell books from users' Kindles

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by apfhex, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    From NY Times (Pouge's Posts blog) VIA Daring Fireball (link):
    The really crazy part?
    Glad Apple hasn't used their kill swtich on any App Store apps thus far (still rockin' Tris on my iPhone).
  2. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I've seen the news on another obscure non-tech blog. I am surprised that it did not make bigger news. I guess Kindle overall does not matter to readers of most news websites.

    In any case, both Kindle and iTunes movie sales suffer from the same problem. There is not much of a point in them. The only advantage is the size. You don't have to depend on and store and carry books or DVDs. Good, but then you get a lot more restrictions. You cannot lend or sell them due to the encryption. Of course, there some strange issues that come up like this from time to time as well. That reduces their value even in a financial sense significantly.

    iTunes Music is different. It gives you the freedom to own the songs you like at a much reduced price as you do not have to pay for the rest of the album. iTunes and iPod also allows you to make your own playlists or to shuffle them. Add in the podcasts and no wonder these new electronic movie or book store are not very successful.
  3. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    Everyone likes to believe that the RIAA and the MPAA are stringent about technology and stuck in the past. Little do we forget that publishers are worse.

    What a terrible, terrible move on both Apple and the publisher. Why would you ever do this? Way to guarantee it so people won't buy the Kindle.
  4. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."

    Imagine Apple or a studio deciding that a certian TV show or movie will no longer be available on your computer. The show is deleted from your iTunes (or Apple device) and your iTunes account credited....

    Have fun....

    (that's why I ultimately prefer the DVD - even Blu-ray is subject to DRM by checking the network first to see if the disc is to be played on the player...)
  5. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    You mean Amazon.

    Really bad. Amazon should have just stopped selling copies of it, but for them to erase copies that were already bought and downloaded is akin to them coming into my home and demanding the hard copy they mailed me. NOT COOL!
  6. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    Hmmm...., the only workaround I can think of is to store your e-books on a memory card (for Kindle 1 owners, Kindle 2 lacks memory expansion) and then back them up to a PC, they can't erase them there (yet) then reload your book or iPhone through USB.
    The only problem is that you'd have to keep the wireless connection off while reading the book. You might have to do a complete system reset in case Amazon sends instructions to the device disabling the book if it's reloaded, but they may not have thought of that.

    This sucks.
  7. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    This will only result in even more people incorrectly referencing 1984 in regard to political events without actually having read the book :(.
  8. upinflames900 macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    They are actually pulling an 1984 by taking away those copies that were purchased. They are re-writing history "so to speak" lol.
  9. Starfall macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2005
    This isn't quite as bad as some people are making it out to be.

    From the New York Times:

  10. joeshell383 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2006
    It doesn't matter if Amazon did the "right" thing or not. The bottom line is anything you buy on a Kindle can be retracted at any time. Comparatively, if B&N or Borders had sold you the book, and they were subsequently alerted that they didn't have permission to do so, the existing inventory of books would have been pulled and it would have been a case of "too bad, so sad" for the publisher for the books that had already been sold.
  11. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I find this extremely disturbing.

    Yes I'm aware that the customers got a refund. However, to go into your computer and just remove media that they felt you shouldn't have is an extremely disturbing step.

    While in this case it was a book, a work of fiction, that was removed, this is a demonstration and successful application of their power to do so.

    What happens in 10 years time, if you buy an newspaper electronically, and there's an article criticising the government, who then decides to take action? Will all copies of this article be taken away from people's computers?

    As junior network admin, this kind of thing is actually quite easy for me to do to staff computers. If I decide they can't have a certain file, bam, it's gone from all the work computers. I never thought I'd see this level of control extended to people's own possessions on their own computers at home.

    I had thought if you purchased a book though Kindle, you bought it. Now it seems you are merely renting it, and your licence to read it can be withdrawn at any time.

    Moral - if you purchase electronic media for home use, copy it immediately.
  12. Starfall macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2005
    It doesn't matter at all that in this specific case, the seller didn't have rights to the work being sold, but that in the vast majority of Kindle downloads, there's no reason to erase the book? And it doesn't matter at all that Amazon refunded the money?

    Many people are reacting as though Amazon arbitrarily pulled the books with no refund, and that it's equally likely that they could do so with any given book. But that doesn't appear to be the case here.

    Do you honestly believe that Amazon will just yank stuff off of the Kindle for no reason at all? Or do you think that it might be in Amazon's best interests to actually try to keep people's money, instead of having to refund it, and reserve the erase-and-refund procedure for very limited cases?
  13. Boneoh macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    So. Cal.
    The problem with this is it crosses a certain line. No one should have any permission to view, alter, or delete anything on my computer, cell phone, ipod, etc. Just refund the customer and ASK them to please delete the file.

    The true publisher has the right to go after the bogus publisher for damages, etc. Let the courts decide what is appropriate in line with the laws. I'd like to see if any attorneys are thinking class action lawsuit on this one.

    Just look what the telephone companies have already gotten away with. They basically gave carte blanche to the NSA and who knows else with what ever they wanted. When they were caught, our elected representatives gave them a "get out of jail free" card.

    So much for privacy. I will never trust any company with any of my data in any kind of cloud, etc.
  14. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    Amazon is now saying that it won't pull books in the future. We'll see.

  15. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seems a little over the top from Amazon. A more reasonable approach would have been to stop selling the books, and make a payment to the real author, publisher, or whoever gets money when the book is sold.
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    From that report, I agree with you.

    It's really interesting how a story can be spun to look so negative.
  17. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
  18. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I don't agree. If these books were sold without the rights then the correct course of action is for Amazon to pull the titles from the kindle store and the rights holder to sue the infringing company for damages. Taking content off of users' personal devices is completely and totally unacceptable.
  19. Divyesh macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Thanks for the update.:)
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Spun to look negative? Okay, so what is positive about Amazon apparently violating it's own ToS agreement by deleting books from customer's machines?

  21. iAlex macrumors member


    Mar 10, 2006
    FEMA District X
    Big Daddy found naughty books on your Kindle! Nope! Nope!, not on the the "approved" reading list.... report to carousel!
  22. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    My BR's play fine when my PS3 is offline.
  23. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    As I said before, the Kindle is an utter failure destined to irrelevance. Amazon's move further confirms this point, especially since recallling DRM'ed books that have already been bought should be deemed as inconceivable in any civilized market...just think of the basic legal concept called "buyer in good faith". If Amazon has a problem with a publisher, it should settle it with him. They have ABSOLUTELY no right to enter someone's device and erase content at their discretion.
  24. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    Don't take this lying down... before it's too late...

    By Spirit... 1984

    Knockin' on your door
    will you let it come
    will you let it run
    Knockin' on your door
    will you let it come
    will you let it run your life

    Someone will be waiting for you at your door
    when you get home tonight
    Ah yes he's gonna tell you darkness gives you much more
    than you get from the light
    Classic plastic guards well they're your special friends
    he sees you every night
    Well he calls himself your brother
    but you know it's no game
    You're never out of his sight

    knockin' on your door
    will you let it come
    will you let it run your life

    It's time you started thinking inside your head
    that you should stand up and fight
    Oh where will you be when the freedom must end
    just one year from tonight
    Those classic plastic coppers are your special friends
    they see you every night
    Well they call themselves protection
    but they know it's no game
    You're never out of their sight

    (guitar solo)

    Knockin' on your door
    will you let it come
    will you let it run

    Knockin' on your door
    will you let it come
    will you let it run

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