Amazon Goes Orwellian on Kindle

Company deletes customers' downloads of 1984, Animal Farm
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2009 6:45 AM CDT
Edmond O'Brien and Jan Sterling are seen, during the filming of an adaptation of George Orwell's novel, '1984'.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Amazon turned into Big Brother this week after mistakenly selling pirated copies of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm to Kindle users, Ars Technica reports. The company, without warning, remotely deleted the books from customers' devices after discovering the publisher didn't have the rights to sell them. Customers who lost books mid-read were furious at the intrusion.

"Of all the books to recall,” one customer says. “I never imagined that Amazon actually had the right, the authority or even the ability to delete something that I had already purchased." Amazon—whose terms of sale appear to prohibit deleting books after sales are made—says it is changing its systems "so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances."