Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle


In George Orwell’s “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

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.

Story in the NYT


there you go. I thought it was a bootleg version. People were making a big deal out of nothing...although the idea that they could kill stuff like that is still frightening. Digital distribution still has some kinks to work out (DRM being one of them).

There is a version still up:

This act by Amazon, though apparently justified on a 'copyright' license basis, reflects the dark underbelly of the digital dangers when the seller of content also owns the container in which the content is held (and controlled). Orwell would have lots to say about the future implications of this emerging reality. I've been annoyed that the Kindle is not for sale yet in Canada. But with this recent act, I'm having second thoughts. Cheers, Leo J.

Oh, the irony factor! The only way this would have been more funny was if it was Ayn Rand's "Anthem."

am glad you said it. Think the estate might consider creating a sequel to 1984 entitled "2009"?

1984 has an interesting copyright status currently. It is still in copyright in the United States. In some other countries the copyright has run. I think the Sono Bono Copyright extension act is what gave 1984 its boost. On Project Gutenberg sites in other countries you can find the full text of the book available online.

I for one welcome our new Amazonian Overlords.

Not now!

I would not alone use this action to judge if you get a Kindle. Any device can be abused by any organization. In this situation, what they did was actually legal, but most would question the morals driving such an action.