Kindle User Claims Amazon Deleted Entire Library


Cory Doctorow, Canadian journalist, blogger, sci-fi author in addition to being a former bookseller reports at Boing Boing on Amazon's deletion of one customers library.

According to Martin Bekkelund, a Norwegian Amazon customer identified only as Linn had her Kindle access revoked without warning or explanation. Her account was closed, and her Kindle was remotely wiped. Bekkelund has posted a string of emails that he says were sent to Linn by the company. They are a sort of Kafkaesque dumbshow of bureaucratic non-answering, culminating in the customer service version of "Die in a fire," to whit, "We wish you luck in locating a retailer better able to meet your needs and will not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters," a comment signed by "Michael Murphy, Executive Customer Relations,"

As previously advised, your account has been closed, as it has come to our attention that this account is related to a previously blocked account. While we are unable to provide detailed information on how we link related accounts, please know that we have reviewed your account on the basis of the information provided and regret to inform you that it will not be reopened. Please understand that the closure of an account is a permanent action. Any subsequent accounts that are opened will be closed as well. Thank you for your understanding with our decision.
I appreciate this is not the outcome you hoped for and apologise for any disappointment this may cause.

Back in 2009, when Amazon settled the lawsuit over its remote deletion of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (you really can't make this stuff up), it promised that it would not perform any further deletions unless ordered to do so by a court. I repeatedly asked Amazon whether DRM-free ebooks, or files that users load onto their Kindles themselves, could be remotely deleted. I never received a response of any kind.


Sounds like they got their account wiped for breaking the terms and conditions of their account.
However pathetically stupid and ridiculous that is they did it and under the terms that everyone agrees to they basically forfeitted access to that account and all products contained within.

I'm guessing the reason they can do it without it being part of a courtcase as agreed by them is that they would say this was covered by previous agreements on a very basic level for their whole service.

Makes you think you'd better not break any rules then otherwise they could swoop in.

Wonder if you can claim on your insurance?

Linn lives in Norway, where Amazon does not operate ( redirects to the Amazon Europe page). She bought a Kindle in the UK, liked it and read a number of books on it. She then gave that Kindle to her mother, and bought a used Kindle on a Danish classifieds site to which she transferred her account. She has been happily reading on it for some time, purchasing her books with a Norwegian address and credit card. She told me she'd read 30 or 40 books on it.

Sadly, the device developed a fault (actually a second time, it was also replaced in 2011 for the same reason) and started to display black lines on the screen (something I've heard from other friends as it happens). She called Amazon customer service, and they agreed to replace it if she returned it, although they insisted on shipping the replacement to a UK address rather to her in Norway.

Then the e-mails that her friend Martin re-posted arrived. Linn has had no explanation from Amazon about what they think she has done wrong. All the e-mails simply refer to "another account which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies", in a tone reminiscent of a patronising official saying "you know what you did wrong so I'm not going to tell you". The e-mails also look as if they are simply a cut-and-paste from some procedure manual, because others have received exactly the same text (with just as little warning, explanation or recourse).

They have an update at the site that says that the users Kindle was not wiped by Amazon. The person broke their Kindle and because their account was shut off for violating terms of use they are unable to re-download the books.

Mmm, that's interesting. Makes it a bit different then doesn't it.

Which site? As that's not on that page, there is something about the account being made live again.
Has that replaced the bit about not being deleted as that would make all the arguing about deletion totally moot.

So much for Amazon's vaunted cloud storage for your Kindle collection. Try to access your books while traveling to the next IFLA conference and you might see your cloud go up in smoke.

Have you ever actually met anyone in person that lost their Kindle library? We have one person in a foreign country that lost their account. I am not mentioning the foreign country to denigrate them. I bring it up because in Europe the country right issues for intellectual property are far more complex and it might be easier to violate a terms of service if you download from different countries.

In regards to the Amazon cloud almost no one has enough content on their Kindle that you even need the cloud. The Kindle holds several thousand books. Do you really have several thousand books that you purchased? Load all the books you bought. Probably a number less than a hundred and put them on your Kindle and go to your conference without worry. The car ride to the airport is dangerous. Watch out for that part.

Latest updates in the case are in this post by Simon Phipps at ComputerworldUK here:

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