Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Amazon Burns Orwell's E-Books

In reply to by Ryan Calo, post on July 17, 2009 - 2:04pm following Amazon' move in Kindle books:

I think I start to understand what ebooks can be :
They are like borrowing but with the price of a purchase. They are not a purchase, as neither can't they be resold nor given away, but they can easily be retracted by Amazon. With the advantage of 'traceability' as purchases via Amazon can be tracked down.

Now with regard to these two titles sudden 'overnight' evaporation :
1- I'm wondering how many people are possessing a kindle;
2- How many of these people have actually purchased the '1984' book of George Orwell. I have actually recently read that very few people had read this book!
3 - Knowing the high professionalism of the work of Amazone's lawyers, I'm very surprised that the contract binding publishers to Amazon would have allow them to retroactively 'decide to pull their content from the Kindle store'

Finally, I can only honor the way consumers and the press have reacted to make their voice heard and contest against an abusive decision.
One more positive of internet voice!!

Still need to understand how the story builds up at first. Reacting shortly after that happened, I was wondering how many people had been affected and how the information could have been circulated. I am amazed how quick the reaction started and the internet community could express its opposition,


  1. Amazon has been "disappointing" of late. The approrpriate way to have handled this would have been to:
    A. Message the issue - We sold something to you which the copyright does not permit for sale in your country. We are obliged to remove from your Kindle.
    B. May we offer you a substitute (at no additional cost) or a full refund of the purchase cost.
    C. Execute on client's choice.
    Customer happy & understanding. Amazon on the high ground and leading the way on how to handle the inadvertant copyright infringement that is bound to happen when you sell so many different media products in so many different locales.


  2. A comment brought By Professor Dr Ian Walden:

    "Fascinating, but strangely under-reported. Under UK law, this would certainly be an 'unauthorised modification' (now 'act), as assertion of copyright as a defence has been held to be legitimate only if such right and potential conduct has been brought to the prior attention of the victim (see Whitaker (1993)), which does not seem to be the case here, according to the claim."

    Refering to:

    R v Alfred Whittaker - Scunthorpe Magistrates Court

    Computer Misuse Act 1990, s 3 Unauthorised modification

    Another recent comment on the Kindle issue :

    "Hard on the heels of Amazon reaching into the homes of Kindle owners and snatching copies of Orwell’s 1984 off their devices, we have a stunning reminder that Apple’s iPhone is also a tethered device, and nothing goes on it that Mother Apple doesn’t want on it. Application developers have to go through a certification process to get their apps approved for the iPhone, and among the standards applied by the certification team are prohibitions on obscene and pornographic material..."
    From Harry Lewis' blog post, "Apple Censors the English Dictionary"

    A student is taking action againsit Amazon for the lost of his work.

    Teen sues Amazon: The Kindle ate my homework