by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jul 17th 2009 5:44pm
For quite some time we've been pointing out the simple fact that, unlike with a physical book, you don't really own the ebooks that you buy on your Amazon Kindle. Even worse, Amazon can simply delete them at will. In fact, that's exactly what's happened to (of all books!) George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm. Talk about irony. People who legitimately purchased those books discovered that they're now gone, as the publisher has decided that ebook versions were doubleplusungood and should never have existed in the first place. So, like the war with Eurasia, the book is now just a figment of your imagination. You never had it. At least Amazon refunded the money, but what kind of book do you buy that gets automatically disappeared? eBooks are an interesting concept, but how can anyone buy into something where their books might suddenly disappear? Update: The NY Times is now reporting that Amazon says it will change its system so that, in the future, books won't be deleted. However, that's not making many customers happy. They seem pretty pissed off -- with some noting that Amazon's own terms of service claim that you have a permanent right to the content once you've bought it. On top of that, the Times quotes a student who had taken a bunch of notes, which Amazon destroyed as well.
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