Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Disappearing 1984s

After it discovered that the publisher of its version of the ebooks 1984 and Animal Farm did not have the rights to either version, Amazon remotely deleted the ebooks from their customers' Kindles. The zapped consumers "lit up [the Internet] with blogs and forum posts" according to CNN. Among others, Information Week and Slate criticized Amazon's actions. Finally Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos weighed in with an apology.

This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our "solution" to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

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