On Gear Live: 5 Unique Gadgets to Trick Out Your Home Bar

Friday July 17, 2009 6:05 pm

Amazon Kindle-Gate: Purchased copies of Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 disappear


Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: Handhelds, Wireless / WiFi


Amazon Kindle 2I have no idea what to even say about this, other than that we are severely, severely disappointed with and how they are allowing their publishers to treat users. In a nuthsell, Kindle users who purchased George Orwell’s 1984 and/or Animal Farm found yesterday that those two titles had mysteriously disappeared from their Kindles, and that they were credited $.99 for each purchase. Why? That’s because the publisher decided that they no longer wanted to sell the books on the Kindle Store. Now, that’s all fine, but did they really have to take it away from those who had already made the purchase?

The Kindle edition books Animal Farm by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi) & Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi) were removed from the Kindle store and are no longer available for purchase. When this occured, your purchases were automatically refunded. You can still locate the books in the Kindle store, but each has a status of not yet available. Although a rarity, publishers can decide to pull their content from the Kindle store.


I don’t remember Amazon knocking on my door when physical items that they’ve delivered to my home no longer appeared on the Amazon Store, as that would be ridiculous. I’ve also never experienced this with an iTunes purchase of digital goods. David Pogue said it best:

This is ugly for all kinds of reasons. Amazon says that this sort of thing is “rare,” but that it can happen at all is unsettling; we’ve been taught to believe that e-books are, you know, just like books, only better. Already, we’ve learned that they’re not really like books, in that once we’re finished reading them, we can’t resell or even donate them. But now we learn that all sales may not even be final.

As one of my readers noted, it’s like Barnes & Noble sneaking into our homes in the middle of the night, taking some books that we’ve been reading off our nightstands, and leaving us a check on the coffee table.

To put it simply, those books you are buying on your Kindle that you think you own? You don’t own them. You just own a license to use them, and that license can seemingly be revoked by Amazon whenever they see fit, as long as they refund the cost of that license. Sad. No, wait, hang on…Amazon doesn’t say anything about this in the Kindle user agreement! In fact, it seems that the content that you buy is yours to keep:

Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon.

I’m no lawyer, but it appears that Amazon it screwing over their Kindle users, as there doesn’t seem to be anything saying that a situation like this might happen.

Read More | Amazon Kindle Mysterious Orwell Refunds

Latest Gear Live Videos

Advertisement

Advertisement

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Advertisement