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Why 2024 Will Be Like Nineteen Eighty-Four

How Amazon's remote deletion of e-books from the Kindle paves the way for book-banning's digital future.

By Farhad Manjoo
Posted Monday, July 20, 2009, at 5:53 PM ET

CEO Jeff Bezos with a KindleLet's give Amazon the benefit of the doubt—its explanation for why it deleted some books from customers' Kindles actually sounds halfway defensible. Last week a few Kindle owners awoke to discover that the company had reached into their devices and remotely removed copies of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. Amazon explained that the books had been mistakenly published, and it gave customers a full refund. It turns out that Orwell wasn't the first author to get flushed down the Kindle's memory hole. In June, fans of Ayn Rand suffered the same fate—Amazon removed Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and The Virtue of Selfishness, with an explanation that it had "recently

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Added: Jul-21-2009 
By: HydrogenEconomy
In:
News
Tags: amazon, remote, deletion, kindle, books, 1984
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  • I jerked off to this post.

    Posted Jul-21-2009 By 

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  • what is crazy is that amazon was able to DELETE the kindles...effectively STEALING something you purchased legally.

    Boycott these fascists...left wing fascists, burn them down.

    Posted Jul-21-2009 By 

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  • I'll start buying from Amazon when Amazon starts paying taxes in my country on the sales and profits they make in my country.
    In other words, they won't see a cent from me in this incarnation.

    Posted Jul-21-2009 By 

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  • The way the technology has been used here is not so different from ordinary web technology or other electronic document technologies that are much older than Kindle. This deletion is analogous to deleting a document from a web server that numerous parties have paid for access to. This is not to say it does not raise some troubling questions. Rather, we should be wary of losing access to all sorts of electronic documents. How many of you only have access to your bank statements via the web, f More..

    Posted Jul-22-2009 By 

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