Friday, July 17, 2009


Amazon reaches into Kindles and disappears books and readers’ notes

by Larry Geller

Amazon Kindle owners are angry. Some because Amazon reached into their personal Kindles and took back some books without notice or informing them, and others because they heard it could be done.

Still others are really mad. It seems that Amazon can also steal back their notes on their books. The books snatched back were Orwell’s 1984 that should not have been available as e-books because their US copyright had not expired. Amazon not only reached into personal Kindles to delete books, they deleted user content. Here’s an example:

Justin Gawronski, a 17-year-old from the Detroit area, was reading “1984” on his Kindle for a summer assignment and lost all his notes and annotations when the file vanished. “They didn’t just take a book back, they stole my work,” he said. [New York Times, Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle, 7/17/2009]

And it’s not just 1984. You thought you had privacy when you sit down to read?

Amazon appears to have deleted other purchased e-books from Kindles recently. Customers commenting on Web forums reported the disappearance of digital editions of the Harry Potter books and the novels of Ayn Rand over similar issues.

No, you’re never alone anymore. Amazon is reading over your shoulder. They’ll be able to tell the NSA what you’re reading, too.

Here’s another article, from Ars Technica: Why Amazon went Big Brother on some Kindle e-books (7/17/2009).

No, I won’t be buying a Kindle.


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