Feeds

Amazon offers restitution for Orwellian Kindle moment

Ministry of Truth in $30 apology

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Kindle customers who saw George Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four disappear from their screens have received an apology from Amazon's CEO, along with a copy of the book or $30 of restitution.

Amazon sent out the apology, signed by CEO Jeff Bezos, saying the way they handled the situation was "stupid, thoughtless and painfully out of line with our principles". Customers are offered the option of having the book reinstated, or an Amazon voucher to the value of $30, by way of apology.

Amazon sold the copies of the book illegally, after a third-party publisher mistakenly believed it to be out of copyright. But rather than apologise, the company simply yanked the offending text from customer's machines in a manner that would make the fictional Ministry of Truth blush.

Customers discovered their accounts credited and the book just not there any more, as though they had never bought it in the first place.

Amazon's actions even prompted legal action, with a student claiming his annotations were rendered useless by the book's removal. Annotations made by Kindle users are automatically synchronised with their online account over the Kindle's Whispernet, making them available for web viewing, so the poor chap should be able to get his notes back together.

But the episode has thrown unwelcome light on Amazon's ability to reach out and touch, and it will be interesting to see if Sony's Daily Edition (which features similar wireless connectivity) offers Sony the kind of abilities that The Party would have killed for. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.