went into Kindle
devices across the country to delete unauthorized copies of 'Animal Farm' and '1984' by George Orwell, the irony was certainly not lost on users. A Big Brother
move, no doubt, especially because no one was informed of the invasion of privacy -- and customers thought the reclaimed content had been legally purchased. Amazon did issue refunds, but the blogosphere earlier this month took the story up en masse. Customers, feeling betrayed, came out of the woodwork to express their frustration. Charles Slater, an exec with a Philadelphia sheet-music company, told the New York Times, "I never imagined that Amazon actually had the right, the authority or even the ability to delete something that I had already purchased
Although Amazon released a lackluster apology on July 17th
(its explanation was that a distributor uploaded the material without permission), the online mega-retailer did little to stop the bleeding. The anti-digital rights management (DRM) crowd protested the remote deletion and claimed this type of infraction was the core problem with rights-controlled media.
Finally, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote a convincing apology on the Kindle boards today
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.
With deep apology to our customers,
Founder & CEO
Engadget.com columnist Michael Gartendberg sums it up well, "The idea of a company reaching on to my device and removing content I had put on there is beyond the pale under any circumstances
." [From: TechCrunch