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Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

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Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Old 07-21-09, 12:56 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Well, that's the opposite of what I would've expected - but I guess after all, the Kindles' just a small part of Amazon.
Old 07-21-09, 01:35 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by Just Lurking
Slightly OT - If they have the ability to completely remove material, I assume that they would have the ability to alter content that has been downloaded. Good - they could correct factual information for reference material. Bad - unpopular or politically incorrect material could be changed over time to match current opinion.


Mark Twain wrote a famous book about the adventures of Huckleberry Finn and ******, er, African Slave Jim.

I once read a story about a man whose job was to edit the newspaper archives so that past news stories were changed over time to match current political opinion.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 07-21-09 at 01:37 PM.
Old 07-21-09, 02:06 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by Nick Danger
I once read a story about a man whose job was to edit the newspaper archives so that past news stories were changed over time to match current political opinion.
Not on your Kindle, you didn't.
Old 07-22-09, 03:46 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Amazon should have just gone all Fahrenheit 451, and burned up everyone's Kindles remotely!
Old 07-23-09, 02:16 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

How ironic that 1984 is the book that was removed from people's gizmos by the all seeing Amazon...
Old 08-23-09, 01:39 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

My god, it's like that one book where pigs took over the world, locked people away in rooms for reeducation and hired dogs to burn books at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, or apparently now delete them from Kindles.

It is no wonder they took their name from a soulless thing like a rainforest.
Old 09-04-09, 04:16 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Let's say a printer made paperback copies of 1984 without paying royalties and sold them. If they got caught, there is no way that people would be knocking on the doors of the individuals trying to get the paperback books back.

What Amazon did was incredibly stupid. Not to mention it brings to light the fact that they can do whatever the heck they want with anything you buy and if you don't like it - tough luck. Whay anybody would buy one of these Kindles is beyond me. Why [a certain DVD Talk poster] would buy two while $65,000 in debt is way beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, there was a point to my bringing this topic back up - Amazon is offering some more "goodies" to people who had their versions of 1984 stolen from them:

Amazon still apologizing for 1984/Kindle mess

Fri Sep 4, 2009 1:01PM EDT

Amazon still hasn't moved past its embarrasingly painful decision to delete copies of 1984 and other books from customers' Kindle e-book readers.

Even after CEO Jeff Bezos formally apologized, the company is taking more steps to make amends for the "stupid" and "thoughtless" (his words) mistake it made this July. To wit: Amazon is now offering affected customers the chance to re-download any books summarily deleted from Kindles during that time -- along with any annotations made to the books. If you don't want the book back, you can instead choose to receive an Amazon.com gift certificate or a check for 30 bucks. Not bad for a book that cost about a dollar.

Facing a lawsuit over the deletion of the books and a mountain of outrage from consumers crying that Amazon radically overstepped its bounds with its actions, the company has been backpedaling ever since the incident occured.

However, per the Wall Street Journal, a company spokesperson says the $30 refund/free copy offer has nothing to do with the pending lawsuit.

If you were affected by the deletion of a book, you should have received an email from Amazon with the above options outlined. If not, write to [email protected] to ask for your remedy directly.

So... now has Amazon gone far enough to regain your trust and to convince you that ebooks are not some ephemeral gossamer subject to the whims of corporate overlords? If nothing else, Amazon has surely learned a powerful lesson in how small mistakes can quickly snowball into problems with enormous consequences. My only wish is that the company released Kindle and ebook sales numbers, so we could actually quantify the damage done instead of having to guess at it.

Last edited by Heat; 09-04-09 at 04:38 PM.
Old 09-04-09, 11:20 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

So, this Kindle-thing is like DIVX for books? It kind of makes the name appropriate ... the first thing I thought of was "kindling" which is also used to start fires.
Old 09-05-09, 12:24 AM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

I'm not involved in this, I don't own a Kindle and don't plan to, but the story angers and intrigues me.

Even though they have offered to "make up" for what they did, could people still go through with lawsuits in order to attempt to permanently prevent something like this from happening again?
Old 04-10-13, 03:28 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012...eletes-account

Amazon wipes customer's Kindle and deletes account with no explanation

October 22, 2012

An Amazon Kindle user has had her account wiped and all her paid-for books deleted by Amazon without warning or explanation.

The Norwegian woman, identified only as Linn on media commentator Martin Bekkelund's blog, approached Amazon when she realised her Kindle had been wiped.

She was informed by a customer relations executive that her account had been closed, all open orders had been cancelled and all her content had been removed, but has been unable to find out why.

The move, which will shock ebook fans, highlights the power digital rights management (DRM) offers blue-chip companies. DRM is used by hardware manufacturers and publishers to limit the use of digital content once it has been purchased by consumers; in Amazon's case, it means the company can prevent you from reading content you have bought at the Kindle store on a rival device.

Linn was told by Amazon: "We have found your account is directly related to another which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies. As such, your Amazon.co.uk account has been closed and any open orders have been cancelled. Please understand that the closure of an account is a permanent action. Any subsequent accounts that are opened will be closed as well. Thank you for your understanding with our decision."

When Linn queried to which "directly related" account Amazon was referring, what had happened, and whether there was anything she could do to get her access reinstated, the online giant replied by saying it was "unable to provide detailed information" and reiterated her account would not be reopened.

In its final email to her, it added: "We regret that we have not been able to address your concerns to your satisfaction. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters. We wish you luck in locating a retailer better able to meet your needs and will not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters."

Bekkelun wrote: "This shows the very worst of DRM. If the retailer, in this case Amazon, thinks you're a crook, they will throw you out and take away everything that you bought. And if you disagree, you're totally outlawed. With DRM, you don't buy and own books, you merely rent them for as long as the retailer finds it convenient."

Andy Boxall of Digital Trends said: "Amazon in turn uses the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to take your books and privileges away if it finds you've been naughty."

According to Amazon's Kindle Store terms of use, "Kindle content is licensed, not sold". Should you attempt to break the DRM security block or transfer your purchase to another device, Amazon may legally "revoke your access to the Kindle Store and the Kindle Content without refund of any fees."

Technology writer Cory Doctorow suggested "the policy violation that Linn stands accused of is using a friend's UK address to buy Amazon UK English Kindle books from Norway". Under Amazon's rules, this type of action is barred, as the publisher seeks to control what content is read in which territory of the world.

In 2009, Amazon was forced to apologise for deleting books written by George Orwell from customers' Kindle devices without their knowledge following a rights issue (the books were added to its Kindle store by a third-party who did not have the rights to them). Company founder Jeff Bezos said the move was "stupid" and "thoughtless".

Update: Amazon contacted us on 23 October 2012 to say it has posted the following statement on its customer forum: "We would like to clarify our policy on this topic. Account status should not affect any customer's ability to access their library. If any customer has trouble accessing their content, he or she should contact customer service for help."
Old 04-11-13, 05:27 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Hmm, interesting. I thought DRM was more limited in Europe, but apparently it's just as bad.

Kind of stupid that Amazon couldn't just let her use her own adress in Norway to buy ebooks.

It does remind me of Americans using non-US Netflix access that have lower prices and better selection. If caught, I'm sure their account would be suspended.

They said she still can access her ebooks, just can't buy anymore. That seems somewhat fair.
Old 04-11-13, 05:45 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

So she tried working the system and got caught. What's the problem?
Old 04-11-13, 05:45 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Turn your WiFi off if you're not buying stuff. Problem solved.

This is why I will never commit to streaming or digital purchases of video content.
Old 04-11-13, 05:59 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

DRM can be cracked. Go through the hoops to level the playing field.
Old 04-11-13, 08:55 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by bunkaroo
Turn your WiFi off if you're not buying stuff. Problem solved.
They'll just disable it all the next time you turn it on to buy something.

Originally Posted by bunkaroo
This is why I will never commit to streaming or digital purchases of video content.
I can understand not buying online videos protected by DRM, but what's wrong with streaming? At least those services are upfront about you not owning anything.

Or how about DRM-free digital purchases? Things like Louis C.K.'s special, or Primer.
Old 04-11-13, 09:07 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by Jay G.
They'll just disable it all the next time you turn it on to buy something.
My point was if you know you're doing something that might result in this action, keep it offline.

Originally Posted by Jay G.
I can understand not buying online videos protected by DRM, but what's wrong with streaming? At least those services are upfront about you not owning anything.

Or how about DRM-free digital purchases? Things like Louis C.K.'s special, or Primer.
What's wrong with streaming from a content point of view is content providers seem to be constantly struggling with studios over money and thus you never really know if what's available to you now will be available to you in the future. So you sign up now assuming you can watch Sony's content, then 6 months from now you can't because of a dispute. I have other problems with streaming as well but that is off-topic as is all of this really for the book forum.

As far as DRM-free digital purchases, if the quality is equal to what's released on physical media that's fine, but then it's still on the user to back it up to media, so really why not just buy the media?
Old 04-11-13, 09:15 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by bunkaroo
What's wrong with streaming from a content point of view is content providers seem to be constantly struggling with studios over money and thus you never really know if what's available to you now will be available to you in the future. So you sign up now assuming you can watch Sony's content, then 6 months from now you can't because of a dispute.
So then cancel your subscription at that 6 month point, if Sony was so critical to your enjoyment of their service. It's not like they have you locked into a contract.

As far as DRM-free digital purchases, if the quality is equal to what's released on physical media that's fine, but then it's still on the user to back it up to media, so really why not just buy the media?
I've been eyeing the DRM-free download of Primer, even though I have the OOP DVD, because the download is 720p HD, which means it's better than the media, both in terms of resolution and availability.
Old 04-12-13, 01:05 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

I've long suspected I was paranoid about this happening with digital download stuff, but this does seem to show I've been at least partially right. It's why I'm so wary, if Lucas wants my copies of the original versions of the films he's tried to suppress, I have them in the basement, not floating in cyberspace somewhere. I suppose this being 1984 anyway, some has made the Big Brother joke.
Old 04-12-13, 02:57 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

As I remember there ended up being a lot of untruth in that story (for example, no wipe of a kindle happened). It's hard to find much on it although there is some stuff at Mobileread.

From Mobileread
UPDATE [Oct 23]:
1) it now seems that remote deletion did not actually occur;
2) it's confirmed that Amazon closed the account due to unspecified "association" with another, previously blocked one, then refused to give any explanation to the user;
3) Amazon (due to the resonance this story is getting?) reactivated the account, again without any explanation.
You can find an update (it's in Norwegian, but if you use Google Translate you get a seemingly good translation) here:
http://www.nrk.no/kultur-og-underholdning/1.8368487
The thing that bugs me that Amazon does is close accounts with no explanation and nobody to talk to about it (just basically, sorry decision is final). I suspect they don't want to tell scammers how they identify them as scammers, but even though probably 99 percent of the people that have that happens were scammers, I would hate to be in the other 1 percent.
Old 04-13-13, 12:36 AM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by hanshotfirst113
It's why I'm so wary, if Lucas wants my copies of the original versions of the films he's tried to suppress, I have them in the basement, not floating in cyberspace somewhere.
What are you doing, dude?! You just told Lucas where you keep them!!
Old 04-15-13, 10:33 AM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by Jay G.
So then cancel your subscription at that 6 month point, if Sony was so critical to your enjoyment of their service. It's not like they have you locked into a contract.


I've been eyeing the DRM-free download of Primer, even though I have the OOP DVD, because the download is 720p HD, which means it's better than the media, both in terms of resolution and availability.
No I'm not locked in, but it goes to show the volatility of the content availability of streaming.

And your example of Primer is an exception, not the rule.
Old 04-15-13, 11:44 AM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Originally Posted by bunkaroo
No I'm not locked in, but it goes to show the volatility of the content availability of streaming.
So? Why does the volatility matter if you're not committed long term? Just enjoy it while you can. Premium cable channels vary the movies they show month-to-month, so it's not like such volatility is new to the home video market.

And your example of Primer is an exception, not the rule.
So are you saying you'd purchase a digital download if you found an exception that appealed to you? You originally said that you would never buy a digital download, so I was providing a counter to that absolute.
Old 12-21-13, 02:45 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

This is pretty similar, although not the exact same. amazon has decided that customers who had "bought" certain videos can no longer watch them. This is why it's always important to have your own physical copy of any video that you "own." You simply can't trust some third party who says that you will "always" be able to use their server to watch videos that you "paid" for.


http://torrentfreak.com/amazon-pulls...istmas-131216/

Amazon Pulls Access to Purchased Christmas Videos During Christmas

December 16, 2013

Disney has decided to pull access to several purchased Christmas videos from Amazon during the holiday season, as the movie studio wants its TV-channel to have the content exclusively. Affected customers have seen their videos disappear from their online libraries, showing once again that not everything you buy is actually yours to keep.

One of the best ways to deal with online piracy is to make content available legally.

This is common knowledge by now, but copyright holders still believe that exclusivity can earn them more in the long run, even when it hurts legitimate customers.

A good example of this twisted reasoning is Disney’s decision to make certain Christmas videos unavailable on Amazon because they want people to tune in to their TV channel instead. This ban is not limited to new customers and includes those who already purchased the videos.

One of the affected customers of Disney’s restrictive policy is Bill, who informed BoingBoing that the Christmas themed ‘Disney Prep & Landing’ he bought for his kids last year had been pulled from his library.

“Amazon has explained to me that Disney can pull their content at any time and ‘at this time they’ve pulled that show for exclusivity on their own channel.’ In other words, Amazon sold me a Christmas special my kids can’t watch during the run up to Christmas,” Bill notes.

“It’ll be available in July though!” he adds.

Those who go to Disney Prep & Landing’s Amazon listing now get the following notice: “Due to our licensing agreements this video is currently not available for purchase or rental.” And that’s not the only title that has been pulled, the same notice also appears for other Disney Christmas videos such as ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol‘ and ‘Beauty And The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.’

Appropriately enough, Disney decided to allow people access to the Ebenezer Scrooge story, as Disney’s a Christmas Carol remains available for now.

Amazon appears to be torn by the situation and Bill says that he received “a very generous credit” to purchase another Christmas movie for his kids.

According to Cory Doctorow, however, Disney is not the only one that deserves blame for this customer-unfriendly practice. He notes that Amazon should have never allowed copyright holders to make purchased content unavailable to begin with.

“Yes, Disney is stupid and evil for doing this. But when Amazon decided that it would offer studios the right to revoke access to purchased videos, they set the stage for this,” Doctorow comments.

“This is what was set in motion in the 1970s, when we started using the term ‘intellectual property’ instead of ‘copyright’ or ‘author’s monopoly.’ If the movie is Disney’s ‘property’ for ever and ever, it follows that it is never your property, no matter that you ‘buy’ it,” Doctorow adds.

Adding to the above, it is questionable whether Disney will win anything with this move.

Aside from annoying customers who can no longer watch their purchases, all the titles Disney pulled from Amazon are widely available through unauthorized channels. As a result, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Disney’s actions cause a bump in piracy for these movies.
Old 12-21-13, 02:48 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

Here's a photo of the Amazon and Disney execs getting together to make this deal:

Old 12-21-13, 03:05 PM
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Re: Amazon remotely deletes "1984" from Kindles

That's the thing about digital content... with DRM you don't actually own anything and you're at the mercy of the copyright holder.

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