Big B(r)other

All over the web this morning is news that Amazon has reached out and deleted books already downloaded onto customers’ kindles. From David Pogue in the New York Times:

This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned.

Pogue goes on:

This is ugly for all kinds of reasons. Amazon says that this sort of thing is “rare,” but that it can happen at all is unsettling; we’ve been taught to believe that e-books are, you know, just like books, only better. Already, we’ve learned that they’re not really like books, in that once we’re finished reading them, we can’t resell or even donate them. But now we learn that all sales may not even be final.

If the industry continues to treat its customers like this, the idea of e-books just ain’t going to catch on. People want a better experience than print, not a worse one. And of course, the story wouldn’t have had the same resonance if the author in question wasn’t George Orwell. Really.

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