Latest in 1984

Image credit:

Amazon clarifies Kindle book-deletion policy, can still delete books

Nilay Patel
10.01.09
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Amazon might have been extremely contrite about remotely deleting 1984 from Kindles, but a Jeff Bezos apology and an offer to restore the book doesn't necessarily add up to a meaningful change in policy. As part of the settlement with that student who sued over the 1984 situation, Amazon's had to clarify its remote-deletion guidelines, and they're pretty much the same as ever: they'll hit the kill switch if you ask for a refund or if your credit card is declined, if a judge orders them to, or if they need to protect the Kindle or the network from malware. Sounds simple, right?

Well, sort of -- saying they'll delete content at the behest of judicial or regulatory decree pretty much leaves the door open to exactly the same situation as the 1984 debacle, just a couple procedural steps down the line and with less blame placed on Amazon. If you'll recall, 1984 was deleted after the publisher was sued for not having the proper rights, and Amazon took the proactive step of deleting the content -- and although Amazon won't do that on its own anymore, all it takes now is one strongly-worded motion before a sympathetic judge and we're back at square one. That's pretty troubling -- no judge can order a physical bookseller to come into your house and retrieve a book they've sold you, and saying things are different for the Kindle raises some interesting questions about what Amazon thinks "ownership" means. We'll see how this one plays out in practice, though -- we're hoping Amazon never has to pull that switch again.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The best consoles, games and accessories for students

The best consoles, games and accessories for students

View
Tesla's solar panels reportedly caught fire at an Amazon warehouse

Tesla's solar panels reportedly caught fire at an Amazon warehouse

View
Recommended Reading: Taylor Swift and Spotify are... best friends?

Recommended Reading: Taylor Swift and Spotify are... best friends?

View
Hitting the Books: We can engineer the Earth to fight climate change

Hitting the Books: We can engineer the Earth to fight climate change

View
The Morning After: Hands on with Disney+ 4K and HDR streaming

The Morning After: Hands on with Disney+ 4K and HDR streaming

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr