Amazon yanks content

Is this fuel for the anti DRM fire or what? – You really DON’T own your Amazon ebooks

Posted: 17 Jul 2009 06:43 AM PDT

Got this email from John Hagewood and it just had to be shared with you:

Weirdness in Kindle-land:

this morning I got an email from Amazon saying:

We’re writing to confirm that we have processed your refund for
$0.99 for the above-referenced order.

The total refund amount will be credited to your credit card in
3-5 business days.

The following is the breakdown of your refund:
Animal Farm by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

I looked at my Kindle…the wireless had been on all day. The book was gone. Gone from the archive, too. Gone from my “manage Kindle” area on the web site.

I immediately searched the mobileread forum, but didn’t find anyone complaining about this, thought I did find a thread in which some folks are suspicious that this version of Animal Farm, which I don’t believe is public domain in the US yet, might be pirated.

So, I sent Amazon a quick note saying:

I just got an email stated that this order amount was refunded. the book is GONE from my archive (I had not read it yet). and the book link from my original receipt doesn’t work, so I assume you have removed this book from the kindle store too.

What is going on? why was the book removed? I paid for it, and have not ask for a refund.

I got back this response:

We recently discovered a problem with a Kindle book that you have purchased. We have processed a refund to the payment method used to purchase “Animal Farm by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi)” by George Orwell.

The next time the wireless is activated on your device ” Animal Farm by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi)” by George Orwell will be removed.

We apologize for any inconvenience the removal of this title may cause.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I always download the books I buy to my PC for “backup”. Good thing, since I hadn’t gotten around to reading this version Animal Farm yet (which contains a pretty lengthy author bio at the end, BTW). I wonder if when I put the book back via USB, they’ll just remove it again. It’s kind of creepy that they can just remove books from my device without asking. I’d like to think that once I buy something I own it.

Just goes to show you that (like everyone has been saying) you really DON’T own Kindle books….you really ARE just leasing them, and you are at the mercy of the landlord!