UPDATED: Amazon Remote Wipes Kindle Copies of 1984, Animal Farm -- Redefines Irony


UPDATE: Engadget heard from Drew Herdener, Amazon.com's Director of Communications:

These books were added to our catalog using our self-service platform by a third-party who did not have the rights to the books. When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers' devices, and refunded customers. We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances.

Good on them for coming clean and changing the policy going forward. Though it would have been nice to have the candor and insight up-front

ORIGINAL: According to Engadget, Amazon has remotely wiped copies of George Orwell's classics, 1984 and Animal Farm from Kindles, refunding the purchase price of affected users.

We're not yet certain, but users of the iPhone Kindle app are probably similarly effected.

It remains unlikely that Amazon broke into any houses, repossessed any copies of same, and left change on the bureau.

By contrast, when Apple removed NetShare from the App Store, already purchased copies remained -- and remain to this day -- on the devices of whomever purchased them.

Takes a lot of wrong to make App Store policy seem right these days, so way to go, Amazon. You've either redefined ownership in the DRM age, or broken faith with any customers thinking of owning any more Kindle content...

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 63 comments. Add yours.

Etnies419 says:

Any reason for the removal? Maybe the government's behind it... dun dun dun

Ripjames says:

ummm.... Ok.... how exactly can they do this... it was already purchased, therefore your property.. even if they give the money back that's a buyback, which would means the owner should have a choice, DRM or not.. this will only make people goto more sources to get the drm free versions

excaliburca says:

Wow... so glad Kindle isn't available in Canada. I'd want a refund on the whole kabang on that story.

Scott says:

"broken faith with any customers thinking of owning any more Kindle content" pretty much covers it for me...I thought the Kindle reader for my iPhone was the perfect compromise, but this stunt changes everything. Amazon, what were you smoking? Did anyone from your marketing or legal departments have any input to this idiotic move? (Guessing NOT!)

Al says:

Maybe this is a dumb question but why did they do this?

Liam330 says:

Wits happening I don't under stand and whats is netshare? Please som1 help

Ripjames says:

I havn't tried kindle but has anyone thought of using Stanza (which is a great reader) or Bookshelf (one of the first decent ones in the app store) Stanza is free i'm not sure what bookshelf costs, I hanv't even seen an update in a while

Ana says:

ironic indeed.
"War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength"
awesome novel.
And I was debating on buying a kindle F that.

Mattshall says:

It was done because the publisher, which I think is Doubleday, changed their mind about e-publishing his books. So ironic! I wonder if they will remove more Doubleday published books or if this was really done because the Orwell estate told them to do it, which I doubt.

Tyler says:

Yes, they did it to the iPhone version of kindle. They took back my copy of 1984. Luckily I had finished reading it, so I guess I got to read it for free.

frog says:

Surely that must be illegal?

Rjak says:

Microsoft does something similar with the Zune marketplace. If a publisher pulls their stuff down from the marketplace, even if you've purchased the tracks, you aren't allowed to play them anymore (this has nothing to do with Zune Pass I'm talking purchases here).
I sure won't fall for DRM ever again.

icebike says:

I can't believe this is legal in the general sense.
I suspect that Amazon has some lame terms in their agreement that allows them to do this, but I've not seen it. Still, shrink wrap COLAs are mostly invalid.
What if you purchased a Law book for College, or a Manual you needed for your job, and they decided to pull it?
In general commerce, all sales are final, and if someone want to refund your money on an item you always have the choice to say no.
I foresee court cases.

Dawn says:

Wow so Fareinhight 451 of them. Scary. (sorry can't spell)

iRoc says:

A corporation CAN NOT legally enter into a contract (ie. user agreement, licensing agreement, or EULA) with a individual that has no legal representation. That means when they force you to sign or click agree to use their product the agreement is null and void. The contract was drawn up by professional lawyers for aforementioned corporation, which means it can only be a legally binding contract if you had a lawyer with you when you signed it! Amozon can not legally steal back something just because they refunded the purchase price. IF you steal something you don't just have to pay for it. You also have to serve your time for committing the crime.

joeblow84 says:

iRoc -- to which country's laws are you referring? That certainly isn't US law.

Cheeb says:

Love how ppl jus make stuff up on the web.
iRoc I don't know where u got that info, but it is not true in the US. when u click the agreement & use the product, etc ur entering into an agreement. Check Hill v. Gateway if u doubt me.
Now if they didn't provide the agreement at all then ur statement may be partially true.
But thanks 4 ur hilarious "legal" lesson.

iRoc says:

Look it's illegal for someone anyone to enter into a contract with an unrepresented party. It's the reason when you have an idea you want to sell a company you can't just walk through the door and pitch the idea. You have to retain a lawyer and have them draw up papers to even initiate discussions. Why because down the line the single person that had no representation can sue saying "Hey I was taken advantage of, and lead to believe I would be given a better deal than I got" major corporations can not have it both ways. It's a two way street. Just because one persons lawyer sucked and lost a case doesn't mean it's just the way it is. Individuals have rights. A major corporation has an unfair advantage in that they have a large team of lawyers at their disposal at all times. While John Q public does not. The lawyers working for the large corporation are only thinking of the corporation. It's one sided. Just because you accept it doesn't make it so. Look at it this way. If you buy a product, even if it was listed as all sales final! You can return the product with in certain No obvious damage no tampering, and the store corporation has to take it back. Has to. Now they might not want to and even try to say it's all sales final, but as a consumer you are given the right to total satisfaction, and any judge not in aforementioned corporations pocket will rule in your favor. That is the exact same thing. The law's first duty is to make sure the little guy's rights are not abused. It's not my fault you want to hand over your rights. A contract is not legally binding when one party is grossly underrepresented. Your acceptance of Hill vs. Gateway is exactly why corporations get away with it. That's right I am saying the judge in that case was
A) on the take
B) a complete moron!
Its the same reason you can not represent yourself in criminal court. YOU ARE NOT A LAWYER and can not be expected to understand the complexities of the law. PERIOD! A corporation with a ton of lawyers can not legally enter into a binding contract with an individual with no legal representation, because the individual can not be expect to fully comprehend the complexities of the law. That exact reason is why an individual has to obtain legal counsel to engage in discussions with said corporation! IT can not be one way then flipped in the other direction to only and always benefit the corporation with a gaggle of lawyers at their disposal.
Pull your heads out of the ground and look at it. It doesn't work both ways, just because you are lead to believe it does. You can be OK with being taken advantage of, but I know better. Laws are not intended to be set up to only protect one party. There is no loophole for taking advantage of the ignorant, and as far as the LAW is concerned an average person is grossly ignorant to the law.

iRoc says:

let me explain it this way. When you go into AT&T to buy that shinny new iPhone the you may be signing a contract that underhandedly includes Apples User agreement, because the AT&T rep clicks it for you while they are setting up the phone, and activating your iPhone data plan, but never once has any AT&T sales rep mentioned it. NO! They make it very clear that the contract you are signing says you are responsible for your monthly payment for 2 years. Just because Apple and AT&T's lawyers a slick and hide all this fine print. Any contract other than that between to individuals with no legal representation can not be legally binding! It can not! That's just the way it is.
Your not being able to comprehend that is exactly why it's the truth. You can not be expected to understand the full complexities of the law if you are not a board certified Lawyer. It's why you couldn't bring a divorce lawyer with you to meet with the large corporation. THe law is huge and vast, and a divorce lawyer is not up to speed on contractual agreements between corporations and individuals.

Ram says:

Think from author or publishers point of view. All the hard work done and some pirate steals your work and sells for money. Amazon has done the correct way. I think also that the person who has published content on the Amazon should also be prosecuted

iRoc says:

It's why a lawyer has to get a retainer. They have to prove that the person came to them for legal representation. A retainer as far as the law is concerned is proof positive that you sought out legal representation. It's why ambulance chasing is illegal! Because lawyers (It's a given that corporations have them) have a working knowledge of the law, and you do not. The law refers you as a layman
The term "layman" originated from the use of the term laity, but over the centuries, changed definition to mean a person who is a non-expert in a given field of knowledge.
The concept of describing something in layman’s terms has come into wide use in the English speaking world. To put something in layman’s terms is to describe a complex or technical issue using words and terms that the average individual (someone without professional training in the subject area) can understand, so that they may comprehend the issue to some degree.
An appropriately gender-neutral version of the word is layperson.
End of Story!

iRoc says:

Umm Ram
There is nothing in that post to indicate the post was about piracy.
It's the fact that you did not read that only proves my points. That is exactly why the law refers to us all as Laymen.

scaliasphone says:

You must not be familiar with the United States legal system. Individuals without legal representation enter into binding contracts with other individuals or organizations that have legal representation all of the time, every single day.
I know this because...I'm one of those lawyers.

scaliasphone says:

@iroc you said "Its the same reason you can not represent yourself in criminal court"
Many, many people attempt, foolishly, to represent themselves in criminal court. There is even a word for them. Pro Se litigants. Wow, man. If you live somewhere other than America, I can maybe understand. If you live in the 50 states, well, you are not only ignorant of your own country's laws...you are also probably dangerous to yourself or the general public.

iRoc says:

I mean honestly you don't understand the point of George Orwell’s books being remotely deleted?
You don't see the connection? Of the act? As a statement?

scaliasphone says:

@iRoc, really, you need help. @BadAsh, please take notice of @iRoc. And hide your family and kids.


Wow, Jesus Christ, iRoc... I normally don't respond on these thugs, but the fact that you are SO way off base astounds me!
First off, I work as a process server in NYC. I have done so for the past 9 years. Obviously, I am not a lawyer. But I deal with lawyers every day. I have friends who are lawyers. I have relatives who are lawyers. Long story short, I know plenty of lawyers, and they would all do double and triple-takes as the paragraphs you just wrote immediately prior to lauhing their balls off at you.
I used to work as a Bail Enforcement Agent, a/k/a "Bounty Hunter", and I have personally SEEN people represent themselves in criminal court! Why? Because when we apprehend a bail jumper, we have three options - either drop them off at the nearest police station, drop them off at a city or state jail if their bondsman decides to revoke bail, or escort them right into the courtroom before a judge.
WITH MY OWN TWO EYES I have witnessed people represent themselves in criminal court. And yes, they may have been the preliminary trials, and I'm sure that some of them had asked for the court appointed attorneys, but I'm also positive that come trial, some of them were still pro se.
"Only a fool of an attorney has himself for a client".
Where do you think that phrase came from?
For God's sake man, if you doubt what I say, it's literally as simple as watching Law & Order!
Talk about sticking your head in the ground....

iRoc says:

Your wrong. LVCIFER, because That person has already gone through proper proceedings and that's why they are out on bail or bond or probation, or parole. you are not talking of a person that has not be tried yet. You are clouding the facts. You can't compare someone that hasn't been formally charged of a crime with someone that's been previously convicted. Mister knows a lot of lawyers. You are comparing apples to chickens.
The actual meaning behind only a fool of an attorney has himself as a client actually means That a smart attorney knows if he has representation. there are two set of trained eyes and knowledgeable brains working on his case not him alone. Sorry that you can't correctly translate the quote.

iRoc says:

The reason you still have the option to bring them before a judge is because when that was wrote it wasn't so easy to get a hold of people. You know the sheriff might have been out or the yarnder hills and no one could get him just then, but The judge was right over in his house, and could be brought to make it official that this guy was captured, nbot beaten or killed and arrested.

talkin73 says:

@LVCIFER, I don't know much about the law so won't even offer an opinion on this stuff. I will say that your comments had some oomph to them which dissipated rapidly when you referenced a television show (Law & Order) as supporting evidence. I object, your honor ;-)

Loz says:

So does this mean Apple can take back our music and videos?
Big Brother gets another modern-day power.

Bob says:

@iRoc I was part of a jury in the Denver county courthouse on a criminal court case for a man charged with drug possesion who chose to represent himself. At least in Colorado, it absolutely happens. He came off as a man who was undeducated and incredibly paranoid of "the system", and despite repeated warnings by the judge, chose to represent himself. (and was ultimate found guilty)

Chris says:

For some reason I still have my copy of 1984 on my iPhone. Does this only work via USB, because I thought it would just sync.
Maybe I'll get money back and keep the book... Could be fun

tkd27 says:

IRoc, you are misinformed to a scary level. I my even know where to begin. I guess I'll start with the fact that they don't offer bail to people who have stood trial and been convicted. Bail is for someone awaiting trial.
You seem to be arguing how you WISH the law worked (sticking up for the little guy). The law only takes that into consideration when it's being written, and often makes bad choices. Once it's before a judge, the judge can't just overule what the law say, even if it seems unfair. The current battle over Sonyia Sotomoyars nomination to the Supreme Cout highlights this - just look at Ricci v Destefeno. A judge has to interpret the law and written.


The whole point of bail is that it's a contractual guarantee that you're basically buying back your freedom temporarily, through a bail bondsman. You literally sign away your civil rights to your bail bondsman. In return, you pay him a fee, and what you get for that fee is a man who goes to the courts, and offers them a guarantee that he will accept responsibility for you showing up in court, and for you to make your court date.
If that person runs, and he the bondsman CANT return you to court, he will be responsible forpaying that amount of money to the courts. Example;
the court allows you out on $50,000.00 bail. The bail bondsman will charge you a fee, many times collatteral worth twice as much as the bond, I.e. The deed to your house. If you run, and stop making your regularly scheduled appointments with your bondsman, he will send enforcement agents after you. We usually work in teams. We will then hunt you down by going after all of your known contacts, relatives, employers, so on and so forth. IF WE STILL CANT FIND YOU, and your court date arrives without you showing up, the bondsman will legally take that deed you signed over, and sell your house. He will use that money to pay back the courts the $50,000.00 debt he now has because of you. The rest of the money is his.
The point of my entire, long winded story?
All of this happens because wyou have to MAKE your court date. You have to stand trial. Bail is not issued after you've been convicted, schmuck!
What justice sytem have you heard of where someone is convicted, they serve their time, and then they get out on bail? Unless you're thinking of PAROLE, which is an entirely different thing.
Dude, seriously, go on wikipedia, or even any website that hosts a dictionary. The more you're talking, the more your delusions are showing through!
And regarding my "Law & Order" comment, I brought that up because it was just to point out that it has been documented in television and movies as well as books that there have been MANY instances of people representing themselves in a criminal court proceeding. Especially in pop culture.

bilbothejust says:

I believe that perhaps Iroc was in his cups and going downhill as the thread progressed, eventually passing out. I'm sure glad I'm not a lawyer if that represents logic and justice.
Btw, in the EULA I'm fairly certain that Amazon has CYA'd very well, else they wouldn't have done this. Tilting at windmills my friends.

Bob says:

@iroc can you please cite where you are getting your information regarding where pro se is not allowed in the US for criminal court?
I wikipedia'ed "pro se" on saw the following, which would seem to indicate you are grossly misinformed:
The right of a party to a legal action to represent his or her own cause has long been recognized in the United States, and even predates the ratification of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court noted that "[i]n the federal courts, the right of self-representation has been protected by statute since the beginnings of our Nation. Section 35 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, 92, enacted by the First Congress and signed by President Washington one day before the Sixth Amendment was proposed, provided that 'in all the courts of the United States, the parties may plead and manage their own causes personally or by the assistance of counsel.'" Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 813 (1975). This statute and the Bill of Rights were considered necessary in order to get support for the new Constitution.[3]

Quincy says:

Thanks kindle for showing me your true colors. If apple ever did that. I would never buy from iTunes or the app store again.

Rajiv says:

I'm willing to bet that things such as this will continue to occur with increasing frequencies in the future. Perhaps this is a result of digital downloads coupled with licensing: e.g. "you're not buying, you're licensing the right to use the item (and it's revocable at anytime)."

Lithium says:

Wow. The following is a guide for the incompetent:
“You’re” is always a contraction of “you are.” If you’ve written “you’re,” try substituting “you are.” If it doesn’t work, the word you want is “your.” Your writing will improve if you’re careful about this.
If someone thanks you, write back “you’re welcome” for “you are welcome.”
That is all I have to say.

iRoc says:

@BOB that person you speak of stood in court before a judge that advised him against what he was choosing to do, and that person WAVED their rights to an attorney. WAVED his right.
Next I never brought up bail or bond I was replying to a comment that was mincing the facts. I was explaining how a hearing and being brought into custody are two different things.
As to the law not sticking up for the little guy, and that only being how I wish it was. The law is supposed to be blind for this reason. Only the facts brought into a case can be used to consider the judgment. So if ones lawyer sucks and doesn't being up the point it's not the judges place to just include it because he knows it. That's why criminals get of on technicalities. It's not my fault that misguided lawyers because of their slick ability to speak, and capitalize on moments where they were up against a lawyer that was obviously out of his league. Judges can not make law, so for a judge to fight a case for a individual when his lawyer sucks isn't going to happen. The judge has a set of rules he has to follow, even if the precedent is flawed.
Just because something is common place does not make it legal. Just because no lawyer has stood in court and uttered the words" Your honor it's unlawful for blank to happen, because my client unknowingly entered into a illegitimate contract by not having legal representation, when global corp had a vast team of law professionals at it's disposal"
I really don't think any of you are actually reading. It's obvious you are not catching the real irony of 1984 being remotely wiped from kindles. I'm sorry the point is lost on you, but just because you are willing to hand over your rights for some convinces is appalling. For a few more gigs of storage or faster download speeds. Judges don't make Law. Senators and Representatives do, and that's the whole point of 1984. That judges can not change the law if no one is willing to speak up and state the truth. That if YOU don't open your eyes to whats going on around you your rights will be whittled away by unscrupulous law makers that do not have your best interest at heart. Just because you don't want to see the current state of affairs for what it is, does not mean I have to. I will gladly be an Unpeople. I'll gladly take on the role of Winston Smith. But I do not even begin to expect you to even know who he is, because it's quite evident that most of you have be so indoctrinated by the newspeak that you just are not aware of the facts.
It is the duty of every citizen to rise up against the government if that government no longer has the best interests of the people in mind. Yes I paraphrased there, but those are not my words and I will not tell you exactly who's they are. Go forth and read all you can from the founding fathers and you will know it when you find it.
Let's put it this way. Slavery was widely accepted, and common place, even viewed as legal, until someone was man enough to speak up! Just because TOS, and user agreements, and licenses are common place does not actually make them legal. Just because lawyers stand to lose more money than they stand to gain by admitting it does not make it right.
It's sad that I am having to give a book report on 1984 here, but George Orwell based his novel on what he saw the progressive movement of the 1920's to 1940's. and how it had an scary similarity to the fascist and communistic movements of Europe. How the peoples desire for a better world, and a false sense of entitlement was used against them, and their apathy to speak up led to the erosion of all their rights. They just handed their rights over for convince, and a false sense of security. They accepted that Law makers made laws that were only in the interests of the ministries ( ie corporations, special interest groups) as status quo and common place.
It's obvious that the sheer ridiculousness of Amazon wiping George Orwell books remotely from devices escapes you. Do you honestly believe it's just a coincidence? We live in a time where politicians say one thing and do another BLATANTLY on both sides of the isle.
Rajiv clearly and correctly stated the loophole that is allowing this to happen in this particular occurrence. We the people are lead to believe we are purchasing something, but corporate lawyers have it set up to where we are merely renting it, and therefore have no legal recourse when they slip in silently in the night and take it back. This being allowed to continue only leads to the erosion of more of your rights.
There is a reason it's called "Read you rights" when you are arrested, because it has to be read not recited from memory. OH but today we accept it as common place that it not be read, or in some places even recited at all as common place and legal.
I'm perfectly fine with the fact that at this moment in time I appear to be completely off my rocker. Many before me have be viewed in the same manner, and it's part of standing up for what's RIGHT.
End point just because something is common place and accepted does not make it legal.


You just made my eyes bleed.
Maybe I should get my tools out and build you a bigger soapbox in my free time...

joeblow84 says:

iRoc is clearly in the conspiracy nutcase crowd.

Bob says:

iroc: this is what you said:
That’s right I am saying the judge in that case was A) on the take or B) a complete moron! Its the same reason you can not represent yourself in criminal court
I never said or implied that people don't have a right to an attorney. I was saying that you CAN represent yourself in court. Contrary to what you stated in an earlier post.

Bob says:

Iroc: Also I believe this statementThat you made is also quite incorrect
The contract was drawn up by professional lawyers for aforementioned corporation, which means it can only be a legally binding contract if you had a lawyer with you when you signed it!
I'm sure that we can find some sources to cite from to prove that this is incorrect reasoning.

Bob says:

iroc: wiki "EULA" and you'll see some interesting precedents that that establish that courts generally consider clicking in the "I Agree" button as entering into a legally binding contract with the software provider.
Iroc: in general I agree with you in spirit and I believe we must remain vigilant of what our gov't and corporate powers-that-be are doing and ensure that our rights are not trampled upon. However, I don't think you are gonna win any hearts or minds by presenting these assertions you are making as law or precedent, when in fact they are not.
Here is a snippet from EULA in wikipedia:
The term shrink-wrap license refers colloquially to any software license agreement which is enclosed within a software package and is inaccessible to the customer until after purchase. Typically, the license agreement is printed on paper included inside the boxed software. It may also be presented to the user on-screen during installation, in which case the license is sometimes referred to as a click-wrap license. The inability of the customer to review the license agreement before purchasing the software has caused such licenses to run afoul of legal challenges in some cases.
Whether shrink-wrap licenses are legally binding differs between jurisdictions, though a majority of jurisdictions hold such licenses to be enforceable. At particular issue is the difference in opinion between the courts in Klocek v. Gateway and Brower v. Gateway. Both cases involved a shrink-wrapped license document provided by the online vendor of a computer system. The terms of the shrink-wrapped license were not provided at the time of purchase, but were rather included with the shipped product as a printed document. The license required the customer to return the product within a limited time frame if the license was not agreed to. In Brower, the Supreme Court of New York ruled that the terms of the shrink-wrapped license document were enforceable because the customer's assent was evident by its failure to return the merchandise within the 30 days specified by the document. The U.S. District Court of Kansas in Klocek ruled that the contract of sale was complete at the time of the transaction, and the additional shipped terms contained in a document similar to that in Brower did not constitute a contract, because the customer never agreed to them when the contract of sale was completed.
Further, in ProCD v. Zeidenberg, the license was ruled enforceable because it was necessary for the customer to assent to the terms of the agreement by clicking on an "I Agree" button in order to install the software. In Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp., however, the licensee was able to download and install the software without first being required to review and positively assent to the terms of the agreement, and so the license was held to be unenforceable.

Cheeb says:

Dont bother wasting your breath on @iRoc who is clearly a retarded troll....
He is most likely hiding in the mountains somewhere with his tinfoil hat on his head....
Even with Amazon acknowledging that 1984 had to be taken down because someone who didnt OWN the rights to the book licensed it for use on Kindle.
Obviously Amazon isnt going to condone any kind of illegal/piracy activity so it erased it off the Kindles... (not saying this is right) but apparently iRoc is not ready to accept the fact that clickwrap/shrinkwrap agreements exist and are clearly legal in this country...

tkd27 says:

I thought slavery WAS legal. Doesn't the slavery analogy sorta disprove your point? Which is that something that is unjust must also be illegal?

fassy says:

The discussions about EULAs somewhat misses the point. If Amazon is challenged on this action, it will not be because of these actions resulting from a EULA, it is because of the extraordinary nature of the actions themselves. In Gateway, the appellate court directed the plaintiff to submit to arbitration, as outlined in the EULA. Arbitration as a component of a contract is common and well-established, and as such an arbitration clause raises few eyebrows, even among those who find EULAs themselves odious. Amazon is attempting something completely different here -- to reserve the right not only to void a contract when the other party (the customer) is not at fault and has breached no terms, but to immediately and unilaterally seize another party's private property. The closest precedent I can think of might be the Blizzard/Bnetd case, where a lower court held that a party may waive certain statutory rights in the use of a purchased product as a condition of a contract, but that only outlined conditions the purchaser must follow. It did not go nearly as far as Amazon's actions in terminating the sale itself and forcibly deleting the product itself from a customer's device, event when the customer had followed all terms.
Yes, before this argument comes up, if I buy a TV, and it turns out that TV is stolen, I realize that I do not get to keep the TV. However, law enforcement is the body that can come to my property and take (or facilitate the taking of) that TV, and only after specific processes are followed. For a private company to presume those powers without any sort of process at all -- especially the same company who facilitated the sale of the stolen property in the first place -- is entirely unprecedented.
If Amazon is challenged for their actions -- and I am not sure they will be -- it will not be because of the EULA itself, but because the actions they try to justify through their EULA raise serious questions about the presumed rights of both parties in a contract.

iRoc says:

Clickwrap/shrinkwrap agreements are not clearly legal. Bob cites cases that both confirm and counter my view point. Both confirm, and counter. Which means it's obviously a contested law, and warrants a viewing before the US supreme court to settle it once and for all.
Amazon has given two different reasons. When there can only be one.
You Cheeb say "(not saying this is right)" which means on some level inside you, you know it's not right, and if something is not right it can not be legal. You can't have it both ways. You can not be vigilant when you turn a blind eye, because it's just too much trouble to fight for what's just. You are picking a side only because it effects someone else, while leaving you unscathed. and only cowards that can not accept a spirited discussion resort to name calling. It also shows a sever lack of the ability to be open minded.
Only cowards resort to name calling.
Please direct me to where the Orwell estate has filed claims that the third party was pirating the books. Any decent journalist would have called the Orwell estate first. Not Amazon. Amazon does not have legal proxy over the estate.
The fact that Amazon did not first inform customers of the issues and offer to buy the books back shows lack of honesty, because that is the right thing to do. What Amazon should have done was just pull the books from their offerings,Then offer to buy the copies back,or offer them one from a different source. At which point the customer has the right to refuse or even demand a higher price that Amazon doesn't have to agree to and leave it at that. No they didn't take that route. They used an undisclosed backdoor into the device. I guess it's a good thing GeoHot has now jailbroken the device so that owners can take control of it and prevent illegal entrance by little Amazon tech ninjas. If it's legal for Amazon to take back content you paid for in good faith, then it's legal for them to just come take the device at any time with no warning also, because the user agreement must obviously imply it's not your device even though you bought it. IF you are leasing or renting the device it must be clearly stated at the signing. YOu all know darn well user agreements use law terms, and jargon that are specifically designed to hide information form anyone that does not have a complete grasp of the vernacular. It's referred to as small print. Hers a quote from Amazon customer care Here's what the Amazon CSR told Dan.
I asked the customer representative where this information was available and he told me that it's in the fine print of the legalese* agreement documentation. "It's not right that they are in bold print when you buy a book?" I asked. "No, I don't believe so. You have to look for it."

  • legalese - The specialized vocabulary of the legal profession, especially when considered to be complex or abstruse.
    legalese definition 2 - language containing an excessive amount of legal terminology or of legal jargon. Usually designed to hide incriminating clauses from the nonprofessional.

So you can see for Amazon representatives that openly admit to hiding information in there terms of use agreement specifically designed to lead consumers astray.
So now please tell me how this terms of agreement can be a legal binding contract if it's admittedly designed to hide pertinent and damning information from the consumer. HOw can one honestly expect to any one that is not a lawyer to full understand what they are signing,
From the legalese wiki:
These features tend to make legal writing formal. This formality can take the form of long sentences, complex constructions, archaic and hyper-formal vocabulary, and a focus on content to the exclusion of reader needs. Some of this formality in legal writing is necessary and desirable, given the importance of some legal documents and the seriousness of the circumstances in which some legal documents are used. Yet not all formality in legal writing is justified. To the extent that formality produces opacity and imprecision, it is undesirable. To the extent that formality hinders reader comprehension, it is less desirable. In particular, when legal content must be conveyed to nonlawyers, formality should give way to clear communication.
So now tell me how a layman can enter into a contract with a corporation when the corporations is clearly and admittedly using legalese to hide pertinent information from the laymen for the express reason to conceal it's true meaning.

iRoc says:

Sorry apart got cut off for some reason
Here's what the Amazon CSR told Dan.
I asked the customer representative where this information was available and he told me that it's in the fine print of the legalese agreement documentation. "It's not right that they are in bold print when you buy a book?" I asked. "No, I don't believe so. You have to look for it."

iRoc says:

Here's what the Amazon CSR told Dan.
I asked the customer representative where this information was available and he told me
that it's in the fine print of the legalese agreement documentation. "It's not right that they are in bold print when you buy a book?"
I asked. "No, I don't believe so. You have to look for it."

iRoc says:

Sorry that took so many post, but it kept cutting of my paste

iRoc says:

Oh btw it was that comment being redirected to Amazon that then lead to the release of a second statement from Amazon.

esbee says:

The question of ownership and legal contracts is being fought on many levels. Those of us who own animals are fighting a similar thing that would allow the USDA to come onto our private property at any time and take (kill) our animals if they suspect a disease within a 6 mile radius. They do it by getting us to register our premises with the govt and calling us stakeholders, both terms which imply we no longer own our animals or property.
The USDA program called NAIS (National animal Identification System) was developed to benefit and improve marketability of factory farms and corporate agriculture. But while factory farms and big ag gets a free ride, the ones who will have to work it and follow all sorts of rules/regs are the small producers who raise even one farm animal whether for a pet, their own consumption or to sell locally by all the onerous rules that have to be followed..
Under NAIS, you register your premises, even if you own even one animal, even if it is a pet. This step clouds title to private property. All critters must be microchipped and all births, deaths and movements reported into a database. This costs time and money. Factory farms do NOT have to do this, they get one lot number per group of animals. Any animal in that group could be diseased and who would know. But if animal disease is suspected in an area, the USDA can depopulate a 6 mile radius (140 sq. miles of dead healthy animals).
NAIS will not prevent animal disease nor ensure food safety since tracking stops at slaughter, after which is when food safety issues occur.

Bob says:

Iroc, it's nice to see some citations in your post. I guess the only way we'll know for sure in this case if amazon is doing something that could hold up in a court of law is if someone decides to file a law suit, which they clearly have the right to do. I clearly only know the details that amazon wishes to share with us. But if what cheeb is saying is correct, that someone licensed the content that did not actually own the content then amazon may have legal standing to defend their actions.
personally, I think It would be interesting to see such a case held in court. technology has enabled publishers with powers that were unthinkable 100 years ago. It would be a great opporunity to see our constituion in action and how laws of ownership are interpretated in this modern age, when instead if owning something as tangible as paper, we lay claim to ownership of a sea of electrons pulsing on and off.

iRoc says:

Bob, I know from my view point one shouldn't have to grab a book and read to to people as if they were two years old when you are talking about fundamental wrong and right. I understand that law needs time to catch up with technology, but that doesn't mean common sense should.
At one time:
Slavery= common place and legal, and but was very wrong, and actually illegal.
Child labor= common place and legal, But wrong, and illegal.
Cops could just grab you toss you in jail, and hold you there even if they didn't really have a reason. Now not so much. Rights that have to be "READ" even though now it's common place to recite it. I can explain why it has to be read for you real easy. Stand up and recite the Pledge of Alliance. Even though you said this thousands of times growing up. 9 out of 10 times on the first attempt you will falter.The #1 reason being it's only you saying it this time and it's not how it was. Throws the rhythm off, and being not sure about the timing you concentrate on it and lose the words. I bet at least once as each and every one of us was growing up me messed it up at some point. I can remember it happening to me. So in a situation where it's of the utmost importance that that perp be advised of their rights properly. It's still common place today for cops to just recite them. The reason being criminals are stupid, and when asked were you read your rights, all they really hear is were you informed of your rights?
Real good example here! In the late 80's XTC was leagal, and common place being as bars were just giving it away, but.... ?
I fully understand that law has to catch up to changing times, but that never really matters in the fundamental difference between right, and wrong. Amazon had not right to do it they way they did. Not even a common place and believed to be legal user agreement gave them the right to do what they did how they did it. The masses crying "It's legal, You're a Loon, Conspiracy nut, and Retard" Only showed they believe themselves to be smarter than they truly are, because they couldn't have an open and honest adult conversation. I didn't once call names. I just thought that rational adults would not need things spelled out by grabbing a book when it comes to peoples civil liberties being whittled away. I never once said the Government was behind it. I said they were missing the true irony of the situation, and they were. Why were they? Well because Amazon should have sent out a alert (if kindles can get those), or made a public statement saying they need users to logged in and trade the book for a legitimate copy for free, and for those with personal notes attached to the file should have been provided a way to retrieve them and transfer to the replacement copy. OH, but that is not how it went down. They entered a back door they purposefully left in, but did not openly make customers aware of. This your just leasing it with a license. That's BS just because something is digital doesn't mean once I pay for it, it's not really mine. The reason people felt like I was on a soapbox was because they were not open minded, and were not really reading what I was writing, they were skimming it. They were behaving like junior high kids that only pretend to listen in class.
Vigilance knows not of apathy. <--- that simple statement will completely escape most of them. Bob I am chomping at the bit to be able to bring that case to court, but I can't. They didn't infringe on my rights, so I have no legal leg to stand on. I beg Apple to come get me for my jailbroken iPhone, but they won't. They might someone else. When companies first started including legal documentaion with products it was to say "Hey if you use this product in way of than the way it was intended you can't sue us when it goes on a rampage and kills your family". So people got used to it. they didn't bother to read it, because it was written very plainly, and didn't take way the consumers rights. Now days they sneak all this amazing dung in there like
( http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v625/geauxracerx/FSM/iTunes-WTF-2.jpg ) Have a look. They also sneak in a way to infringe on your civil liberties.
I was referred to as a troll the internet meaning a right winger that trolls left wing blogs to inflame and irritate. Where did I ever say This new administrations, or damn leftists brainwashed zombies! I did say Lemmings, because they certainly were not thinking for them selves. I wasn't pushing any agenda save that of just plain right and just.
Law is made by law makers, and from my window I can see they are not looking out for me or any of the other none law makers I can see walking the face of the planet. This isn't a left right thing. It's a we are people, we are Americans. We have rights, and Amazon grossly violated those rights. They way it happen was well Orwellian, and it being coupled with it actually occurring with Orwell's books should have be an obvious WTF moment that caused every single intelligent American to say "Whoa I really need to take a deep long look at whats going on around me right now!", because it's not just this one thing. It's lots of little things. Well news flash little things add up pretty quickly.
One of my best friend before I moved to where I live now all through his studies at laws school would come over smoke and we would talk, about the law. I helped him write his papers. He was constantly trying to get me to enroll, and become a lawyer. The reason I wouldn't even consider it, was because I have no patience for People taken advantage of other people, are hurting them, and I hadn't yet learned to control the temp having to fist fight with my drunken father to keep him from beating my brother and mother on a regular basis. To this day even with hundreds of miles and years between us. When he just feels lost in a case he calls, because I can always come up with an angle that if not is the piece he was missing, then it's the piece that leads him to the path he needed to take. It's very well likely it's my fault that because I don't have to even think of citing anything to him I assumed I could have an adult conversation with people. The first thing that tipped him off was that I asked "Hey we live in Texas, and it's still legal to hang someone if you catch them stealing your horses right?" He said "Damn Straight!" TO which I replied, Well my sport bike out side is referred to as a steel horse right?" He said "Yeah that's commonly used enough to be a legal term why?" So I said, "So if some jerk was outside steeling my bike, and I hung him for it, would you defend me, and could we win?" He was all over it. I have a very good grasp on the law, but I'm still a layman, and I know for a fact unless I am entering into a contract with an individual Which means myself and another "person" that's 9 times out of 10 a verbal contract, because one that's been drawn up by one lawyer that's going to have to advise me to go get a lawyer myself, because with out a lawyer on my side it would be an illegitimate contract. So until a major corporation wrongs me or anyone that is aware of this it's just going to stay the same, or smart people can see this very occurrence as a chance to stand up and unite, and take back their rights. We haven't een discussed that fact that minors can not be held to contracts at all, and they click agree in the user agreement. I really think a few people in this thread need to be seriously ashamed of them selves, and sit down and think real hard about what they are told , and what is really going on around them. Any one so heck bent on believing one side or another of a political rift that they will not even listen to someone they just think is on the other side, and dismiss needs to realize they might view themselves as a rational person, but in truth they aren't. You can't be rational if you are not truly open minded.
I'm so adamant on this point, because I care about everyone rights, not just mine. Not just those that Convenience me, because this was in now way a convenience. We could have had a rational debate, if people hadn't sought to label me one thing or another, and try vigorously to anger me. Look back of the thread. I didn't and tell me where I made personal attacks.
tkd27 we didn't have written laws saying White men can own other people so long as they aren't other white men. It was just common place and there for viewed as legal. We had to fight a war when some proposed we write laws to state is was illegal. You don't write laws to verify things are legal, unless you are writing a law to relegalize it. ie prohibition. But when something like XTC that was "legal" because it was a completely new compound that found it's way to the street in a matter of months not years of medical trials or experiments. Some chemist and psychologists got together and made it not a major drug company. Since a major pharmaceutical company didn't make it it wasn't a scheduled substance, thus no penalties for it's manufacturing distributing and selling, and possession . Not consuming per se, because that's public intoxication, different charge. So back before they made it a scheduled substance, and wrote laws stating it was illegal. A cop would just take your stash, and maybe take you in on public intoxication. So slavery wasn't legal. it was just common place. We did how ever since it was common place have laws to protect the slave owners "property".
I'm not the one that needs to get educated here, but that is in direct correlation to why so many others are so rudely proving they do. I guess another reason I don't feel the need to cite things heavily is I expect people to be smart, but if most people were smart those Ditech commercials wouldn't work at all. You know. "People are smart, and smart people blah...." well truth is 93% of the populace is not smart. They are average, and mediocre. When tell a smart person they are smart they just look at you like "And..... What do you want?"
But if this story just fades away........... And nothing comes of it. Then I really fear what follows. You have to look at the whole picture. Today it's just a small intrusion, and theft of your property. It's property, because the kindle is an e-book reader for reading books. So when you bought the e-book you were buying a book. They can't just take it through some built in back door.
Here let me put it in an extremely relevant manner. The dev team has recently been having issues with push notifications, because all iPhone data passes through Apples servers. So it checks to see if the device is legit or not. IF your on an official carrier it's like "Kewl have at it." But if your on a unofficial carrier the requests you send or are sent to your device are held until the device or senders network times out. Now that in it's self well that's ok i guess, but that also means all your data travels through one single data base, which theoretically can be gathered and monitored very easily. Not saying it is. just would be easy, but it would give an very interesting reason for China to say "Hey round eyes, no wifi on iPhone!" because push doesn't take advantage of your wifi. It uses cellular and in fact uses the SMS protocols. There were issues early after the App store release with app that were incorrectly using the invisible SMS protocols for data sending and receiving. At this same time Apple had apps like Loopt and WeatherBug remove the disclaimer of "This app uses the SMS protocol to send and receive data so watch your SMS usage levels if you are on a limited SMS plan" It's fact that recently a hacker won awards for exposing the hole left open by the SMS protocol of the iPhone. Heres your citation
It's the same exact hole that apps use to send and receive data. Dude didn't discover it. He just was the first to make it known main stream.
This in the jailbreak community is known as the Apple Kill Switch exploit.
Tyler Says:
July 17th, 2009 at 7:01 pm
Yes, they did it to the iPhone version of kindle. They took back my copy of 1984. Luckily I had finished reading it, so I guess I got to read it for free.
So that means Apple also has a very active back door in the iPhone at all times. Since some one felt the need to call me a conspiracy theory nut. I'll just run with that for a second. I got a good imagination. OK so Apple has a a constant backdoor into your device, and their user agreement gives them right to enter it and do as they please. Right? It's legal because we clicked it remember. So that then gives them the right to do anything else they want while inside our devices at any time, for any reason. It's not like they could turn on the mic or the camera or gps. OH wait that iPhone blog link up there did mention all those utilities being possibly remotely used. It's not like Apple has any government contracts. I mean there are no stores of Apple devices being used by military in the field. I know for a fact if you search Engadget you won't find any, and none have ever been pulled from Engadget. So lets not get away from this being hypothetical. IT's also not like a company Pystar ever brought Anti Trust claims charges against Apple and they were thrown out of court for shortly after Anti Trust claims to again be files because Apple and Google were sharing board members. I mean we all know there's no way two major corporations with teams of highly paid lawyers would make such a blatant over sight of the law. I mean they even teach that you can't be on competing corporation s boards at the same time in high school business classes. I'm sure that Google and Apple didn't give a lame excuse like "We forgot, and besides they never attended both at the same time, or discussed things about deal we were in competition about. That wasn't in the news recently any way right. so just forget I mentioned it. I mean throwing out Anti trust charges in a case against Apple because it's just not happening, and then shortly News of it being true would have been every where. I mean at least crazy fanatical fox would have covered that, and they didn't so we can all agree I'm just talking hypothetical here, but man now that would be a good one. Heck it's not like Apple, Google, and Amazon do any business together, and It's not like one of those companies recently stepped all over anyone's civil liberties, because the government would have made a statement about that if they had right. I mean at least the attorney general would have said something about peoples civil liberties being violated.
See I could half A$$ a story if I had to.
All I am saying is Bob is right we have to be vigilant to protect ourselves.

Holmes Wilson says:

Re: In response to Amazon's remote deletion of 1984 and Animal Farm
Hi there,
Saw you'd written about the Amazon / 1984 flap, and I thought you might be
interested in the petition we launched yesterday:
We have over 1400 signatures already, and signers include Lawrence Lessig,
Clay Shirky, Cory Doctorow and other notable authors, librarians, and
The petition opens:
"We believe in a way of life based on the free exchange of ideas, in which
books have and will continue to play a central role. Devices like Amazon's
are trying to determine how people will interact with books, but Amazon's
use of DRM to control and monitor users and their books constitutes a clear
threat to the free exchange of ideas."
Please have a look, and if you support the cause or think it would be
interesting to your readers, a blog post would be great!
-Holmes Wilson
Free Software Foundation

Bernarda Polite says:

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications, typically seen on carriers such as ATT) will work worldwide.

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