After a tough day at work you climb into bed, reach for a paperback book, and find that your nightstand reading material is gone, replaced with a credit for the purchase price. After some digging you learn that paperback copies of the novel you’re in the middle of reading have been repossessed by your local bookshop.
Inconceivable, right? Credit or no credit, invading the privacy of your home and taking a book without your permission would surely constitute one or more crimes.
Now imagine the same scenario, but with an e-book instead of a paperback — an e-book you purchased for your Kindle. That’s exactly what Amazon did to 1984 and Animal Farm buyers.
Repossession via electronic invasion of privacy. If it isn’t a crime, it sure as hell ought to be.
Kindle Swindle? (3 Verse Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane
Have you noticed your e-book list dwindle?
You’re probably using a Kindle.
A book that you bought
Has turned into naught —
Replaced with a refund. No swindle?
Yet the seller invaded your house.
And did it by clicking a mouse.
Something’s there. Then it’s not.
(An Orwellian plot?)
You’re surely entitled to grouse.
The fact that your money’s returned.
Doesn’t mean that you haven’t been burned.
Your privacy rights
Are gone with those bytes.
This vendor deserves to be spurned.
Update: Some updated information from the New York Times:
An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function. “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,” he said.
Amazon effectively acknowledged that the deletions were a bad idea. “We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances,” Mr. Herdener said.
Update 2: If you would like to read this political satire blog on your Kindle device, you can subscribe right here.
If you would like to read my other general humor blog on your Kindle reader you can subscribe right here.
And my limerick about firewalls, blogging and Kindles is here.