This is why I don’t want an E-reader (Kindle in this case). This comes in response to an article I read on Yahoo this morning which can be found HERE .
To sum it up Amazon.com has apologized to Kindle customers for deleting copies of George Orwell novels “1984” and “Animal Farm” from their e-reader devices last week. Their money was refunded, but no notification was initially given.
They simply reached out and deleted content that these folks had paid for.
Granted they refunded the money, and even went on to apologise for their actions and try to explain them.
The fact remains that they accessed books that people had purchased and simply made them go away.
Lets take a quick detour.
Lets say I sold you a car. You wrote me a check, I handed over the title and the keys. Nothing unusual so far.
Later that night I go in a back door you did not even know existed and take back the car, the keys, and the title.
Even if I leave your uncashed check on the kitchen table with a post-it note that says mommy told me I made a boo-boo and I changed my mind, one fact remains.
I just stole your car. Not only that, I broke into your house to do it.
Ok, back on topic.
Now how about if this was just a little bit more subtle. How about if Amazon had instead decided they did not like the way a certain passage of a book read. Perhaps not amazon as a company, but someone who can get access to it’s database.
What if that person decided to do a little rewriting of things they did not like in someone elses work?
How about changing recipes in a cookbook? (because thier grannys pie tasted better, just helping out right?)
How about tweaking the end of a novel to give it a “better” ending?
How about a little change up in the history books? There’s already some that say the holocaust never happened…..
How far does editing go before the content is changed?
The fact that the content provider can not only reach out and delete books. They have the ability to edit them without my even knowing. That is why I will never own an E-reader.
It would have been horrible irony if one of the books that was deleted had been Fahrenheit 451 instead.
It’s ironic enough that the big company that’s watching what you read, when, and how you go about reading it decided people could not read 1984.
Big Brother indeed.