Cancel My Kindle

I don’t think it could get much more ironic than Amazon reaching out from the cloud to remove the book 1984 that people have paid for.

I wasn’t planning on buying one, but if I were, I wouldn’t be any longer.

Makes me glad I still buy my books old skool style. Customers did get a credit, but their bought and paid for books were just removed without any discussion or negotiation. Imagine if you were on the verge of the cliff hanger. Then suddenly when you wake up to finish the last 3 pages – kapow the book is gone! I’d be somewhat annoyed, would you?

What about you? Is this a big issue?



9 Responses to “Cancel My Kindle”

  1. Jon Peltier Says:

    I’d be annoyed by this, sure. Especially if the book vanished with three pages to go. But as it turns out, Amazon removed a book which was provided erroneously by a supplier who did not have rights to it. The customers’ money was refunded.

    I don’t fault Amazon for taking down the book. I fault them for not having done due diligence prior to making the book available for download.

  2. Harlan Grove Says:

    If Amazon didn’t have the legal right to sell a particular book, what should they do? Let everyone who bought an unauthorized copy keep it? I don’t see how they could do so if the copyright holder adamantly refused to allow them to do so.

    In common law countries implicit or explicit sales contracts for what turns out to be effectively stolen property aren’t just unenforceable, they’re automatically rescinded. That is, they never existed as legally binding contracts. As long as the buyer is made whole, e.g., by refucing the full purchase price (maybe with interest – Amazon should consider doing so as a good will gesture), they buyer has NO legal right to maintain possession. There’s nothing to negotiate between buyer and seller.

    If someone stole your mountain bike and it was fenced and then resold, would you be perfectly happy to allow that last buyer to keep it? Or how much time would give the last buyer and seller to renegociate the transaction?

    Amazon did the right thing, though they did it poorly without acceptable explanation, thus my comment about about the aptness of paying buyers interest on the gross sales amounts.

  3. Rob Bruce Says:

    If I bought a mountain bike and found out it was stolen, I certainly would object to someone without any legal authority just marching into my house unannounced and reclaiming it. Particularly if that person wasn’t the original owner.

  4. John Nurick Says:

    An even more worrying thought is that Amazon or could delete a book on one’s reader and replace it with an altered version overnight. Even Big Brother would have envied that power.

  5. Simon Says:

    I agree Jon, the seller needs to ensure they have to legal right to sell the things they sell. Which I’m guessing is a lot easier with physical goods than intellectual ones.
    All good points for sure, Harlan, But I’m thinking more as an owner, rather than as a seller. And I agree with Rob on the MB issue, in fact i had one nicked last year.
    John – yep thats exactly my concern.
    Does it say before you buy a kindle that Amazon may remove anything you have bought for any reason, at any time, with no notice? That just doesn’t seem like ‘bought’ to me, its more like borrowed.

  6. Harlan Grove Says:

    Simon, in a legal sense you’d never have been the owner of an e-book the distributor had no rights to sell you. Even for a pirated physical book you wouldn’t be the owner in the sense that if you became aware that the book was pirated, you couldn’t legally sell it. You could still sell it anyway, but you would knowingly be selling pirated material.

    This is copyright law applied to digital media. The publisher of a physical book to which the publisher had no rights to publish may not need to recover all sold copies because it may be impractical to do so. OTOH, the distributor/publisher of e-books sold without rights to do so may be required to recover all copies.

    Further, if any Amazon systems would have been involved whenever a Kindle user tried to read such an e-book, it wouldn’t surprise me if the law would consider each new such transaction in Amazon’s systems as a NEW copyright violation. If so, the civil damages for Amazon could grow exponentially even if they didn’t sell another copy.

    Finally, ALL contracts are subject to statutory law not only as of the time they come into force but also to any laws passed afterwards. To legistators and lawyers this concept is so obvious it doesn’t need to be written into contracts or Terms of Use agreements. It’s implicitly understood. If non-legislator, non-lawyer Kindle users didn’t realize that, well, there’s no legal protections or exceptions people who are ignorant of the law. If copyright law required to do as it did, then that was implicitly contemplated in the Kindle’s Terms of Use no matter what any Kindle user or Kindle commentator may believe.

  7. Marcus from London Says:

    “in fact i had one nicked last year”

    Does this mean Amazon could clear all the titles from the stolen unit and reinstate them if you purchased a new one?

  8. Simon Says:

    Dunno Marcus
    But it was a bike I had nicked – Orange Evo with race face components. I’d happily have it reinstated!

  9. Troy Larowe Says:

    Between me and my brother we have owned more gadgets over the years than I can count, including GPS units, iPods (classic & touch), etc. I love Kindel, it’s by far the coolest toy I got.  Why? Because I was happy to discover just how well-designed and fun it is and how easy it is to use . Make sure you get the leather cover though as it gets scratched pretty quickly.

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