Bull. Fucking. Shit.
On July 17, word got out that several customers who purchased e-books for the Kindle found titles deleted. The purchase price was refunded to accounts, but without so much as a by your leave, Amazon.com deleted the books.
The books in question? "Animal Farm" and "1984" by George Orwell. As Thom Holwerda put it on OS News, "Amazon has used up the world's irony." One blogger asked if Amazon.com was going to break into people's houses and burn their hard copies, too.
The issue is that the publisher decided it didn't want the books to be electronic. It could be the publisher just didn't want it (possible), or it could be they had the rights to the print editions but not the electronic versions, so they had no right to release them (plausible). Either way, everyone who bought those books found them missing in what is turning out to be an epic PR disaster for Amazon.com's fledgling Kindle reader, just like the server shutdowns for Wal-Mart's DRM music or Major League Baseball's deal with M$' Silverlight. Sam Diaz on ZDNet summed it up thusly: "Imagine buying a DVD at Wal-Mart and then, a few days later, someone from the Hollywood studio that produced that movie breaks into your house, takes that DVD out of your collection and leaves a refund on the dresser for you - all because that studio suddenly decided that it didn’t want Wal-Mart selling its DVDs."
Fuck the Kindle, if I can't read a book on my Linux box and back it up so I don't lose it, I'll stick with my trusty hard copies. Besides, they look nice, and I love books anyway.