Friday, September 4, 2009

Amazon said to be offering '1984' book/notes or credit to affected users - Update

UPDATE 9/5/09 is at the bottom of this entry.

  Gizmodo's Rosa Golijan reports that 'reader Shinobiwan wrote in with an e-mail received from "' reminding Shinobiwan that on July 23, Jeff Bezos made an apology to Amazon customers for "the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle" and said it was "stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles..."

  The e-mail, signed "The Kindle Team," continued:
  As you were one of the customers impacted by the removal of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" from your Kindle device in July of this year, we would like to offer you the option to have us re-deliver this book to your Kindle along with any annotations you made.  You will not be charged for the book.  If you do not wish to have us re-deliver the book to your Kindle, you can instead choose to receive an electronic gift certificate or check for $30.

  Please email Kindle customer support at to indicate your preference.  If you prefer to receive a check, please also provide your mailing address.

  We look forward to hearing from you.


  The Kindle Team
Gizmodo isn't in a forgiving mood, as their photo of a Kindle displaying a finger shows.

  The brouhaha has been called "1984Gate" and I gave my take on the dispute July 31.

  Amazon doesn't mention which edition they're offering to re-deliver.  Of the lower-cost ones on product pages which might be similar to the 99-cent copy that wasn't legally sold, I see that:
 1984, published by Synergy House Publications (June 22, 2009) - $1.99, is shown as "not available" -- and another recently uploaded version of the book for $2.98 is also "not available."  The one available is $9.99, so maybe Amazon has authorization to re-deliver the MobileRef book with matching annotations to affected customers after some agreement was reached with the copyright holder.

Just saw the Wall St. Journal report on this.

UPDATE 9/5/09 (No date change being made on posting as updates are not key.)
  I enjoyed the reaction from PCAdvisor's David Coursey, UK, wrote:
" That's good news, and Amazon is known for doing right by customers, but in offering $30 cash compensation, the company probably went a little overboard.
  I'd have offered $19.84. '
(And if Amazon sent me such a cheque, I'd have framed it). "
  The Morning Call reported that "Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said Friday that the company now has the proper rights to distribute the Orwell books."

  Reuters' Alexei Oreskovic wrote " Amazon spokesman Andrew Herdener said the move was unrelated to the lawsuit, and said the company does not comment on active litigation. " Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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