Oh, for heaven's sake. Everyone from CNET to The New York Times is up in arms over Amazon's recent decision to remotely delete copies of two George Orwell novels it sold to Kindle owners on behalf of an independent publisher.
But not even the usually sensible David Pogue of the Times appears to have done any actual research on the subject. Am I the only blogger in the world who cares about getting the facts right instead of just going for the quick and easy chance to smear Amazon? Or just the only one who can see the obvious?
It was instantly apparent to me what must have happened, so I looked into it. From stories posted on other sites, and from my own research on Amazon.com, it's clear the books in question had been published illegally--and not by the publisher with U.S. rights for these books, which are still under copyright protection in this country.
The listing for the illegal copy of "1984" is still present on Amazon, though it can no longer be purchased. The page for "Animal Farm" from the same publisher still appears in Google's listings, but is no longer available on Amazon--though another pirated copy is still listed but not purchasable. (I'm not sure these are exactly the same copies at issue in this case, but at least that copy of "1984" was yanked in the same way, according to an Amazon customer discussion.)
Note the caveat placed on the 1984 page by the publisher:… Read more