Amazon CEO apology: 'Stupid,' 'thoughtless' to remove e-books from Kindle readers

A rare thing occurred yesterday: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized.Quite the Kindle user flareup ensued after the company decided to remotely remove copies of popular George Orwell novels 1984 and Animal Farm -- yes, the irony was immediately apparent -- after it determined that it sold them without authorization to customers.

A rare thing occurred yesterday: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized.

Quite the Kindle user flareup ensued after the company decided to remotely remove copies of popular George Orwell novels 1984 and Animal Farm -- yes, the irony was immediately apparent -- after it determined that it sold them without authorization to customers.

Though Amazon provided refunds, some customers were outraged. Now, it seems Amazon has caved twice to outward pressure: once to a publisher, once to its customers.

The full apology, posted in the public Kindle Discussion Forum:

This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our "solution" to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

With deep apology to our customers,

Jeff Bezos Founder & CEO Amazon.com

The apology came as Amazon reported disappointing second-quarter sales on Thursday, sending shares tumbling in after-hours trading.

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