Jeff Bezos offers apology for Orwellian mistake

Summary:Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has offered up an apology for using the Kindle's remote wipe feature to delete illegal copies of 1984 and Animal Farm mistakenly sold to customers.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has offered up an apology for using the Kindle's remote wipe feature to delete illegal copies of 1984 and Animal Farm mistakenly sold to customers.

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

I think he forgot to mention that the solution was also ironic, especially given the content. Also, there's nothing in the way of compensation for those affected. Words are cheap and easy.

There's also that tactical word "solution". That's not the word I'd have used for the mass delete. I think I'd go with the word "intrusion" or maybe even "trespass". Amazon offered the content for sale, users purchased it and had it delivered. When Amazon discovered the mistake, rather than try to negotiate terms with the copyright holder, Amazon trespassed onto Kindle's and stole the content back. The fact that refunds were issued doesn't change the situation because users never got the choice to sell the content back to Amazon.

What Amazon did was wrong, and an apology, heartfelt or not, wouldn't be enough for me.

Burning books is so last millennium ... the modern way to to just delete them!

Topics: Networking, Amazon, Collaboration, IT Employment, Microsoft, Security, Software

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.