AfterDawn: Tech news

Amazon sued over '1984' e-book removal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 31 Jul 2009 13:30 User comments (27)

Amazon sued over '1984' e-book removal Amazon has been sued this week by 17-yr old Justin D. Gawronski, a high school student who says the e-tailer's controversial removal of George Orwell's classic 1984 e-book from Kindle readers caused him to lose all his notes he had taken on the book for an assignment at school.
The suit, if successful, will prevent Amazon from ever remotely deleting e-books from the Kindle. Gawronski is also seeking monetary damages for the lost work.

Amazon, for its part, has already refunded all buyers of the book, and CEO Jeff Bezos called the incident “stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles.”

Says Gawronski: “If there’s something that catches my eye as I am reading, I just place a note there”, using the Kindle's keypad. The notes were necessary because “every 100 pages we have to write a 1-page summary and reflection of everything that we read,” he added, via the WSJ.

When the book removed itself on July 20th, Amazon did not delete the notes file, but since the actual text was gone, Gawronski says "all my notes refer back to nothing. I can’t really use it for much.”

Adds his lawyer Jay Edelson, of KamberEdelson: “People are given license for life. You start to wonder how many companies have the ability to remote change data or delete things.”

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27 user comments

131.7.2009 14:38

Music, software, games, e-books, it seems like we no longer own what we purchase. everything is "rented" and at the mercy of whomever owns the rights of the product.

231.7.2009 15:34

I agree it's crappy that Amazon did that, but he should have had put page number and paragraph notations on a separate device like his home computer. People at school always complain about losing their 5-page papers, then I ask them, "Did you back it up off of your flash drive to another storage device?" Rarely do they do this.

331.7.2009 15:51

Bring back the seventies, when I bought a record the record was mine and when I bought a book the book was mine and when I went to the pictures the... ...popcorn was mine.

O.K. so the argument falls down on that last one :)

431.7.2009 16:45

Give me anything. I can't stand not owning something physically. I mean man Hard Drives are still very unreliable...

531.7.2009 23:53

There was a time when the small minds of the world burned books that "taught too much". Today the information is digital, and can be deleted remotely, or changed at any time. If you have ever read 1984, you should realize how terrifying of a thing this is...and it seems now that they are taking steps to prevent you from reading 1984! I am very happy to have some old paper-backs of this book (as well as the rest of his great works), they can't be deleted or modified remotely by the fascists at Amazon.

If you don't own this book, now might be a good time to buy a copy (in non-digital form).

[edit] had to change Google to Amazon; accidently typed google when I though of fascists.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Jul 2009 @ 23:55

61.8.2009 2:40

I guess we should look on the bright side???

At least some people are reading 1984 and Animal Farm!
I'm surprised people have even heard of them. I'm certain they don't teach George Orwell in schools any more.

Maybe there is hope for this world after all???

71.8.2009 3:33
llongtheD
Inactive

@ ThePastor

There's a reason they don't want people to read books like that now. It is no coincidence.

81.8.2009 5:20

meh we are slowly changing what money is, ownership of electric goods is no different. The question should be what are our rights beyond the rental and I hope the answer is personal data archiving....tho in a society controlled by corporate that would be a joke.

Gaa I am a link away from being spam ><

oh wait
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2009/07...-streams-oh-my/

thar zippy is now spam like. :P

91.8.2009 5:40

"I'm certain they don't teach George Orwell in schools any more"

Isn't the article about someone who was reading it for school? I know it is not assigned reading, but at least for the moment it is not on the banned list at every school.

Personly, I have given out dozens of copies of these books...I pick them up at yard sales for $0.25 and give them to anyone who I think might be smart enough to read around the sci-fi. It is a long way from enligtening the world, but at least all my friends and family know not to trust the bipartison party or the pigs, but especialy to fear the sheep.

[edit]
Anyone else notice that whenever Kindle does something awfull like this, there is a Kindle add on the right? It's like they are proud of it!

Also, I did some reading, it seems they also remotely deleted Animal Farm as well as the works of Ayn Rand. They claim it is because of copywrites, but it seems that works of free thought are being targeted. Also, remote deletion is against Kindle's own contract...but I am sure they can delete that too.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 01 Aug 2009 @ 5:48

101.8.2009 15:26

ORWELL WROTE OF WHAT CAN SO EASILY HAPPEN IN ANY SOCIETY THAT TAKES LITTLE INTEREST IN ITS LIBERTIES AS LONG AS THEY HAVE THEIR 'BREAD AND CIRCUSES'
ENGLAND WAS ONCE THE MODEL OF PERSONAL FREEDOM,YET NOW WE HAVE MORE CCTV CAMERAS PER HEAD OF POPULATION THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY.
RATHER MORE SINISTER IS THE FACT THAT MANY NOW HAVE LOUDSPEAKERS AND DIRECTIONAL PARABOLIC MICROPHONES SO THAT ANYONE HAVING A PRIVATE CONVERSATION IN THE STREET CAN NOW BE HEARD AND RECORDED.
DOES NO-ONE ELSE FIND THIS GRADUAL INTRUSION INTO OUR PRIVATE AFFAIRS DISTURBING?
(NB; ALL THE ABOVE IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND MAY EASILY BE VERIFIED)

111.8.2009 15:41

Originally posted by GDRAKEN:
Orwell wrote of what can so easily happen in any society that takes little interest in its liberties as long as they have their “Bread and Circuses” .

England was once the model of personal freedom, yet now we have more CCTV cameras per head of population than any other country.

Rather more sinister is the fact many now have loudspeakers and directional parabolic microphones so that anyone having a private conversation in the street can now be heard and recorded
Dose no-one lease find this gradual intrusion into our private affairs disgusting?
(NB; All of the above is absolutely true and man easily be varied)


MY EYES!!!!..my ears!!!....my caps!!!!

Look if I, a over caffnatied net vermin with a attention span of a over sugared fly on the back of mad drunk squirrel can do it, SO CAN YOU!

And FYI there is no privacy in public spaces so the point is moot, one either places cops on each corner or use technology and place cameras on each corner, least till beat cops are minimally trained to hand out citations and thump criminals on the head while wearing a camera and audio recording system that can last for 10+ hours a charge. Public cameras that are open to public scrutiny via public record is damn well near perfect of course I am sure UK cameras are not that open … but my point is you don’t need a conspiracy for everything.

121.8.2009 15:41

GDRAKEN, knockoff the caps lock as is refered to as shouting which is a forum rule no no & we are not deaf.
9. No ALL CAPS MESSAGES or you will be banned (you know, turn the caps lock off before you type anything).

131.8.2009 15:42

Originally posted by ddp:
GDRAKEN, knockoff the caps lock as is refered to as shouting which is a forum rule no no & we are not deaf.
9. No ALL CAPS MESSAGES or you will be banned (you know, turn the caps lock off before you type anything).
Either he or you can copy my fixed version of his post if you like. ^^

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

141.8.2009 15:44

we'll see what his response is 1st.

151.8.2009 15:48

Animal farm was a great book. we read it as a class and even though I finished it in one lesson I really enjoyed and seen as most the e-stuff I own hasn't been paid for DRM and Amazon and alike companies can go and **** themselves.

162.8.2009 11:19

Originally posted by GDRAKEN:

ENGLAND WAS ONCE THE MODEL OF PERSONAL FREEDOM,YET NOW WE HAVE MORE CCTV CAMERAS PER HEAD OF POPULATION THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY.
RATHER MORE SINISTER (NB; ALL THE ABOVE IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND MAY EASILY BE VERIFIED)
and i'm so glad that we do have those cctv cameras because without them , the police would never have caught the person who murdered my 7 year old niece by running her over on a zebra crossing in sight of a cctv camera and then driving off - that is also true and can easily be verified and without the camera his registration number would never have been recorded.
think about that ( because it is not the only case - a hell of a lot of shop robberies and attacks/murders in the street are successfully prosecuted with the aid of cctv cameras - ever watched crimestoppers ? ) next time we are complaining about our lack of "civil liberties" - whereas in some cases it is probably true that there is massive intrusion into our personal lives ( phone tapping , neighbour spying , data banks etc ) - I can't for the life of me think why anybody would complain about cctv cameras unless they were intending to do or had already done something wrong.

173.8.2009 3:48

There is a big difference between recording in a public space and deleting someone else's litrature from their own private property.

Ordinary civilians are allowed to record on the street, and they can record whoever or whetever they want so long as it is in the public space. To say that the government cannot do the same is a bit silly. Besides, most of the world is under constant satelite monitoring anyway.

On the other hand, if a hacker breaks into a computer network and deletes information from lots of accounts, this is a crime.

Equality is the basis of freedom. Amazon will get away with this, but if it was done by a teenage hacker who got caught and then confessed they would be in prison (or at least jail).

183.8.2009 13:26

There are limits on what can be recorded in the public space. Limits for privacy, decency and security among others.

I don't know how Europe is, but CCTV cameras on every corner outside of a high crime area would be a very tough sell in the US.
Any place that wants to install government controlled cameras usually has to justify it and get the approval of the public. If the public says no, then no cameras.
Hell, we fight the redlight cameras on privacy issues.

193.8.2009 13:40
varnull
Inactive

Quote:
why anybody would complain about cctv cameras unless they were intending to do or had already done something wrong.
Define "wrong"

In a country with one cctv camera for every 4 people it's wrong.. we are spied on and monitored.. It has nothing to do with public safety or security. There is no need for my house to have 3 cameras within sight of it.. it doesn't cut crime.
Phonecalls and texts are monitored and recorded.. emails are kept.. every time you use an atm or cash card in a shop it goes on the state database.. Why do they need this information?

What is allowed today may not be tomorrow.. being constantly monitored and watched is accusation and guilt before the fact.
I regularly talk to people who grew up under thr repressive communist regimes in Eastern Europe.. They don't like the UK BECAUSE it doesn't feel like a free country.. and I guess they know what they are talking about.

203.8.2009 14:41

Quote:
Quote:
why anybody would complain about cctv cameras unless they were intending to do or had already done something wrong.
Define "wrong"

In a country with one cctv camera for every 4 people it's wrong.. we are spied on and monitored.. It has nothing to do with public safety or security. There is no need for my house to have 3 cameras within sight of it.. it doesn't cut crime.
Phonecalls and texts are monitored and recorded.. emails are kept.. every time you use an atm or cash card in a shop it goes on the state database.. Why do they need this information?

What is allowed today may not be tomorrow.. being constantly monitored and watched is accusation and guilt before the fact.
I regularly talk to people who grew up under thr repressive communist regimes in Eastern Europe.. They don't like the UK BECAUSE it doesn't feel like a free country.. and I guess they know what they are talking about.
Breaking the law dear. ^^

Its no different than having cops on every corner, only with cameras its easier to find and fine criminals.

214.8.2009 0:58

One other thing I just thought of:

Cameras are not there to prevent people from doing wrong, just to prevent people from breaking the law. This might sound similar, but it is not always the same. For example, if you were hiding Jews in Germany in 1941, you would be breaking the law, but not doing wrong. I guess this is about the same argument as the NRA uses for firearms, but it is still a good one.

224.8.2009 1:59

Originally posted by KillerBug:
One other thing I just thought of:

Cameras are not there to prevent people from doing wrong, just to prevent people from breaking the law. This might sound similar, but it is not always the same. For example, if you were hiding Jews in Germany in 1941, you would be breaking the law, but not doing wrong. I guess this is about the same argument as the NRA uses for firearms, but it is still a good one.
True to a point, however you don't yet have camera in places you can not station guards. The "rules" allow for profiteering off of "crime" and anti society behavior thus you get cameras they are not there to prevent crime as much as ensure money is made from it.

Its an odd balance that's hard to strike and most cities would rather have cameras in beatification spots and other city "pet projects" rather than where the crime really is......

235.8.2009 13:01

First,may I apologise to the various people who castigated me for my use of Caps, This was the first time on the site and was unaware of the protoculs.
I would welcome further constructive advice by more experienced members.
My point about the addition of parabolic microphones to cctvs is not what those recorded conversations will be used for now, but sometime when this Benthamite government decides to make something else a crime, the argument that if you are innocent,you have nothing to fear does not hold water while the government continues to pass new laws with little or no opposition.
Thankyou all for taking the time to comment on my first post.GDRAKEN

246.8.2009 8:02

Success! We have found a much more environmentally friendly form of book burning. I'm keeping my printed paperback copy of these two books. Right beside my bible and a box of ammo. According to our chosen leader, in tough times people like me tend to cling to religion and firearms. Sounds doubleplusgood to me eh?
This story is just so wrong on so many levels.

More updated info from the Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/techno...mazon.html?_r=1

Quote:
Digital books bought for the Kindle are sent to it over a wireless network. Amazon can also use that network to synchronize electronic books between devices — and apparently to make them vanish.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Aug 2009 @ 8:28

256.8.2009 13:04

Boy, I can't think of a more perfect example of why I don't want a kindle, and why i don't believe in centralized storage of information. Reminds me of a great line, "And now, for a taste of things to come"! Anybody else see where this is headed? Anybody else a student of history and see a few small similarities to, I dunno, say Nazi Germany, and the post-Weimar republic?!

266.8.2009 13:08

Originally posted by Tarsellis:
Boy, I can't think of a more perfect example of why I don't want a kindle, and why i don't believe in centralized storage of information. Reminds me of a great line, "And now, for a taste of things to come"! Anybody else see where this is headed? Anybody else a student of history and see a few small similarities to, I dunno, say Nazi Germany, and the post-Weimar republic?!
Ya I mean can you imagin 50 years from now nothing physical is sold its all data(media/information wise) the right of the individual to share or archive is equated with meth trading and sells.

Government through business or just pure business interests can warp and shape not only information but current history simply making things dissapper. This is one of many reasons why Corporate should not have a iron tight lock of distribution of media and information, profit is the only thing that should be locked..

277.8.2009 21:19

Wow... but really ebook readers?? Just stick to books the screens are only messing up your eyes in the long run any way. Ugh if you want to read ebooks use a modern day phone with adobe reader installed on it.

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