Amazon justifies its removal of Orwell titles from Kindle
The last week saw Amazon entangled in a couple of controversies - first it faced a lawsuit pertaining to its faulty Kindle screens, and then it was widely criticized for its abrupt withdrawal of Kindle digital editions of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm!
Amazon's sudden removal of the two titles, making them unavailable for fresh purchase and retracting them from existing owners, was largely seen as a thoughtless violation of one of the most basic principles of business designs, namely, 'know your customer culture and respect it.' In this case, Amazon meddled with the hybrid 'owning-sharing' culture of most readers, thereby making them feel cheated.
Realizing that it has 'blown it big' this time round, Amazon tried to justify its action late Friday, with the company's spokesman Drew Herdener telling The New York Times that the Kindle editions of both the Orwell books had reached the store via MobileReference, which did possess the rights to publish these editions.
Herdener said: "When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed illegal copies from our systems and from customers' devices, and refunded customers."
Nonetheless, whatever be the lawful copyright reasons behind Amazon's action of retracting the Orwell titles, there is no denying the fact that by stealthily crawling into people's Kindles and removing books belonging to them, the company has appallingly hit its own business model!