A post on Amazon’s Kindle support forum yesterday says the company is sending out emails with offers of $30 to customers who had their George Orwell purchases erased from their devices earlier this summer.
I just received an email from Amazon stating: “As you were one of the customers impacted by the removal of “Works of George Orwell” from your Kindle device in July of this year, we would like to offer you the option to have us re-deliver this book to your Kindle along with any annotations you made. You will not be charged for the book. If you do not wish to have us re-deliver the book to your Kindle, you can instead choose to receive an Amazon.com electronic gift certificate or check for $30.” I think Jeff has handled this issue in a most upstanding way. I know it might not appease those who are concerned about how Amazon handles this kind of problem in the future but I feel confident it will be handled in a way that at least I will feel comfortable with.
This is a nice first step, but Amazon still hasn’t spelled out in exact terms what it will and will not do in the future with respect to your Kindle purchases. Because of that, it stinks of PR, protect-us-from-a-lawsuit maneuvering and not real progress toward being open with customers. By comparison, note that Amazon has still not made any actual public announcements about the missing details of its user license. (No, they never got back to us on those questions after promising they would.)
We love money, but we love owning the things we paid for even more. Amazon still hasn’t made it explicitly clear—via a detailed license agreement—that they will respect that approach to ownership in the future. Our verdict: the Kindle is still an unwise investment if you want to protect your book purchases from evaporating over time.
“$30 From Amazon for Taking My Copy of ‘Works of George Orwell'” [Amazon]