Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

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I’ve coveted the Kindle since Amazon first came out with them. My apartment is overflowing with books, and I’m forced to carry an ENORMOUS purse to and fro because I refuse to leave the house without a book. I literally don’t want to spend a second in a waiting room or on line for a movie without reading material. I’d go nuts without novels, bonkers without biographies, pine for lack of prose… yeah, yeah, you get the idea.
So far, I haven’t been able to justify the expense of the Kindle, but every time I see someone handling one on the subway, I sigh a little and turn green with envy. But after today, perhaps less so?
According to reports, after discovering a third-party had unlawfully made two Orwell titles available to users (1984 and Animal Farm), Amazon simply deleted them from users’ accounts without notice and refunded their money. Subscribers, naturally enough, reacted with outrage and surprise. I would too!
I mean, seriously, would Amazon come to your house in the dead of the night and ‘remove’ a brick-and-mortar copy of the book if they discovered it was a pirated edition? I think not! 
Many users complained they’d made notes on their copies, which were now lost. But it’s the invasion of the privacy on Amazon’s part that I think abused their customers’ trust the most. Nowhere in their terms of service agreement does it say they reserve the right to ‘backsies’ on their books. 
C’mon, Amazon. At least have the decency to issue a product recall of sorts; send out a broadcast letting people know you’re going to do it, etc. While the author’s estate has a right not to be pilfered, users should feel as secure in their electronic property as they do in their physical property. 
Safe to say, you’re getting a wag of the finger from me on this Orwellian ethical no-no.
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