Seriously, I thought that this had to be some masterful hacking hoax. The kind that would get you arrested and sent to jail, but for your name to be forever remembered as the mastermind that pulled off one of the greatest stunts of all time.
Last night, Amazon pulled the digital copies of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm from Kindle devices. That's right, freakin' George Orwell is the book that our new digital Big Brother decided to delete from its Kindle devices. So forgive me if I really did think that this was a masterful hoax by some ingenious hacker to embarrass Amazon's corporate behemoth.
This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned. (h/t Josh Marshall)
It turns out, the copies that were distributed on Amazon were illegally distributed by a company that didn't own the rights to the book that it put online. And, from the discussion board linked to in the story quoted above,
Big BrotherAmazon decided that it was not important to inform customers of what happened. I don't know who is running the ship over there, but given that this is their second major publicity blunder in four months doing things that showed complete arrogance, I'm not sure that they are competent enough to be Big Brother.