Amazon boss sorry for "stupidly" wiping Kindle eBooks
By Barry Collins
Posted on 24 Jul 2009 at 07:47
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has offered a fulsome apology for the way his company deleted the 1984 eBook from customers' Kindle devices.
The online store provoked a furious response from customers and privacy advocates alike, after it unilaterally wiped copies of the George Orwell novel from customers' Kindles after it was discovered that Amazon didn't have the rights to distribute the book.
Now, in a posting to the Kindle Community forum, Bezos admits Amazon behaved "stupidly".
"This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle," Bezos writes.
"Our 'solution' to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles.
"It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission."
The apology appears to have been well received by members of the forum, with many praising Bezos for his honesty. "Everyone makes mistakes," writes one Kindle forum member. "What matters is what you do next. The apology is appreciated and accepted."
Whether Bezos's contrition will be enough to appease privacy advocates is another matter. Critics such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have openly attacked Amazon for putting the interests of its content partners above its customers, and claim that the deletions were not necessary by law.
Find out what the PC Pro team made of Amazon's decision to delete eBooks on this week's PC Pro podcast
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