Amazon removes books from customers kindles

The New York Times have recently reported that e-book seller Amazon have deleted purchased books from users Kindle e-readers after the publishers reversed their decision to offer an electronic version of the George Orwell novels 1984 and Animal Farm.

After deleting the already purchased and paid for books the respective accounts were credited with a refund but unsurprisingly it has raised very serious concerns over the ownership of e-books and also the lack of privacy. That Amazon has the capability to just go ahead and delete files from owners Kindle is a sobering thought, Amazon actually knowing what is stored on your own device even scarier.

The incredible irony that 1984 and Animal Farm are the books being deleted certainly isn't lost.

Some people are likening the event to a book seller entering your house in the middle of the night to "forcibly return" certain items whilst leaving you a cheque for their value on the coffee table. By purchasing a product from a legitimate and reputable source should mean the buyer is protected and the seller take the blame, these strong arm tactics will only harm the emerging e-media.

This action is even against Amazon's own Kindle Terms of Service:

"Use of Digital Content. Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon."

You can see the complete Terms of service here

Is this one of the reasons why Amazon hasn't launched the Kindle in the UK? would our consumer protection Laws and the Data Protection Act prevent this happening over here? Assuming that the Kindle is classed as a "storage device" it very well might. Even should it not, the only organization that can legally remove purchased goods that have been deemed "stolen" is the police, so effectively by removing someones copy of a book from a device they own could possibly be seen to constitute theft.