Deleting is Publishing, And Amazon Never Removed 1984 From Your Kindle

Is Amazon.com just trying to be creepy? It's already headed by a "chuckling maniac" being sued over defective Kindles and swindling newspapers on the e-book reader. Now his company is quietly deleting people's Kindle books. It's Orwellian. Literally.

A publisher changed its mind about selling George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm electronically. So Amazon agreed to just go ahead and remotely delete bought and paid for e-copies of the books from people's Kindles.

Owners got refunds, but many were still not happy. Which makes sense; your local bookstore isn't allowed to sneak into your house in the middle of the night, take your books back and leave you a check. If Amazon wants to make the Kindle an iPhone for books, it's well advised to get a bit obsessive about controlling the user experience on the device, as Apple would. But this is taking things too far.