Kindle Users Get '1984,' 'Animal Farm' Back

Customers can choose between having the books restored, or $30 credit, after Amazon deleted the books from Kindles without notice.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

September 4, 2009

1 Min Read

Amazon has an offer for Kindle customers who bought George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm, only to have the e-books deleted without notice by the retailer. The customers can get the e-books restored, or accept a $30 credit or check.

Amazon deleted 1984 and Animal Farm in mid-July from customers' Kindle e-book readers without notice. Amazon later said it took the unusual action after learning that the books had been added to its e-book catalog by a third party who did not have the rights to sell the books.

Nevertheless, Amazon was severely criticized for taking the unilateral action, leading to an apology from Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos who said the company's handling of the problem was "stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles."

On Thursday, the company sent an e-mail, offering Kindle customers the option of having their copies of the books, including annotations, returned to them, according to media reports. If customers no longer want the books, they can get a $30 credit or a check for $30.

Amazon was named in a lawsuit filed in July in Seattle federal court by two Kindle customers. One of the plaintiffs, a Michigan high school student, claims the retailer ruined his homework by deleting 1984 from his Kindle. The plaintiffs were seeking class-action status.

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