Amazon.com, which took the Orwellian step of remotely deleting copies of "1984" and "Animal Farm" from customers' Kindles, has apologized. On Thursday, they announced a sort of "reparations program" for those customers.
In an email sent to "former owners" of the e-books, Amazon.com offered to either return the deleted books to effected Kindles, or to give owners a $30 Amazon gift certificate. It's unclear if this was prompted by the lawsuit over the deletions.
The lawsuit was filed by a student who said that the deletion rendered useless the notes he had taken for a school assignment and put into his Kindle. Naturally, of course, Amazon.com denied any connection between the two.
Here's the full text of the Amazon.com email:
On July 23, 2009, Jeff Bezos, our Founder and CEO, made the following apology to our customers:
“This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. 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.
With deep apology to our customers,
Founder & CEO
As you were one of the customers impacted by the removal of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” from your Kindle device in July of this year, we would like to offer you the option to have us re-deliver this book to your Kindle along with any annotations you made. You will not be charged for the book. If you do not wish to have us re-deliver the book to your Kindle, you can instead choose to receive an Amazon.com electronic gift certificate or check for $30.
Please email Kindle customer support at email@example.com to indicate your preference. If you prefer to receive a check, please also provide your mailing address.
We look forward to hearing from you.
The Kindle Team