“Orwell fans, lock your doors,” was the reaction from Amazon user Caffeine Queen after she and others had received notice from Amazon last Friday that their e-book versions of “1984″ and “Animal Farm” had been removed from their Kindle device.
Amazon explained later that these electronic versions were distributed illegally and that customers were refunded.
Amazon’s decision to remotely delete the e-books not only infuriated customers, it sparked a debate on digital ownership.
Richard Waters of the Financial Times argues that this episode questions the future of ownership in an electronic age:
“New internet media platforms like this raise a dilemma. Their owners have the power to control information on the client. So if they have a legal responsibility to remove data from their systems – say, after receiving a take-down notice under the DMCA – failing to expunge it may expose them to liability.”