Over on the Kindle forum at Amazon, I found the following post:
If true -- I find it rather chilling and "big-brother-ish"...
Amazon owes me a full explanation for deleting, in the dark of night and without prior notice or permission, four titles from my Kindle. Atlas Shrugged, Virtue Of Selfishness, The Fountainhead and Night of January 16th, all by Ayn Rand.
Now that the Company has demonstrated that it not only has the capability, but believes it has the *right*, to delete content from our Kindles at any time at its discretion, Amazon owes Kindle owners a detailed policy statement. I would like to know whether Amazon will set any limits on future use of this blunt instrument, and our rights if we believe the Company has crossed the line.
If Amazon insists on retaining wide discretion, I call for the immediate appointment of (at least a pseudo-independent) Ombudsman to represent the interests of Kindle users going forward.
A reasonable solution for purchasers -- if Amazon genuinely made an error and illegally published and distributed Ayn Rand works in violation of copyrights -- would have been for the Company to purchase, on its own nickle, hard copies of each of the withdrawn works, and shipped them to affected users ASAP Amazon Prime.
I'd have accepted that, together with a written explanation and apology.
What seems to keep happening with the Kindle line is that Amazon Legal panics, and users get the shaft. It happened with TTS, and now it appears to have happened with Ayn Rand content -- regarding which the Company may now fear high-dollar value copyright infringement litigation.
Again, we don't know from any authoritative source that these were unauthorized works -- Amazon said only that there were "problems" with the works. On that basis, or perhaps on no basis at all, the Company has asserted it has the right to withdraw from our Kindles any content it wishes, at any time, for a simple return of fees.
Think about that!