Apparently, all copies of Orwell's works on Kindle, everywhere, have evaporated. Gone into the memory hole. Been disappeared. 1984 does not exist, it has never existed. Apparently it's a consequence of the war with EastAsia... I mean, Eurasia. Outer Party members of the Ministry of Truth has replaced it with a picture of the Hero of the Revolution.
This unusual maneuver, which Amazon says occurred because Orwell's publisher changed its mind about offering the electronic version of these titles, is all the more unsettling simply because readers already purchased the books and had their ownership of the item revoked. In the Orwell book case, the item was simply no longer there-it was as if those Kindle users never owned it.That may be so. My theory? Simple: the ghost of Orwell must have posted something at Little Green Footballs that Charles Johnson didn't like, so Johnson banned him, really really hard. But that's just me.
Eric Blair laughs at us, wherever he is.
ADDENDUM JULY 19 2009 8:00 AM
Over at the article cited above, one "Mearsfan42" makes the following comment:
Something needs to be corrected about this article... The writer stated that the books publisher simply changed it's mind about offering an ebook, when it actuality its totally different...Well, yeah. But it points up to a real problem. We no longer need huge numbers of droids at the Miinistry of Truth to disappear information. All we need is the Net: for he who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the hard drive controls the past.
Here's a direct quote from engadget.com that has a comment from Amazon:
"Drew Herdener, Amazon.com's Director of Communications: "These books were added to our catalog using our self-service platform by a third-party who did not have the rights to the books. When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers' devices, and refunded customers. We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances."
If this is the case I have no problem with Amazon being able to do this..
As another commenter, "Chasrome," observed: "It's ironic - at a supernatural level - that Orwell's works would figure in this!" Indeed.
And "JohnU" adds: "I suppose the horror of one click censorship is offest by the environemental gains. After all, when there are no more books, we won't have to have huge bonfires to [burn] them. Maybe that is what "Kindle" really means."