In a turn of events so ironic that even the seediest Hollywood porn producer would have rejected the plot as ridiculously unrealistic, Amazon.com has demonstrated that the worlds of electronic vs. paper books are universes apart, and in one fell swoop magnified the worst fears of e-book detractors around the world.
The script sounds so ridiculous that it’s almost embarrassing to recount. To retroactively satisfy a demand from one of their suppliers, Amazon reportedly reached electronically into privately-owned Kindle electronic book readers and deleted recently purchased copies of — get this — 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell.
The irony drips so thickly that it practically coagulates on spinning disk drives. Just as 1984’s Winston Smith’s role was to delete and change unacceptable points of history from information databases, Amazon — without any warning and without asking for permission from Kindle owners — destroyed e-books that had been legally purchased, replacing them with a purchase credit.