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Amazon.com Offers To Replace Copies Of Orwell Book

Publication Date: 
September 05, 2009
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Miguel Helft

Visiting professor Jonathan Zittrain, author of "The Future of the Internet – and How to Stop It," is quoted in the New York Times on the prospect of litigant control over digital libraries:

Amazon invited some unflattering literary analogies earlier this summer when it remotely erased unlicensed versions of two George Orwell novels from its customers’ Kindle reading devices.

Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, apologized to customers for the deletions in July. And late Thursday, the company tried to put the incident behind it, offering to deliver new copies of “1984” and “Animal Farm” at no charge to affected customers.

...

“There is this new prospect for control, and it is hard to imagine that regulators or litigants won’t notice,” said Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School and author of the book “The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It.” Litigants in defamation cases or government regulators could demand that these services remove entire works from their collections, or simply a word or paragraph that they found offensive, Mr. Zittrain said.