In a not very widely reported story, Amazon recently acknowledged remotely deleting books on customers Kindle e-book readers. Tom's Guidesaid it best:
In what is glaring irony, George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm were the two books that the publisher decided it no longer wanted Kindle owners to have access to. Instead of just pulling the book from the store and stopping any further sales, it had Amazon send out a kill notice to delete all those books from any device that they were purchased on.
I was a skeptic at first and couldn't believe that Amazon would be so stupid and actually would remotely remove any books that customers had already purchased. However, the response below from Amazon's customer service confirmed that the story is true.
Thank you for contacting us at Amazon with your concern.
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 customer's devices, and refunded customers.
We are changing our systems so that in the future, books will not be removed from customer's devices in these circumstances.
Thank you for your interest in Kindle.
Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:
Possibly I'm in the minority on this one, but Amazon's response didn't resolve my question since Amazon only acknowledged that they will no longer remove books from customers Kindles under 'these circumstances' - not the answer that one might expect - which would be that Amazon would in the future no longer remove books from customers Kindles under 'any circumstances'. I was planning on buying an Amazon Kindle (this weekend) since they just lowered the price to $299, but I think that I'll stick to real 'paper' books instead of e-books for the time being.