Jeff Bezos:

This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

A nice apology. I think the whole situation is good to remind people about how paying for things online doesn’t always confer ownership. Part of me still wonders if Amazon didn’t do it on purpose to maybe give them some arguing power down the road against copy protection.

September 4 Update: Amazon is giving free downloads of the books to affected customers.

An Apology from Amazon - kindle Discussion Forum