Do You Really Own What’s on Your Kindle?

I thought this was fascinating — I had NO idea that there was any wiggle-room of doubt in this area. If you read the article below, though, it seems you can buy a Kindle e-book, and later have it deleted remotely from your device. Your money’s refunded, of course, but that’s not really the point. I’ve been lusting after a Kindle (but resisting), not to replace printed books (heavens no!) but just because, well, shiny! This makes me wonder a little, though. That instant connection Amazon’s always bragging about, with the Kindle — I guess it goes both ways…

Do You Really Own What’s On Your Kindle?
By Omar L. Gallaga

Introduce a new media product embraced by many, be prepared to jog through a minefield of rights management issues.

That’s what Amazon is learning now that a publisher has decided to pull e-books from the Kindle e-reader by George Orwell. Customers who’d bought some versions of Animal Farm and 1984 discovered their money refunded and the books zapped from their devices, something Amazon can do remotely via the device’s Internet connection.

As David Pogue and others have noted, there’s something a bit Orwellian about a company being able to delete something from afar that you might be in the middle of reading.

It brings up the issue of whether you really own the content you buy for your Kindle given that Amazon has the ability to take it from you at any time.

What do you think? Did the publisher and Amazon have the right to take back the e-books after they’d already been purchased?