Big Amazon will give you back your copies of 1984, annotations won't be sent into the chute

Amazon is making good after killing copies of 1984 for the Kindle. As you recall, Amazon had to recall the electronic version of the book for copyright reasons.

Purchasers will receive a copy of the book for the Kindle or $30 in credit for Amazon products or a check. So either you can get one book or cash for two or more books.

Giz has the full text of emails being sent to folks who bought the book:


On July 23, 2009, Jeff Bezos, our Founder and CEO, made the following apology to our customers:

“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.

With deep apology to our customers,

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO”

As you were one of the customers impacted by the removal of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” from your Kindle device in July of this year, we would like to offer you the option to have us re-deliver this book to your Kindle along with any annotations you made. You will not be charged for the book. If you do not wish to have us re-deliver the book to your Kindle, you can instead choose to receive an electronic gift certificate or check for $30.

Please email Kindle customer support at to indicate your preference. If you prefer to receive a check, please also provide your mailing address.

We look forward to hearing from you.


The Kindle Team

Well that’s nice! Amazon made two mistakes here – they didn’t pay attention to copyright ownership and they didn’t pay attention to the implications of destroying copies of 1984. If this were My Life in France or a Clive Cussler novel, I doubt it would have created such a buzz. However, the irony and newsworthiness of the destruction essentially made this explode. Amazon will probably send flowers next time they have to delete a book like this – and I know they will – in order to head all the outrage off at the pass.