Some users discovered last week that Amazon has the capability to remove books from their Kindle electronic reading devices, even though they were bought, paid for, downloaded, and in the users' possession.

Ironically, among the books with which this was discovered was George Orwell's 1984, which postulated a society where history could be changed by rewriting it. Orwell's Animal Farm was also affected, as were Harry Potter books and books by Ayn Rand, users reported.

Amazon said the company took this action when it discovered that the company that had uploaded the text of the books to the Kindle site did not have the rights to do so, and that the legitimate copyright holders had made the request, according to the New York Times.

A number of sources reported that Amazon sent out a press release late Friday saying that, after the outcry, it would not do this again, but the press release is not listed on the company's website.

Amazon was able to delete the books through the Kindle's "synchronization" feature.

Kindle users, who have already complained that the device doesn't enable them to lend or sell books, expressed surprise and disappointment that Amazon retained the ability to delete books from their Kindle systems.

About the Author

People thought it was weird enough that I was both a writer and a computer geek. So then I went and started getting involved in government to pull that in, too. And, y'know, there's a heck of a lot more connections than one might think!