Amazon: Recalling Content

It turned out that Amazon pulled the plug on two George Orwell e-books (1984, Animal Farm): after learning that they sold unauthorized copies to their customers, Amazon did not only cease to sell the books (good move), but also pulled them from Kindle devices of customers who already purchased them (bad move). A few things are probably happening soon: Amazon will apologize, they will refund $0.99 or somehow provide a legal copy of the content (it is out of copyright in many countries other than the US), and they will change the terms of service under a lot of scrutiny of the media. But this case is good: it highlights that digital content is not physical content. It will get worse when services are moving forward to the "cloud computing," where content is not even on the device but only downloaded in a transitional memory on demand. In such an environment, disappearing content will be a regular event. What does ownership mean?

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