Orwell rights resolved, Amazon tries to smooth ruffled feathers

Amazon is trying to pacify those Kindle owners who were outraged when George Orwell novels were ripped away after the company discovered it did not have the rights to distribute the works.

kindle_smallAccording to The Associated Press, the e-tailer — which now says the rights issue has been resolved — is offering free books or $30 to customers who lost their copies of 1984 and Animal Farm in July.

Later that month a high school student sued, claiming the content’s removal also destroyed notes taken for school assignments.

From Friday’s AP report:

In an e-mail sent Thursday to Kindle owners whose books were erased, Amazon offered to redeliver the titles to their e-readers for free, along with any annotations users had made. Or the customers can get a $30 Amazon.com gift certificate or a $30 check – which could be worth much more than two Kindle books, because many of them cost $10 or less.

The Kindle is no stranger to controversy. In June, Arizona State University found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit when advocates for the blind alleged discrimination because the school was offering textbooks in the Kindle format. While the device has the ability to read to the blind, its interface has no audio or Braille functionality to let them navigate the menus.

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