Friday, July 24, 2009

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

A while back Amazon offered a Kindle version of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

I wasn't really interested in again reading the novel. Although I very much did enjoy reading it ages ago when I was much younger. Of course when I read it the year 1984 was still in the future. And I recall thinking that I would not be so terribly surprised to find at least some of what was described in the novel become fact.

Then when 1984 arrived it wasn't much like the novel here in the U S of A anyways.

Apparently though there were a lot of other folks who did want to read a Kindle version of the novel. Or at least they bought and downloaded copies of it.

But the publisher apparently changed its mind about the entire idea of offering an eBook version and thereby instructed Amazon to stop offering them for sale. So Amazon removed the item from the store.

Which in turn removed the titles from individual users' Kindles.

Which in turn caused quite an uproar.

Which in turn caused me to become interested in the entire matter.

In my research I found that the novel will enter the public domain in the United States in the year 2044. I'll be 96 then and probably have lost interest if I'm still around.

It turns out though that the novel has already entered the public domain in Australia and that in fact the novel in question was available for reading from a web site. I clicked the link and the book in HTML glory appeared on my computer screen.

Somehow the government is going to have to get control of this entire thing or all sorts of people are going to be reading 1984 in violation of the copyright.

Maybe we're not as far from 1984 as I thought.


Lori1955 said...

Now if they removed the book from the store and from individuals, doesn't that mean they were taking back something that people had already paid for? Isn't that kind of like going into someones closet and taking back a pair of shoes that they already bought? Were these people at least given their money back? Wierd!!!

flintysooner said...

They gave refunds.

The digital content you buy and download is tied to the remote server. It is not unlike a web page in that regard.

But these were "illegal" copies. There have been others such as Harry Potter books that individuals. So Amazon really had no choice.

But I'm reading my own copy of 1984 now on my own Kindle. Kind of my own rebellious attitude I suppose.