SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 4 Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O)
said it would replace copies of digital books that it
purposefully deleted from its customers' electronic readers
this summer, as the online retailer sought to make amends for
the controversial incident.
In an email to the affected customers on Thursday, Amazon
said it would provide owners of its Kindle electronic book
reader with new copies of the George Orwell novels 1984 and
Animal Farm for no charge.
Amazon said customers could also choose to receive a $30
gift certificate or check instead.
The email also contained a copy of the apology that Amazon
CEO Jeff Bezos made in July, in which he called the company's
deletion of the books "stupid, thoughtless and painfully out of
line with our principles."
In July, Amazon acknowledged that it had deleted the Orwell
e-books from the Kindles of an undisclosed number of owners.
Amazon said it deleted the books because it learned an outside
company had added the books to Amazon's catalog but the outside
company did not have the rights to sell them.
The move triggered a wave of criticism on the Internet, and
Amazon was sued by a high-school student who said Amazon
deleted his copy of 1984 and the "copious notes" he had taken
on the book.
Amazon's email on Thursday said that the company would
replace the deleted books along with any annotations made by
Amazon spokesman Andrew Herdener said the move was
unrelated to the lawsuit, and said the company does not comment
on active litigation.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; editing by Carol Bishopric )