Amazon ironically deletes "1984" from Kindle devices
Sure, Amazon did offer full refunds to those customers. But imagine walking into a book store, buying a volume, taking it home, and then going to read it the next day only to find someone has broken into your home and removed it. That's kind of what Amazon did here, although we probably shouldn't be surprised, because the company never made any claims that it's eBooks weren't wrapped up with DRM (digital rights management) software that gives Amazon more control over the titles than you have.
Now, it sounds like Amazon's actions aren't quite as nefarious as first reported. The book wasn't pulled simply because the publisher decided not to offer it anymore, but because the party that was selling the eBook through the Kindle store actually didn't have the rights to the book. It was a pirated copy that shouldn't have been there in the first place. But that's kind of Amazon's problem, not the eBook readers, no?
Amazon has issued a statement saying that the next time a title is removed from its store in this fashion, the company will take care to remove it only from the digital store shelf, and not from actual Kindle devices. But this incident can't be leaving current and prospective Kindle owners with a warm and fuzzy feeling, can it?
Update: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has posted an apology that is one of the most heartening I've seen from a corporate CEO in a long time.