After it learned that it was selling George Orwell's novel 1984 to Kindle owners though it had no right to do so, Amazon deleted the novel and others from the devices of the people who had bought the works.
Amazon founder and CEO apologized for the move, calling the solution "stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles."
Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law at Harvard Law School and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, says devices such as the Kindle check in frequently with the mother ship.
"To be really useful you'd want to leave that wireless connection on," Zittrain, the author of The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, tells Robert Siegel. "An unanticipated feature of that though is that you can have Amazon or the vendor that runs the device be able to reach into the device and make changes to the way it works."