Amazon's chief executive officer Jeff Bezos posted an apology message to customers over last week's remote-deletion of illegally sold books.

This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles, Bezos wrote the apology on Amazon's Kindle Community forum.

Amazon deleted several books from their systems and from Kindle devices without the permission of their as soon as the company received an illegal copy notice from the rights holder.

The books in question were offered for sale by an Amazon publishing partner that did not have the rights to distribute them in the United States

As part of the deletion process the company credited those who had purchased the book with refunds.

The moved upset customers to the idea that anything else they had purchased could be taken back without their permission.

It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission, Bezoz wrote.