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Amazon to settle Kindle Orwell deletion suit

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Oct 2009 2:01

Amazon to settle Kindle Orwell deletion suit has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against it by a 17 year old student after the online retailer deleted George Orwell e-books from his (and other users') Kindle. The company has agreed that it won't remove e-books from U.S. users' Kindle readers without their permission. Justin D. Gawronski, the student who filed the lawsuit, sued Amazon after his copies of 1984 and Animal Farm were removed.
The lawsuit had sought class-action status and called for unspecified damages and a ban on future deletions. Amazon had removed the books after it came to light that an outside party added the e-books for sale without having the rights to do so. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized to customers and offered to re-deliver the titles for free to users in September (or a gift certificate).

In the proposed settlement, which is awaiting approval from the judge, the company vowed not to remotely delete e-books from users' Kindles again except for cases where a user fails to pay for an e-book or asks for a refund. The company may also delete content remotely if it can protect a consumer or the Kindle's operation.

Amazon also agreed to pay $150,000 in legal fees, which will be donated to charity. "We think in the end Amazon did the right thing," said Jay Edelson, a Chicago-based lawyer who filed the suit on behalf of Gawronski.

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