Orwellian Kindle fiasco costs Amazon $150,000

Darren Allan

October 2, 2009

When high school student Justin Gawronski had his copy of Orwell’s 1984 deleted from his Kindle by Amazon, he was quite cross.

Cross enough to sue, in fact, as the text had all his course notes attached to it, and a copious amount of them according to Seattle based TechFlash who reported the story.

Amazon actually remotely deleted a number of copies of 1984 and Animal Farm, because the books had been added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have the rights to them.

The deletion was an embarrassing error of judgement on Amazon’s part, and according to the TechFlash report Amazon has now agreed to stump up $150,000 to the plaintiff’s lawyers (and the plaintiff’s law firm is donating its portion of that fee to charity).

More importantly, Amazon has agreed it will not delete or modify books on Kindles (with some exceptions, such as if the user fails to pay for the work, for example).

So when the Kindle finally does arrive over here in the UK, we can sleep soundly in our beds knowing that Big Brother isn’t going to sneak in and delete all our stuff.


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