Amazon Settles Kindle Suit, but Will Other Issues Follow?
Amazon.com settled a lawsuit over its summer deletion of George Orwell's books from its Kindle e-reader, and used the opportunity to publicly state its new policy with regard to the deletion of works from users' devices. Despite tighter controls over what it can and cannot do, Amazon.com may be faced with legal action in the future over deletion issues, particularly as it integrates the Kindle service more fully with third-party developers and companies.Amazon.com settled a lawsuit leveled against it by a Michigan student and another plaintiff, who claimed that the online retailer's deletion of George Orwell's "1984" from their Kindle e-readers was illegal. By settling for $150,000, a portion of which will be donated by the plaintiffs' lawyers to charity, Amazon.com seems to have dodged the specter of a class-action lawsuit. As noted by the court, Amazon.com agreed to either restore copies of Orwell's magnum opus to those whose copies were deleted in July, or alternatively offer a $30 check or Amazon.com gift card. "Those who elect to receive the previously purchased Subject Work will have any and all annotations or notes made prior to removal of the Subject Work restored automatically," court documents read-a salient point, considering that the deletion of accompanying notes was one of the motivations for the plaintiffs pressing their lawsuit in the first place.
This particular settlement shuts the door on one case. However, other issues could potentially arise in the future for the relatively new industry of e-readers.