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Amazon Settles “1984” Deletion Lawsuit

1984.jpgIn July, Amazon remotely deleted copies of George Orwell’s “1984”, which ironically describes a world full of censorship and constant remote monitoring, from Kindles. This sparked a lawsuit from a high school student whose marginalia was useless with the book itself.

Amazon has settled the suit with the student and a co-plantiff, agreeing to pay $150,000 to their lawyers, according to TechFlash. As part of the settlement, Amazon also agreed not to remotely delete e-books unless:

“…(a) the user consents to such deletion or modification; (b) the user requests a refund for the Work or otherwise fails to pay for the Work (e.g., if a credit or debit card issuer declines to remit payment); (c) a judicial or regulatory order requires such deletion or modification; or (d) deletion or modification is reasonably necessary to protect the consumer or the operation of a Device or network through which the Device communicates (e.g., to remove harmful code embedded within a copy of a Work downloaded to a Device).”

Amazon faced a barrage of negative press when it deleted “1984”, though it later claimed that only illegally sold copies of the e-book were affected. Due to this, Amazon probably would not have deleted e-books in the future anyway, but this settlement commits them not to. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has since apologized for the deletion, calling it “stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with [Amazon’s] principles.”

The complete settlement is available below:

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