The homework has been turned in. The book has been read. An apology has been issued. The amount has been negotiated. And the matter is settled...for now.
Plaintiffs-Michigan high school student Justin Gawronski and California resident Antoine Bruguier--settled their claims for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, breach of contract, trespass of chattels, and conversion for Amazon's deletion of works including George Orwell's 1984 from their Kindle accounts.
Read below for the settlement in its entirety. And if you're wondering what to look for, here are some notable stipulations from the Amazon-Gawronski settlement:
- Amazon will pay $150,000, most of which will be directed to charities
- Amazon agreed not to "remotely delete or modify" digital publications on Kindle devices, with a few exceptions.
- Amazon can delete Kindle items if the removal is mandated by a court order and if deletion is required to stave off the spread of a computer virus
- The Amazon non-deletion policy does not apply to 3rd party applications
Though the settlement doesn't offer any court guidance on murky issues of
digital rights and online property, it at least closes this chapter for the
parties involved. Will there be a sequel? In the age of technology meets law,
its seems unlikely to avoid one.
- Amazon.com to pay $150000 to settle suit challenging take-back of 1984 (Computerworld)
- Amazon Pays for Eating Student's Homework (Wall Street Journal)
- Kindle Lawsuit, Digital Rights Go Courtroom (FindLaw's Technologist)
- The Kindle Spindle: Digital Rights in the Age of E-books and Amazon's Apology (FindLaw's Technologist)