Amazon settles Orwellian suit

Pays $150,000 to aggrieved student

When Amazon was faced with a copyright dispute in July over several ebook titles, including George Orwell’s 1984, it responded by remotely deleting those titles from its customers’ Kindle ereaders. A lot of
people were shocked and angry, but perhaps none more so than Justin Gawronski, a Michigan high school student who had made copious notes on the version of 1984 he was reading as a summer homework assignment. Gawronski launched a lawsuit that claimed, “After Amazon remotely deleted 1984, those notes were rendered useless because they no longer referenced the relevant parts of the book.” Under terms of the settlement, Gawronski and others who had ebooks deleted will be able to get back those versions complete with any digital notes they may have made in them. Amazon will also pay out $150,000, with an unspecified part going to Gawronski and the rest to a charity that promotes literacy, education, health, children’s issues, and job placement.


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