Lawsuit Filed Over Amazon’s Big Brother Act
A high school student today filed suit against Amazon.com for pulling George Orwell books off its Kindle electronic reader – destroying the homework he’d already completed. Serious. Amazon deleted “1984″ and “Animal Farm,” saying it mistakenly sold them on Kindle without permission. CEO Jeff Bezos later apologized, conceding the screwup was “stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles.”
That’s not good enough for Justin D. Gawronski, 17, who bought “1984″ for a summer homework assignment. When Amazon deleted the book from his Kindle, it “rendered the electronic notes he had taken worthless,” says his Chicago attorney in a news release. The class action suit in Seattle’s U.S. District Court seeks to bar Amazon from “improperly accessing people’s Kindles in the future,” and asks for compensation for anyone who lost work product like Gawronski’s.
At the least, the suit’s a good read: “With an uncanny knack for irony,” it notes, “Amazon recently remotely deleted any traces of certain electronic copies of George Orwell’s ‘1984′ and ‘Animal Farm’ from customers’ Kindles and iPhones, thereby sending these books down Orwell’s so-called ‘memory hole.