Remember the student who sued Amazon.com after it deleted his annotated copy of George Orwell’s 1984 from his Kindle? Amazon subsequently offered to re-deliver the e-books to users’ Kindles with any notes,, or in the alternative, provide them with a $30 coupon to be used for futher purchases, but the lawsuit filed by Justin Gawronski and A. Bruguier proceeded anyway. Last week, a settlement was reached.
Jared Newman of PC World reports:
In the settlement, Amazon promises never to repeat its actions, under a few conditions. The retailer will still wipe an e-book if a court or regulatory body orders it, if doing so is necessary to protect consumers from malicious code, if the consumer agrees for any reason to have the e-book removed, or if the consumer fails to pay (for instance, if the credit card issuer doesn’t remit payment).
So, the answer is still “no,” you don’t own the digital books you download. Though I can understand the reasoning behind some of the exceptions Amazon lays out, Amazon still maintains control over your e-books. It is not the same as having a book all to yourself once you leave the bookstore.
Eric Engleman reports that as part of the settlement, Amazon will pay a fee of $150,000 to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and the lead law firm KamberEdelson LLC will donate its portion of that fee to “a charitable organization that promotes literacy, children’s issues, secondary or post-secondary education, health, or job placement.”
It’s not clear how much money the student gets.