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Oh, no! My Kindle Ate My Homework! What Shall I Do? (oh, yea, sue Amazon)

July 30, 2009

A class action lawsuit filed today takes Amazon.com to task after the company deleted George Orwell books from customers Kindles.

According to the lawsuit, Amazon.com deleted these books after claiming that it had mistakenly sold them without permission from the copyright owner.

After a barrage of criticism from customers, the media, and public interest organizations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized for the company’s behavior, conceding that it was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles.

The suit is being brought by Justin D. Gawronski, a 17-year-old high school student who had purchased Orwells 1984 to complete a summer homework assignment.

When Amazon deleted the book from his Kindle, it rendered the electronic notes he had taken worthless.

We appreciate Amazon.coms new found contrition, but words are not enough, explained Jay Edelson, the lead attorney for the class action. Amazon.com had no more right to hack into peoples Kindles than its customers have the right to hack into Amazons bank account to recover a mistaken overpayment.

The class action seeks injunctive relief barring Amazon.com from improperly accessing peoples Kindles in the future.

It also seeks monetary relief for those who lost work-product associated with the deleted books. Edelsons firm, KamberEdelson, LLC, is a leading class action firm that focuses on internet, technology, and privacy issues.

It claims that that Amazon.coms behavior could lead to even greater consequences if a quick precedent is not set.

Technology companies increasingly feel that because they have the ability to access peoples personal property, they have the right to do so. That is 100% contrary to the laws of this country, said Edelson.

Edelsons firm has agreed to donate any money they receive from this suit to a charity, assuming that Amazon.com abides by its latest promise to take quick action to remedy this situation. Edelson is joined on the lawsuit by Steven Teppler and Michael Aschenbrener, both of KamberEdelson.

To download a copy of the federal lawsuit, visit http://www.prnewschannel.com/pdf/Amazon_Complaint.pdf

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