Amazon Getting Sued Over Kindle Again

by Greg on August 2, 2009

As many of you have heard, Amazon has remotely deleted copies of certain books from Kindle devices. These books include George Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” among others. Jeff Bezos has apologized for the books being deleted and Amazon has issued refunds but that’s not enough to keep everyone happy.

This has led to a lawsuit from a 17 year old Michigan high school student. They are seeking class-action status on the lawsuit. The lawyer that filed the lawsuit claims that Amazon has no more right to hack into a person’s Kindle than someone has to hack into Amazon’s bank account.

So what do you guys think? Is the apology and refund enough or should Amazon get sued?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 George A. Oldham September 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I have read all the comments so far and Heath hits the hi-points, but the right to take the book back without prior notification is invasion of a sort that would discourage me from wanting a Kindle that is open to Amazon with a written request. This whole controversy is nothing but a company thinking their rights take preceedence over the rights of the Kindle owner. They should have given all those pleople who got the book the option to remove, delete, return or pay for the book and if they did not, Amazon should have paid the copyright owner for the cost of the stolen book. Probably half of the people who got the book or downloaded it wanted it for referrence and would never access it especially if they had to pay for it and would have surrendered the book if asked.

2 Heath E. September 12, 2009 at 1:22 am

Ok seriously my friend owns a kindle was one of the people affected by it and amazon sent him an email saying that he can have either the book back a 30 dollar gift card to amazon or a 30 dollar check i mean i have no idea how much was spent on the book but i bet they are getting a hell of a lot more than what they spent on it so all you people that are all 1984 OMG how ironic blah blah blah grow the hell up and realize that this was an accident that basoz guy apologized what more do you F#$king crybabies want

3 mike August 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

i used to think 1984 wasn’t a big deal. until i noticed how much of an effort is used to remove it. then i read it. i am really frightend. why would this book be a big deal if it was “just a story”

4 Vicky August 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm

The root of the problem is that the laws are not keeping up with technology and are often very vague. It is up to the courts and cases like this that end up clarifying the laws.

My personal opinion (for what it’s worth) is that Amazon, at a minimum, should have given notice before acting. Another point we should consider, is who owns the content? Does the purchaser, who bought the content in good faith? Or, does Amazon?

My two cents.

5 Sam O. August 25, 2009 at 10:23 am

Charles… I’m in total agreement with you. Instead of suing, whining, and pointing fingers, give Amazon some grace. We’ve all made mistakes in life, and we all appreciate it when the offended is big enough to forgive us. Give Amazon the same consideration. They did not intend for this to happen, and I’m sure they’ll work hard in the future to make sure this situation doesn’t repeat itself.
A 17 year old suing… greed… plain and simple. Shame on the parents!

6 cat August 25, 2009 at 9:42 am

It’s a mountain, not a molehill. Read the case. They didn’t just take the book from the kid’s Kindle, he had highlighted and made notes throughout the book for class. Without warning they took the intellectual property and work he created by erasing the book that those notes were attached to. There were other possible remedies that wouldn’t have caused the kid this harm.

7 Charles Whatley August 24, 2009 at 10:51 pm

i hear lots of mountains growing out of a molehill… :)and there is a 17 year old in michigan who needs a life! does he sue everybody who does something he doesn’t like? grow up!!! (maybe he won’t read this and sue me)

8 Jane Leslie August 9, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I am made speechless by this invasion of privacy! I can’t believe that Amazon even considered removing books from users devices. How ironic that it was Orwell’s books that were deleted by Big Brother. It makes me consider whether having such devices (as well as “club cards” to save money) is worth making my life an open book to those able to access records of what I buy.

9 Stephanie August 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm

If Amazon sold a person a book and later discovered it was unauthorized, would they be able to walk in to the house of the customer and take it back and leave a refund on the table? More likely, they would ask for it to be returned for a refund if they could identify the person. If the person does not return the book, then Amazon compensates the author. If Amazon cannot identify the person, they would also compensate the author. I think the real issue here is that it looks like any time people purchase or use something in such a way that they reveal their identities, Amazon is saying (and in other instances the government is saying) that if a written or electronic record exists of our identities, the holder of the record (bookstore, library, etc.), or in some cases the government, can override our rights to privacy. And they can do what they want to without notice and without offering any alternative. And somewhere in fine print that we all probably should have read, it most likely informs us of that.

10 peter van winkle August 4, 2009 at 7:48 am

The rule of law keeps this country livable. If someone steals something and then sells it to you, it’s called receiving stolen property…you can go to jail for that. Mostly people do not know they are receiving stolen goods. However, if the seller finds out that what he sold to you was stolen, he must take it back and give you your money back..its the law!

when you buy a kindle, you are allowing amazon to send you stuff..and if they send you stuff they shouldn’t they should take it back. And that is what they did!

11 SandyO August 2, 2009 at 10:47 pm

I agree that Amazon should not be accessing people’s Kindles just because they can. What in the world was the explanation Jeff Bezos gave for this breach of privacy? I’m not sure a lawsuit is in order but a simple apology and refund isn’t enough either. Not sure what the consequences should be; perhaps someone should lose his/her job…whomever gave the order to do this. Customers should perhaps get a $100 gift card or something of that ilk

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