By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Remember how a kid’s Amazon Kindle ate his homework? Described as “a bit ironic,” the situation that spawned a lawsuit involved remote deletion of electronic copies of Orwell’s 1984 from customers’ Kindles due to some copyright confusion. The kid in question had already taken notes on his, and then poof, it was gone. Even though customers were refunded, his lawyers likened the act to Amazon sneaking into your room at night, stealing your books, and leaving money on the nightstand.
So what is the going rate for lost homework these days? Apparently $150,000. At least, that’s how much Amazon has agreed to pay in settling the lawsuit. After paying the law firm, the rest of the money is going to charity.
It’s certainly debatable as to whether this was a $150k mistake, but I suspect it was good for both sides that it didn’t go to court. I’m not sure what kinds of reasonable damages the kid could have expected to get if he’d won, and if he’d lost, there could have potentially been a pretty icky precedent for consumer ownership rights.
Welcome to the big, scary world of confusing-as-hell digital copyright, ebooks! Take a seat next to MP3s; try to ignore the sobbing.