Monday, August 3, 2009

High School Students Reading Orwell's 1984 Are Pissed Off

Back in July, Amazon--the sole proprietors of the Kindle (e-book reader)--discovered that they were selling electronic copies of George Orwell's "1984" without the proper legal rights to do so.
"As it turns out, the books in question were being sold by Amazon despite being unauthorized copies. The works weren't legit. It was all copywrong. In other words, Amazon was selling bad books. Hot letters. Pilfered paragraphs."

"According to Amazon's statement to Ars Technica, 'These books were added to our catalog using our self-service platform by a third-party who did not have the rights to the books.' When the publisher informed Amazon of this, Amazon moved to rectify the situation."
I.e., Amazon removed all the electronic copies of the book from consumers' Kindles without notice. Unfortunately for Amazon, quite a few people are upset about this whole debacle. But who is the most upset? High school students with now-useless notes and annotations, that's who. Ars Technica reports that in Seattle, Justin Gawronski and A. Bruguier have filed a class action suit against Amazon. The most interesting part of the article (I think) goes as such:
"The introductory portions of the suit actually quote David Pogue, who apparently compared Amazon's actions to Barnes & Noble sneaking into private homes to remove books, leaving a check on the table."
The full complaint can be read here. Via Andrew Sullivan (via Ars Technica).

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