Kindle class action claims 'future of book banning' has arrived

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Kindle class action claims 'future of book banning' has arrived

Tue Aug 04, 2009 @ 11:02AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

6a00d83451d69069e20112797270fd28a4-320pi Amazon ate a high school student's homework.

That's according to a new class action lawsuit filed in Washington District Court. The company remotely deleted traces of books by George Orwell, Ayn Rand, and J.K. Rowling from its customers' Kindle electronic books. Amazon allegedly swiped the books after realizing it had mistakenly sold them without permission of the copyright holder, creating a backlash from columnists, including Slate's Farhad Manjoo, who commented, "Now we know what the future of book banning looks like."

From there, it was only a matter of time before an enterprising attorney launched a class action, and the lawyers behind the new lawsuit found one hell of a sympathetic plaintiff — a 17-year-old student in Michigan who not only had his copy of "1984" taken from him, but it rendered useless his electronic commentary with page notations.

The class action claims that Amazon has violated its terms of service, committed computer fraud, trespass, conversion, breach of contract, and consumer protection.

Of course, if Amazon didn't do anything,it risked being sued by the copyright holders. Who is more scary — J.K. Rowling or a 17-year-old high school student?

Read the lawsuit. Download it to your Kindle too.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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