Shock: High school student whose Kindle 1984 was deleted sues Amazon


Years from now, people will look back on the year 2009 as the year A) Apple lost the goodwill of a sizable chunk of the Internet audience; and B) when a high school kid sued Amazon because it remotely deleted an illegal copy of 1984. The kid is suing because he annotated the copy of the book, and now is without said notes. So of course, sue right?

First, the backstory. Amazon recently remotely deleted an authorized-to-be-sold copy of George Orwell’s 1984 from the Kindle. People freaked out because, whoa, who knew Amazon could remotely delete books from my Kindle? (Not “my” Kindle, mind you—I don’t have that kind of money!) Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, admitted that the company’s handling of the situation wasn’t very elegant, even though it refunded everyone who bought the book. He also said it’d never delete another book again.

Enter Justin Gawronski, a 17-year-old high school student from Michigan. He’s suing Amazon (rather, the law firm representing him is suing) in order to “help set a precedent so that Amazon doesn’t do this again.”
The lawsuit is also seeking monetary relief for people who lost work. The notes Gawronski took are now also useless.

Am I callous in thinking this kid should just get on with it? He’s not exactly Nelson Mandela.