Saturday, October 3, 2009

Amazon settles 1984 Kindle lawsuit, plaintiff still embraces Orwellianism

Internet retailing giant Amazon has settled the class-action lawsuit over the alleged “Big Brother” feature in its Kindle e-reader, purportedly the “first settlement to recognize digital rights in this medium.” According to articles published on the websites of PC Magazine and PC World, Amazon paid $150,000 to Kamber Edelson LLC, the Chicago law firm which represented the two plaintiffs, Justin D. Gawronksi, a high school student in Michigan, and Antoine J. Bruguier, a twenty-something software engineer in California. Amazon also agreed to other terms in the settlement, such as guaranteeing that it will never again improperly delete purchased books, magazines, or newspapers from consumers’ Kindles.

Interestingly, plaintiff Antoine J. Bruguier continues to embrace Orwellianism in an attempt to distance and delete himself from the story. A note currently posted on his website sheepishly states: “Please refer to the press release and the text of the settlement. Please note than neither the attorneys, nor the plaintiffs will receive any of the $150,000 awarded. The money will be donated to charity.” A few months ago, Bruguier proudly announced on his website that if his side won the class-action lawsuit filed against Amazon and received any money, “I will donate it to my local library and I kindly suggest other plaintiffs of the class do something similar. I love the Kindle's technical aspect and I wish for its legal aspect also to be attractive.” Bruguier later deleted the announcement.

The fascinating thing about the aforementioned press release, “High School Student Who Sued Over Kindle Deletions Settles with Amazon, Finishes Summer Homework” (October 1, 2009), is that it mentions plaintiff Justin D. Gawronski, but it does not mention plaintiff Antoine J. Bruguier. How Orwellian!

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