Justin D. Gawronski, a high school senior from Michigan, has just made history, twice: not only did he settle a lawsuit that forced Amazon.com to clarify its eBook policies (a bit), he also pioneered a new excuse for slacker students everywhere: "My Kindle ate my homework."
After Amazon.com deleted a copy of George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" from Gawronski's Kindle, the high-schooler brought a suit against the site, claiming that "when Amazon wirelessly deleted the book, it also got rid of notes he had taken on the device about the book, which he needed for a homework assignment," the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the Wall Street Journal, as part of the settlement,
Amazon agreed that it would not "remotely delete or modify" digital books, magazines or newspapers on Kindles (with a few exceptions). Amazon also paid Gawronski's law firm $150,000, with the stipulation that the money be donated to charity.
An excerpt of the Amazon settlement can be downloaded from TechFlash.
When the story of the deleted book first came to light, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made an online apology, saying the move was "stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles."
This is the second blow Amazon's received recently from students using the Kindle. A group of 50 students at Princeton University failed to take to the e-reader. The Telegraph quotes a Princeton student explaining his distaste for the device:
"I hate to sound like a Luddite," Aaron Horvath, who is studying civil society and public policy at Princeton, told the university paper, "[but] it's clunky, slow and a real pain to operate."