Thursday, October 1, 2009

Amazon Settle "1984" Lawsuit

The news of the day is that has settled the lawsuit concerning deleting copies of an illegal copy of "1984" from Kindle. [1] You may recall that my big concern over this issue was the possibility that it would open the door for the courts to prevent bloggers and other electronic content creators from deleting material they place on publicly accessible computers. Had the courts ruled in Justin Gawronski's favor, I still think it would have opened the door for people who link to our websites to sue us if we break the links they have on their websites.

This settlement isn't great for authors and content owners, but it's livable. Essentially, if puts your stuff on Kindle and you didn't want it there, they aren't just going to delete it upon your request. Instead, you will have to get a court order. That will likely require a lawyer and some fees, but if your lawyer knows what he is doing, he can probably convince to pay that. The good thing is that the courts won't be setting a precedence whereby we cannot delete our own content when it impacts someone else.

With the settlement being only $150,000, it looks to me that is just saying, "go away and leave us alone, we have better things to do." I suspect that most, if not all of that money will go for attorney's fees, so Justin Gawronski is unlikely to see any money. For a company like, that's probably burning through that much money every fifteen minutes or so, it's hardly worth mentioning. But blogging is still safe and Justin Gawronski has enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame, which may have been what he hoped to accomplish in the first place.

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