Amazon settles "Big Brother" law suit

<p>Amazon.com has settled a lawsuit that arose after it deleted a number of books remotely from its Kindle e-reader because of copyright concerns.&nbsp;<br /> </p><p>The nature of the book concerned - <em>1984 </em>by George Orwell - led a number of commentators to dub it a <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jBYljgfhyA8nkzF75WDmy... target="_blank">&quot;Big Brother-like move&quot;</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The negotiated settlement on Thursday was awaiting the approval of a US District Court judge in Seattle, Washington, where Amazon has its headquarters, AFP reported. </p><p>Amazon has agreed to pay $150,000 to lawyers representing a US high school student who had made &quot;copious notes&quot; on his copy and promised not to unilaterally remove e-books from Kindles in the future. Amazon deleted Orwell ebooks from fewer than 2,000 Kindles, according to settlement documents.<br /><br />A portion of the money paid by Amazon is to be donated to a charity that promotes literacy, education, health, children&#39;s issues, or job placement.<br /><br />&quot;With an uncanny knack for irony, Amazon recently remotely deleted any traces of certain electronic copies of George Orwell&#39;s &#39;1984&#39; and &#39;Animal Farm&#39; from customers&#39; Kindles and iPhones, thereby sending these books down Orwell&#39;s so-called &#39;memory hole,&#39;&quot; the lawsuit said.<br /><br />Under the terms of the settlement, anyone who had e-books deleted will be able to get back those versions complete with any digital notes they may have made in them.<br /><br />The suit claimed Amazon had not disclosed to Kindle users previously that it had the ability to remotely delete content and asks the court to prevent the online retail giant from doing so in the future.<br /><br />&quot;Amazon has no more right to delete e-books from consumers&#39; Kindles and iPhones than it does to retrieve from its customers&#39; homes paper books it sells and ships to consumers,&quot; it said.<br /><br />Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos apologised. &quot;Our &#39;solution&#39; to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles,&quot; he said. &quot;It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we&#39;ve received.&quot;</p>