Amazon allegedly diminished the value of its electronic book storage and reading devices and the electronic content Amazon sold for use on those devices by failing to disclose that Amazon retained the ability to remotely remove content and consumer generated notes and comments from a Kindle device.
This is a pending class action lawsuit against Amazon in which it is alleged that Amazon remotely deleted content from their customers' Amazon Kindle electronic book reading devices and Kindle for iPhone applications.
The class action lawsuit alleges that Amazon sells wireless reading devices called “Kindle,” “Kindle 2,” and “Kindle DX” (“Kindles”) that allow consumers to read digital content, including electronic books. Amazon also distributes the iPhone and iPod Touch application called “Kindle for iPhone.” Amazon also operates an online e-book store (the “Kindle Store”) accessible from any computer and directly from Kindles and iPhones that allows consumers to purchase and download e-books directly to their Kindles and iPhones. Kindles allegedly include the ability to purchase digital content over the internet directly from the Kindle Store wirelessly by accessing a cellular radio network it calls “Whispernet.” This means that consumers can engage in interstate commerce from Kindles by purchasing digital content anywhere in the United States that Whispernet covers. Kindle for iPhone users may also purchase and download digital content wirelessly. Kindles include the ability for users to bookmark and highlight content, as well as add annotations to the text of e-books, just like writing in the margins of a paper book.
The class action lawsuit further alleges that Amazon withdrew from sale certain e-books, including George Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm.” Amazon then remotely deleted these e- books from purchasers’ Kindles and iPhones. In doing so, Amazon not only deleted the e-books, but also rendered useless any electronic notes and annotations that consumers had made within these e-books because the notes were no longer tied to the referenced or highlighted text. Amazon then refunded the purchase price to these consumers.
The class action lawsuit alleges that Amazon violated federal and state law by failing to inform purchasers and users of Kindle that Amazon retained the ability to remove content and notes and that retaining this ability reduced the value of Kindle and the electronic content purchased for use with a Kindle device.
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Amazon is an online retailer of books and other consumer products.
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