Parents sue over child's lost iPod

Written by Brett Thomas

August 23, 2006 // 4:03 p.m.

Tags: #ipod #nano

Some days, the technology industry is just rife with real, important, and vital news. This might be one of those days. I'm not sure, because I'm just so amazed and appalled by this story that I figured it should be shared. Apparently, one fourteen year-old girl let another fourteen year-old girl borrow her new nano on the last day of school, and it got stolen. So now, the parents are in a legal battle over an ever-changing figure of how much the unit cost.

A short synopsis - Shannon lends Stephanie her nano on the last day of class to listen to a couple of songs. Stephanie returned the nano, but apparently by setting it on Shannon's desk while she was out of the room. When Shannon came back, the nano was gone. So, Shannon's parents did what any rational, red-blooded American would do - and filed suit against Stephanie's parents for the cost of the nano, its case, and $50 worth of iTunes-purchased songs that it contained.

Since they are far more polite people than most of us would be, Stephanie's parents kindly hunted around on ebay and offered to replace the nano with a refurbished one, which costs around $45. However, Shannon's nano was just "two weeks old," so her parents have refused the offer. Besides, that wouldn't replace the case or the songs, which apparently they are unaware stay on the computer that they were purchased on. The suit has already been dismissed once on a technicality, but Shannon's parents intend to refile.

Shannon and Stephanie are considerably less enthusiastic about the whole thing. According to the article, the reporter contacted Stephanie on monday night after the court threw out the first case. She said she'd not heard what occurred in court , except that there is not yet a trial date.

As Arstechnica kindly points out, the journalism is as entertaining as the story itself - one site lists the suit as $335 and the leather case as black, another reports it up to $475 and a pink case. Even more disturbing is why this actually found itself in a respectable publication like the Chicago Tribune. Could it just be because the words "iPod' and "nano" are becoming immediate buzz-words, worthy of print despite any circumstances? Nahhhhhh...

About all that's needed to top off this lovely legal travesty is an RIAA suit against Shannon and her family. I figure the organization might be able to file for her letting an unauthorized person listen to her music, and then afterwards all of the sales that the stolen iPod could possibly prevent.

Of course, we're just reporting on the oddity of it tell us your thoughts on how this ended up as front page material for a major newspaper in our forums. Oh, and did we say nano?
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