Western Digital pays up in class action lawsuit

Following the July 17, 2006, Settlement of the class action lawsuit accusing Western Digital of misrepresenting the capacity of its hard drives, Western Digital has Sent out emails giving free backup and recovery software to roughly a million of its customers. Anyone who purchased a Western Digital hard drive between March 22, 2001 and February 15, 2006 was eligible to receive a copy of EMC Dantz Retrospect Express Software.

Western Digital has now sent out via email a link to a website where people who claimed can download the Software. They will be able to perform a single download of the Software prior to October 18, 2006, after which time the Software download will no longer be available per the terms of the Settlement. Only one Software download is available per person.

View: Western Digital Buckles on Capacity Lawsuit

Western Digital defines a gigabyte as a 10^9, or one billion bytes, whereas modern operating systems and most software define a gigabyte as 2^30, or 1,073,741,824 bytes.

As a result of these discrepancies, a user filed a class-action lawsuit (PDF) against Western Digital last year, claiming false advertising, unfair business practices, breach of contract, and fraud. Rather than fight a potentially long and costly legal battle, the company has decided to settle by paying $500,000 in legal expenses and offering free backup and recovery software to roughly a million of its customers. Anyone who purchased a Western Digital hard drive between March 22, 2001 and February 15, 2006 is eligible to receive a copy of the software by signing up on the company's website before the deadline of July 17. Western Digital's settlement doesn't name the software but says it is "comparable to products that retail for $30 or more."

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