October 21, 2005 9:53 AM PDT

Suit filed over Nano scratches

Claiming that the iPod Nano has a widespread propensity for scratching easily, lawyers this week filed a class action suit against Apple Computer on behalf of those who have purchased the diminutive music player.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday on behalf of all those who have bought a Nano, alleges that Apple violated state consumer protection statutes, as well as express and implied warranties. The complaint charges that Apple knew that there were design problems with the Nano.

"These Nanos scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable," according to the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., by attorneys with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle and Columbus, Ohio-based David P. Meyer & Associates. The suit seeks to have the complaint certified as a class action claim and asks for "damages in the amount of monies paid for Nanos," as well as unspecified actual, statutory and punitive damages.

An Apple representative declined to comment on the suit, but Apple has stated that the Nano is made of the same polycarbonate material that's found in previous iPods and maintained that the scratching problem does not appear to be widespread.

The lawsuit charges, however, that the Nano contains a thinner coating of resin than on previous iPod models.

"The amount and durability of the resin applied as a protective coating during the Nano manufacturing process is clearly defective in that it is not sufficient to adequately protect the face of the Nano from extreme scratching and ultimately irreparable damage," the lawsuit says.

Questions about whether the Nano scratches more easily have been bubbling around Apple message boards since shortly after the product was announced in September.

Apple has confirmed a separate problem affecting less than 1 percent of Nanos, in which devices were shipped with a faulty LCD screen that was prone to cracking.

In its earnings conference call last week, Apple said it sold a million Nanos during the first 17 days the product was on the market and that it has seen significantly more demand than it has been able to meet.

101 comments

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Salut America!
Only in America!
Posted by valdealge (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Salut America!
Only in America!
Posted by valdealge (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You've got to be kidding
I thought Apple has already said that they would replace units
that were overly scratched.
Posted by verucabong (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Also...
The nano hasn't been out that long.. How can they get that scratched under "normal" use?
Posted by vanox (49 comments )
Link Flag
Different problem
Actually you are referring the problem also mentioned in the story where faulty LCD's would tear/break under small pressures on the screen- usually the same pressures that would cause the scratching. They replaced all the defective ipod nanos.

I see all scratch-related problems to the nanos a load of crap and that if you want to be sure yours doesn't scratch, stop putting it in the same pocket as your car keys. End of story.
Posted by jotomaino (14 comments )
Link Flag
You've got to be kidding
I thought Apple has already said that they would replace units
that were overly scratched.
Posted by verucabong (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Also...
The nano hasn't been out that long.. How can they get that scratched under "normal" use?
Posted by vanox (49 comments )
Link Flag
Different problem
Actually you are referring the problem also mentioned in the story where faulty LCD's would tear/break under small pressures on the screen- usually the same pressures that would cause the scratching. They replaced all the defective ipod nanos.

I see all scratch-related problems to the nanos a load of crap and that if you want to be sure yours doesn't scratch, stop putting it in the same pocket as your car keys. End of story.
Posted by jotomaino (14 comments )
Link Flag
Uh, blood suck lawyers, they will replace them for free
Apple already said they would replace scratched Nanos for free. Tell your dip stick clients not to drop them and they won't get damaged. I've had mine for several weeks and its looks good as the day I bought it. Maybe I can file a lawsuit against BMW for the scratches on my Mini Cooper. :Z
Posted by Sac Tinko (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Have you asked Apple?
They sent mine back with 2 large scratches for good measure. So your statement has no merit.
Posted by pukain1 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Uh, blood suck lawyers, they will replace them for free
Apple already said they would replace scratched Nanos for free. Tell your dip stick clients not to drop them and they won't get damaged. I've had mine for several weeks and its looks good as the day I bought it. Maybe I can file a lawsuit against BMW for the scratches on my Mini Cooper. :Z
Posted by Sac Tinko (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Have you asked Apple?
They sent mine back with 2 large scratches for good measure. So your statement has no merit.
Posted by pukain1 (4 comments )
Link Flag
my install disk has a scratch in it.....
my discs!!!! and I know there are better polymers out there... and ones that dont discolor ..... what about the affordable notebooks? those get scratched... big time.. yah bring in one of those to your client... killed by powerpoint... no doubt.. but anyone who gets paid to run around showing people powerpoint slides usually makes twice as much money as the typical engineer, who is more likely to pay attention to the price/performance ratio... how come most cars still have metal doors? oh yah.. "dont do that, youll kill an entire industry"... not to mention abandening the next generation
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
screen
does your disk have a screen on it that you wanted to actully see? nanos do, and when they scratch, you cant see the screen properly, if i wanted an ipod with no screen, i'd have bought a shuffle...
Posted by rickyh2k (6 comments )
Link Flag
my install disk has a scratch in it.....
my discs!!!! and I know there are better polymers out there... and ones that dont discolor ..... what about the affordable notebooks? those get scratched... big time.. yah bring in one of those to your client... killed by powerpoint... no doubt.. but anyone who gets paid to run around showing people powerpoint slides usually makes twice as much money as the typical engineer, who is more likely to pay attention to the price/performance ratio... how come most cars still have metal doors? oh yah.. "dont do that, youll kill an entire industry"... not to mention abandening the next generation
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
screen
does your disk have a screen on it that you wanted to actully see? nanos do, and when they scratch, you cant see the screen properly, if i wanted an ipod with no screen, i'd have bought a shuffle...
Posted by rickyh2k (6 comments )
Link Flag
ridiculous
I swear the lawsuits that come out against Apple! Mostly they are from a bunch of opportunist lawyers, or individuals that can wait to stick it to Apple. You don't see them suing other companies for this stuff.

I must have missed the law about selling items that might scratch. I could probably make a lot of money going through all my belongings and suing all the companies.

Just more people trying to jump on the gravy train.
Posted by kxmmxk (320 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ridiculous
I swear the lawsuits that come out against Apple! Mostly they are from a bunch of opportunist lawyers, or individuals that can wait to stick it to Apple. You don't see them suing other companies for this stuff.

I must have missed the law about selling items that might scratch. I could probably make a lot of money going through all my belongings and suing all the companies.

Just more people trying to jump on the gravy train.
Posted by kxmmxk (320 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Suit filed over Nano scratches?
Whats the big deal? There is no need for this, your little broken Nanos will be replaced for free!
__________________________________
R.K.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/</a>
Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where is this written?
I could not find, via Google or the Apple web site, any reference where Apple has agreed to replace Nanos with scratches, although some users did (according to one article) get a new iPod in an one-time warranty action. Where are people getting the information that Apple will replace scratched Nanos?
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Suit filed over Nano scratches?
Whats the big deal? There is no need for this, your little broken Nanos will be replaced for free!
__________________________________
R.K.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/</a>
Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where is this written?
I could not find, via Google or the Apple web site, any reference where Apple has agreed to replace Nanos with scratches, although some users did (according to one article) get a new iPod in an one-time warranty action. Where are people getting the information that Apple will replace scratched Nanos?
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
you're all not thinking..
Apple said they would only replace the cracked screens and HEAVILY damaged ones. NOT the Nanos that just plain got scratched a lot. This is necessary because its not just normal scratching, its a tad bit too much so no I don't think this is just "opportunist lawyers" out to make money..
Posted by duky-nm (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
you're all not thinking..
Apple said they would only replace the cracked screens and HEAVILY damaged ones. NOT the Nanos that just plain got scratched a lot. This is necessary because its not just normal scratching, its a tad bit too much so no I don't think this is just "opportunist lawyers" out to make money..
Posted by duky-nm (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Quality expected for the price
If I paid the ludicrous price for an ipod, I'd be angry if it scratched easily. I don't know of any "stylish" device that is also durable, so I think mnaybe this will serve as a nice wake up call to companies that make these cute little toys that are cheaply constructed and exorbitantly priced, that consumers expect resonable quality and durability for their money. And Apple's "buy the case" copout is just bad PR, the case ought to be included for the price.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Quality "assumed" for the price
The problem is that people made an assumption. Apple did not come out and say that the nano would not scratch. Whether or not the assumption is fair or not doesnt matter. The assumption that a certain level of quality is granted for the price may not be irrational, but when your assumption isnt met you have no one to blame but yourself. Next time be a smart consumer, you dont have buy a product the day it comes out, wait a little while and check around on the internet for what people are saying about the product then make an informed decision. Try not to be so compulsive patients pays off.

As for the case its optional and it doesnt come with the nano so deal with it. If not having a scratched nano is worth the 30 bucks then buy it, if not then dont. If your patient and do a little research about a product before you drop a couple hundred dollars for it then you know what problems you could have, what you can do to prevent those problems and how much its going to cost you to prevent those problems. Ignorance is not a reason to sue.

In the case of the lawyers, in my opinion class action lawsuits are all about opprotunistic lawyers that look for something that harms (if you can call it that in this case) large amounts of people and then they look for someone to sue for it. Lawyers are the big winners of class action lawsuits, they make more than if it was an individual lawsuit and the people harmed make less than if it was an individual lawsuit. This case isnt about morals and business ethics, this is about compulsive and impatient people who had to have the latest and greatest now. Those people made an assumption that the product they were buying reached their certain level of quality and when it didnt they felt wronged. A lawyer looking to line his pockets then picks up the case telling those affected that its not your fault you were compulsive and ignorant about the product you were buying but it was Apples fault for not reaching a level of quality determined by you in the Apple's nano (refering to the scratches and not the defects of broken LCD's). The lawyer then sues for the price of the nanos and damages, ect (what kind of damages can you have in a case like this anyways?). Just be informed about what you buy.
Posted by Richard A (2 comments )
Link Flag
Now You Know . . .
"I don't know of any "stylish" device that is also durable"

check out montblank or waterman pens. stylish, expensively so, in fact. made of--hey--look at that: black plastic! often carried in--oh no, this is just too much: the pocket! maintains its expensive, scratch-free finish for . . . decades or longer.

the real irony? papermate pens are about as durable, for less than 1% of the price of a good montblac or waterman. i don't believe that consumer's expectations for the nano (to be reasonably durable) are unreasonable.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
Quality expected for the price
If I paid the ludicrous price for an ipod, I'd be angry if it scratched easily. I don't know of any "stylish" device that is also durable, so I think mnaybe this will serve as a nice wake up call to companies that make these cute little toys that are cheaply constructed and exorbitantly priced, that consumers expect resonable quality and durability for their money. And Apple's "buy the case" copout is just bad PR, the case ought to be included for the price.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Quality "assumed" for the price
The problem is that people made an assumption. Apple did not come out and say that the nano would not scratch. Whether or not the assumption is fair or not doesnt matter. The assumption that a certain level of quality is granted for the price may not be irrational, but when your assumption isnt met you have no one to blame but yourself. Next time be a smart consumer, you dont have buy a product the day it comes out, wait a little while and check around on the internet for what people are saying about the product then make an informed decision. Try not to be so compulsive patients pays off.

As for the case its optional and it doesnt come with the nano so deal with it. If not having a scratched nano is worth the 30 bucks then buy it, if not then dont. If your patient and do a little research about a product before you drop a couple hundred dollars for it then you know what problems you could have, what you can do to prevent those problems and how much its going to cost you to prevent those problems. Ignorance is not a reason to sue.

In the case of the lawyers, in my opinion class action lawsuits are all about opprotunistic lawyers that look for something that harms (if you can call it that in this case) large amounts of people and then they look for someone to sue for it. Lawyers are the big winners of class action lawsuits, they make more than if it was an individual lawsuit and the people harmed make less than if it was an individual lawsuit. This case isnt about morals and business ethics, this is about compulsive and impatient people who had to have the latest and greatest now. Those people made an assumption that the product they were buying reached their certain level of quality and when it didnt they felt wronged. A lawyer looking to line his pockets then picks up the case telling those affected that its not your fault you were compulsive and ignorant about the product you were buying but it was Apples fault for not reaching a level of quality determined by you in the Apple's nano (refering to the scratches and not the defects of broken LCD's). The lawyer then sues for the price of the nanos and damages, ect (what kind of damages can you have in a case like this anyways?). Just be informed about what you buy.
Posted by Richard A (2 comments )
Link Flag
Now You Know . . .
"I don't know of any "stylish" device that is also durable"

check out montblank or waterman pens. stylish, expensively so, in fact. made of--hey--look at that: black plastic! often carried in--oh no, this is just too much: the pocket! maintains its expensive, scratch-free finish for . . . decades or longer.

the real irony? papermate pens are about as durable, for less than 1% of the price of a good montblac or waterman. i don't believe that consumer's expectations for the nano (to be reasonably durable) are unreasonable.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
Idiot lawyers...
Class-action suits rarely get anything substantial for the "class." Maybe a $5-off coupon for a case.

The lawyers, however, clean up. That's why lawyers choose to specialize in class action.

Add to this the fact that duh, plastic scratches, you've got the makings of one huge nuisance suit.
Posted by M C (598 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Idiot lawyers...
Class-action suits rarely get anything substantial for the "class." Maybe a $5-off coupon for a case.

The lawyers, however, clean up. That's why lawyers choose to specialize in class action.

Add to this the fact that duh, plastic scratches, you've got the makings of one huge nuisance suit.
Posted by M C (598 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Give it a rest people...
If you put anything plastic in your pocket it will get scratched. Just
because Apple says it will fit in there, doesn't mean it's the
preffered mode of carry.

Don't wan't scratches? Quit putting it in your pocket... Dumb *****.
Keep suing and you won't have anything left to sue about because
companies will quit making stuff.
Posted by corelogik (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Do you actually know what you're talking about?
I suspect all the people saying "what do you expect? Get over it!" etc etc probably haven't actually experienced this problem, or seen a Nano that has the problem.

Clearly what is being described here is scratching far beyond what a reasonable person would expect. I have a 3G iPod that I carry around in my pocket all the time, unprotected. There's barely a scratch on the face - certainly no noticeable scratches, and none that interfere even slightly with reading the display. And yet what we're hearing about Nanos is that the face is getting scratched to the point where the display is unreadable, in a very short time.

So statements like "put anything plastic in your pocket it will get scratched" and "don't wan't scratches? Quit putting it in your pocket" are simply ignorant. Sure, on the face of it, they seems like obvious statements, but in this instance are apparently made in complete ignorance of the facts.
Posted by (12 comments )
Link Flag
are you high? do you understand what you're reading?
you must not use portable electronic devices. lemme break it down for you:
i have a two year old sony minidisc player. i've dropped it numerous times onto sand-ridden wooden and concrete floors, put it in my pockets with my keys, wallet, phone, and even glass objects. the display, despite a large crack, is still *very* legible.

the new ipod nanos are becoming scratched to the point of illegibility not by being dropped on the ground, but by scratching against the fabric that comprises pockets, fingers passing over them, EVEN THE INSIDE OF THE PLASTIC CASES SOLD TO PROTECT THEM. unless you expect people to go into a semiconductor foundry and use a small robotic crane to play their ipod nano, the device scratches in circumstances that ARE considered "reasonable use." if cell phones or other devices scratched this easily, trust me, you'd hear about it. so enough of this "wah wah. it scratches because you're using your hands rather than moving it telekinetically" garbage. as many previous users pointed out, the previous generation ipods didn't have this problem.
Posted by chomprock (6 comments )
Link Flag
Another complete idiot shows his stupidity on the web
Gee, before you speak, think. Guess that isn't possible in all cases. How many of the other Ipods released to date had this problem. Gee, NONE. So maybe there is something different going on. Maybe you are just another idiot fan-boy incapable of empirical thinking. Did I stump you with that word? Look it up. dictionary.com
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Link Flag
Give it a rest people...
If you put anything plastic in your pocket it will get scratched. Just
because Apple says it will fit in there, doesn't mean it's the
preffered mode of carry.

Don't wan't scratches? Quit putting it in your pocket... Dumb *****.
Keep suing and you won't have anything left to sue about because
companies will quit making stuff.
Posted by corelogik (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Do you actually know what you're talking about?
I suspect all the people saying "what do you expect? Get over it!" etc etc probably haven't actually experienced this problem, or seen a Nano that has the problem.

Clearly what is being described here is scratching far beyond what a reasonable person would expect. I have a 3G iPod that I carry around in my pocket all the time, unprotected. There's barely a scratch on the face - certainly no noticeable scratches, and none that interfere even slightly with reading the display. And yet what we're hearing about Nanos is that the face is getting scratched to the point where the display is unreadable, in a very short time.

So statements like "put anything plastic in your pocket it will get scratched" and "don't wan't scratches? Quit putting it in your pocket" are simply ignorant. Sure, on the face of it, they seems like obvious statements, but in this instance are apparently made in complete ignorance of the facts.
Posted by (12 comments )
Link Flag
are you high? do you understand what you're reading?
you must not use portable electronic devices. lemme break it down for you:
i have a two year old sony minidisc player. i've dropped it numerous times onto sand-ridden wooden and concrete floors, put it in my pockets with my keys, wallet, phone, and even glass objects. the display, despite a large crack, is still *very* legible.

the new ipod nanos are becoming scratched to the point of illegibility not by being dropped on the ground, but by scratching against the fabric that comprises pockets, fingers passing over them, EVEN THE INSIDE OF THE PLASTIC CASES SOLD TO PROTECT THEM. unless you expect people to go into a semiconductor foundry and use a small robotic crane to play their ipod nano, the device scratches in circumstances that ARE considered "reasonable use." if cell phones or other devices scratched this easily, trust me, you'd hear about it. so enough of this "wah wah. it scratches because you're using your hands rather than moving it telekinetically" garbage. as many previous users pointed out, the previous generation ipods didn't have this problem.
Posted by chomprock (6 comments )
Link Flag
Another complete idiot shows his stupidity on the web
Gee, before you speak, think. Guess that isn't possible in all cases. How many of the other Ipods released to date had this problem. Gee, NONE. So maybe there is something different going on. Maybe you are just another idiot fan-boy incapable of empirical thinking. Did I stump you with that word? Look it up. dictionary.com
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Link Flag
God help us!
Why can't we just let natural selection take it's course. It's our
propensity for saving EVERY human life that allows idiots like
this to survive and reproduce!
If you are stupid enough to 1. Put a shiny plastic object in your
pocket and not expect it to get scratched an then, 2. clean said
shiny plastic thing with a PAPER TOWEL you deserve to have you
ass beaten for even considering suing the manufacturer!
It's the ability to file suits like this, and even worse, the
accptance of the American public to this mentality, that are
really destroying this world. If you wipe a dirty black car with a
paper towel you will scratch it. Do you really expect the
manufacturer to refund your money AND give you a share of the
profits as well?!
IDIOTS!!
Posted by rhett121 (73 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't own one do you?
Doesn't matter how careful you are with this device it will get lots of scratches in a very short period of time. Was one of the first to buy and ordered the Nano tubes at the same time just as a precation, but Apple still hasn't shipped the tubes a month later. I kept the Nano in a soft sock and in less than a week with minimal use it had literally hundreds of micro scratches. Even Apple acknowledges that the first batch of Nanos had a problem that they say they have now fixed with a different resin on the front. They have not offered to exchange any of the original Nanos. So unless you have experienced the problem we are having how can you begin to comment?
Posted by pukain1 (4 comments )
Link Flag
God help us!
Why can't we just let natural selection take it's course. It's our
propensity for saving EVERY human life that allows idiots like
this to survive and reproduce!
If you are stupid enough to 1. Put a shiny plastic object in your
pocket and not expect it to get scratched an then, 2. clean said
shiny plastic thing with a PAPER TOWEL you deserve to have you
ass beaten for even considering suing the manufacturer!
It's the ability to file suits like this, and even worse, the
accptance of the American public to this mentality, that are
really destroying this world. If you wipe a dirty black car with a
paper towel you will scratch it. Do you really expect the
manufacturer to refund your money AND give you a share of the
profits as well?!
IDIOTS!!
Posted by rhett121 (73 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't own one do you?
Doesn't matter how careful you are with this device it will get lots of scratches in a very short period of time. Was one of the first to buy and ordered the Nano tubes at the same time just as a precation, but Apple still hasn't shipped the tubes a month later. I kept the Nano in a soft sock and in less than a week with minimal use it had literally hundreds of micro scratches. Even Apple acknowledges that the first batch of Nanos had a problem that they say they have now fixed with a different resin on the front. They have not offered to exchange any of the original Nanos. So unless you have experienced the problem we are having how can you begin to comment?
Posted by pukain1 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Defective merchandise
I love how some of these posts criticize others for being careless when such is NOT the case. My iPod Nano got scratched the same day and it never even left the kitchen counter! Then I got the bright idea of putting it in a new case with a clear palstic window. That made things even worse. As far as I am concerned, I believe Apple put out a defective product! I also believe that the ones who dis the Nano's screen issue, most likely do not own one, or otherwise they'd be screaming too.

To make the record very clear, no paper towels were used to clean the screen.

I own two other full size iPods and they have nary a scratch on them.

Regards,

Larry Winward
Posted by n2ifp (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Spontaneous scratching
This must be a new scientific discovery. If it was left on the kitchen
counter all day, how come it managed to scratch itself?

Hmmm
Posted by squirri (11 comments )
Link Flag
Defective merchandise
I love how some of these posts criticize others for being careless when such is NOT the case. My iPod Nano got scratched the same day and it never even left the kitchen counter! Then I got the bright idea of putting it in a new case with a clear palstic window. That made things even worse. As far as I am concerned, I believe Apple put out a defective product! I also believe that the ones who dis the Nano's screen issue, most likely do not own one, or otherwise they'd be screaming too.

To make the record very clear, no paper towels were used to clean the screen.

I own two other full size iPods and they have nary a scratch on them.

Regards,

Larry Winward
Posted by n2ifp (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Spontaneous scratching
This must be a new scientific discovery. If it was left on the kitchen
counter all day, how come it managed to scratch itself?

Hmmm
Posted by squirri (11 comments )
Link Flag
Consumers' unrealistic expectations
I don't know enough about consumer protection laws to comment on the legal aspects of this case. If there were a cause of action and some prospect of achieving a remedy, then certainly I couldn't criticize these people for filing a lawsuit.

Though I can't comment on legal merits, I do think consumers have unrealistic expectations. Scratches affect the appearance, not the function, of a portable audio player. If it were a video player and the screen were starting to darken in spite of adequate protective action, then consumers would have a reason to worry.

The move to manufacturing identical electronic equipment in different colors was bad enough. (Remember the color phone surcharge from the Bell System?) Only iSheep (a great term that another commentator has coined, for Apple's more extreme followers) would sit down and compare the scratches on their MP3 players.
Posted by rpms (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Have you actually been following this story?
I'm amazed people feel they have something to contribute to the discussion when they clearly haven't even been following the story.

It is NOT an "unrealistic expectation" to expect to be able to still read your iPod's display after a few days of normal use. This isn't just "a few scratches" marring the appearance that people are complaining about.

Despite your insistence to the contrary, scratches certainly DO affect the function of the player if they interfere with viewing the display.

If this was just some "iPod user mania" as you and others seem to believe, then we would have heard complaints about previous model iPods. But as many people have already pointed out, this wasn't a problem with previous model iPods, and it is a genuine problem with the Nano.

You're welcome to your opinion, but please at least research the issue before COMING to an opinion on the matter.
Posted by (12 comments )
Link Flag
 

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