Australians miss out on Seagate kilobyte refunds

Although a discrepancy between the traditional and modern definitions of kilobyte has led to Seagate Technology offering a rebate on their hard drives, a Seagate representative has confirmed that Australians will not be eligible for the refund.

Although a discrepancy between the traditional and modern definitions of kilobyte has led to Seagate Technology offering a rebate on its hard drives, a Seagate representative confirmed that Australians will not be eligible for the refund.

Earlier this week, Seagate Technology, the world's largest hard-drive maker, announced it would offer customers a five percent refund on drives bought during the last six years following a lawsuit over the definition of a "gigabyte".

The case for a rebate began in 2005 when Sarah Cho and Michael Lazar started a class action in the US because Seagate defines one kilobyte as 1,000 bytes while operating systems define it as 1,024 bytes. Cho and Lazar felt that Seagate was mis-labelling its drives, leading consumers to believe they were getting more than they were.

Seagate settled out of court, but denied any wrongdoing in a formal statement. "Seagate believes that its advertising and other business practices were and are proper in all respects. However, because of the expense and burden of litigation, Seagate believes that resolving the matter through settlement is in the best interests of Seagate and its customers."

According to a legal notice regarding the settlement, consumers are only eligible for a refund if you bought a Seagate drive form an authorised reseller or distributor between 22 March 2001 and 26 September 2007 in the US. Most Australians do not fit into this category.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of similar cases involving the definition of a gigabyte. In 2003, Apple, Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba were sued over hard-disk sizes by a group of users. That case has not yet been resolved.

Peter Judge from ZDNet UK contributed to this story.

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