Open Road files response to HarperCollins in Julie lawsuit
February 20, 2012 | 12:58 am
PaidContent reports that Open Road has filed a 14-page response to HarperCollin’s lawsuit over Jean C. George’s Julie of the Wolves e-book rights. The response went about as expected: Open Road is claiming that the contract for Julie of the Wolves does not cover e-books, and so HarperCollins does not have a leg to stand on in its lawsuit.
Among other things, Open Road alleges that HarperCollins has not spent any money on advertising or promoting Julie of the Wolves since the mid 1970s, and that it never had any intention of producing a Julie of the Wolves e-book, either.
As might be expected, George has come out firmly on the side of Open Road:
In a statement, George said, “I have asked to intervene in this action to protect my rights under copyright and under my original contract with HarperCollins. When I signed that contract in 1971, e-books did not exist so I could not have granted those rights. I am with Open Road all the way.”
Open Road asks for the case to be dismissed with prejudice and an award of lawyers’ fees. I doubt that will happen, but it will be interesting to see what does. If it doesn’t get settled first, this case has the potential to set a pretty important precedent for backlist title e-book contracts.