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Posts tagged lawsuit

Department of Justice responds to comments, will not change its settlement terms
July 24, 2012 | 12:03 am

Today the Department of Justice finally got around to posting over 850 comments it received on its proposed anti-trust settlement with three agency pricing publishers—along with its own response (PDF) to the concerns and issues raised by the comments it received. In summary, the Department of Justice considered all the relevant issues raised by the comments, pro and con, and found nothing sufficient to convince it to budge one iota from the settlement plans it had drawn up. Of those comments, fewer than 70 were in support of the settlement, and the rest were opposed. (However, hundreds of those...

Consumer payout in e-book pricing class-action still some distance away
July 19, 2012 | 8:31 pm

The Justice Department suit against the publishers and Apple for introducing agency pricing is not seeking damages—just a change in the way publishers price. However, the competing class-action lawsuits filed by various law firms and a number of state attorney generals are seeking damages, and therein lies a bit of a snarl-up. PaidContent has an interesting article looking at the matter at great length. The publishers who settled with the DoJ have also been settling with states to the tune of millions of dollars, and this creates a problem for the lawyers who filed the non-state-related class action firms—the...

Authors sue Harlequin over e-book royalties
July 19, 2012 | 8:15 pm

The public may now be developing a love affair with e-books, but they may have lost their romance for some of Harlequin’s authors. Three such authors are suing Harlequin over a matter of miscalculated e-book royalties. Barbara Keiler, Mona Kay Thomas and Linda Barrett allege (PDF) that Harlequin used a tax-purposes subsidiary, Harlequin Swiss, to cheat them out of e-book royalties between 1994 by basing their “50% of receipts” rate on the money Swiss received from Harlequin, rather than the money Harlequin received from selling the books. Authors thus ended up getting between 24 and 32 cents per...

John Wiley & Sons wins default judgment in peer-to-peer lawsuit
July 5, 2012 | 8:15 pm

TorrentFreak has the latest word on the John Wiley & Sons peer-to-peer piracy lawsuit. A judge has entered a default judgment against one BitTorrent sharer of Wordpress for Dummies in the amount of $7,000—$5,000 for for copyright violation, plus $2,000 for counterfeiting Wiley’s trademarks. (The sharer failed to respond to the lawsuit, hence the judgment was by default.) This is a far cry from the maximum statutory damage of $150,000 Wiley had requested, but over twice as much as the average settlement amount. Wiley mainly launched the suit as a way to get the contact information for hundreds of...

Apple will reinstate AAC app Speak For Yourself if its developers win in court
June 28, 2012 | 5:15 pm

The Register reports that Apple will reinstate the AAC app “Speak For Yourself” if the speech therapists who made the app are able to win the patent lawsuit brought against them. Apple pulled the app several weeks ago as part of the ongoing dispute between two larger AAC device companies and the small start-up that created the app. Apple removed the app as a matter of policy, says The Register, as it always removes apps that are subjects of litigation to protect users from any potential legal consequences of using a possibly illegal application. There was no significance of...

Augmentative communication app Speak For Yourself pulled from iTunes store at patent plaintiff request
June 13, 2012 | 8:26 pm

A few months ago I wrote about the patent situation surrounding an app called “Speak For Yourself” that allows autistic and otherwise nonverbal people to communicate with others. A couple of companies who make much more expensive AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) devices are suing the makers of Speak For Yourself for infringing 100 of their patents. Dana Nieder, mother of a four-year-old nonverbal child named Maya, has updated her blog to note that thanks to the app, Maya’s communication skills with the app have improved dramatically over just a few weeks. But she also notes that, as...

RIP Jean C. George, 92
May 18, 2012 | 12:10 am

jcg_portraitGalleycat reports that children’s author Jean C. George has passed away at the age of 92. George is best known for her books Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain, the latter of which was one of the mainstays of my childhood reading. I will forever regret never having the chance to meet Mrs. George and tell her how much her book meant to me. (But given how many others did have that chance, I’m sure she already knew.) More recently, George was in the news as a result of her decision to license the e-book...

Judge denies Apple, publisher motions to dismiss class-action price-fixing suit
May 15, 2012 | 11:58 pm

062907pricefixingHot on the heels of the filing I mentioned yesterday, the judge in the publisher/Apple price-fixing class action has issued a 56-page ruling (PDF). It’s important to note that this is only a preliminary ruling on Apple and the publishers’ motion to have the case thrown out. It doesn’t mean they’re necessarily guilty. As such, it used a simplified set of criteria—rather than questioning the plaintiffs’ facts, as would be done in a full trial, the judge took them at face value for the purpose of determining whether there was enough of an issue to move to full trial about....

Judge decides mostly in favor of Georgia State University in e-reserves case
May 13, 2012 | 7:13 pm

A decision has come down in the Georgia State University e-reserves case, which we’ve covered here, here, and here. The case concerned electronic compilations of course material that professors bundle together from books in situations where they would not be using enough material from a particular book to make it worthwhile for students to buy it. A number of publishers objected to the practice, and filed suit against Georgia State University. (Presumably if the suit was successful, they could then have gone after other universities over the same practices.) The judge has spent a great deal of time working...

Penguin parent company reassures stockholders about DoJ case in financial statement
April 29, 2012 | 8:15 pm

Pearson, the parent company of publisher Penguin, has released an interim management statement, as it is undoubtedly required to do every so often. Much of it isn’t of direct interest to e-book fans, but there is a paragraph on the book publishing industry and the DoJ lawsuit: Following several years of particularly strong performance relative to the overall consumer books market, we expect Penguin to perform in line with its industry this year. It will benefit from its consistently strong publishing schedule, which is more concentrated in the second half this year, and its strong position...

Why sue the publishers and Apple instead of Amazon? The DoJ may not have had much choice
April 23, 2012 | 11:57 pm

In the publisher/Apple antitrust suit, one criticism that has emerged from the publisher partisan camp is that the DoJ is picking on them for trying to defend themselves against Amazon’s growing monopoly, while turning a blind eye to what Amazon is doing. However, the Wall Street Journal is running a piece in which it talks to antitrust scholars to try to dispel some misconceptions. U.S. antitrust law, the article explains, isn’t about protecting little companies from big ones, or even necessarily preventing monopolies as long as the monopolies are reached through legal means. It’s about preventing companies from...

Consumers still ‘upset and confused’ over e-book pricing
April 22, 2012 | 10:16 pm

ebook-priceThe perception and reality of e-book prices have been a matter of strong consumer opinions ever since Amazon first hit it big with its $9.99 bestseller titles and then publishers implemented agency pricing over the “devaluing” of e-books. Both sides seem to like to accuse each other of “entitlement”, and some folks can get quite impassioned about it. With the Department of Justice agency pricing lawsuit, these opinions have been making themselves known again—or perhaps it’s just that people are finding an excuse to notice. Digital Book World has a piece discussing how e-book pricing makes consumers “upset and...