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"Julie of the Wolves" Litigation

By Andrea L. Calvaruso

In a postscript to SDNY Judge Naomi Buchwald's ruling last March favoring Harper Collins in its copyright infringement suit against Open Road over control of e-book rights to "Julie of the Wolves", Judge Buchwald had determined on summary judgment that "a plain reading" of Harper's 1971 publishing agreement with the author demonstrated that digital rights (even though not yet in existence) were encompassed within the broad language of the publishing contract's grant clause, and therefore Open Road's 2011 e-book license with the author was invalid. As a result of this ruling, Harper sought over $1,000,000 in damages and attorneys' fees against Open Road on the ground that its decision to proceed with the e-book, without Harper's consent, was "objectively unreasonable."

In this latest ruling summarized below by "Publisher's Weekly," Judge Buchwald denied Harper's request and limited the award to the $30,000 statutory maximum, plus $7,000 in costs. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/61471-judge-rules-for-harpercollins-in-open-road-e-book-dispute.html

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