Further Developments in Agency Pricing, Google Books Lawsuits

PaidContent has updates on a couple of e-book-related lawsuit stories today. First, Judge Denise Cote has approved the $69 million everyone-but-Minnesota lawsuit settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. The payments won’t happen until next year because of a “fairness hearing” to be held on February 8th to allow those opposed to have their say against it.

Cote previously issued an order waiving her own right to collect the 25-cents-to-$1.32 refund under the settlement, just to avoid any possible appearance of conflict of interest I suppose. Though I’d think it’s easy to do when the most you could get out of it would be $1.32 anyway.

Meanwhile, an appeals court has issued a stay in the Authors Guild vs. Google Books copyright case until it can review Judge Denny Chin’s decision to grant the Guild class-action status. This places the already long and drawn-out proceedings on hold for another few months. But the separate but related Authors Guild suit against the Hathi Trust proceeds apace, and it could end up deciding the eventual fate of Google Books if it gets decided first.

The annoying thing about these courtroom battles is that they take so long to play out. But I’m sure there will be some eventual satisfaction when they do.

Chris Meadows

View posts by Chris Meadows
Chris Meadows, Editor of TeleRead, has been writing about e-books and mobile devices since 1999: first for ThemeStream, later for Jeff Kirvin's Writing on Your Palm, and then for TeleRead starting in 2006. He has also contributed a few articles to The Digital Reader along the way. Chris has bought e-books from Peanut Press/eReader, Fictionwise, Baen, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, the Humble Bundle, and others. He is a strong believer in using Calibre to keep his library organized.


  1. carmen webster buxton17 September, 2012

    An interesting point about these lawsuits is that because ebooks are bought only online, vendors know exactly who bought what, when, and how much they paid. My understanding is, you won’t even need to press a claim; Apple, Amazon, or B&N etc will simply credit your account with the correct (admittedly small) amount.

    1. Peter19 September, 2012


      Correct, if you purchased from Kobo, Apple, Amazon, or B&N. If you bought from Sony you actually get a check.

      Google books users and purchasers from other ebookstores must make a claim.

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