Judge Rules In Favor of HarperCollins Over Open Road in Ebook Case

Publisher’s Weekly reports the judge ruled in favor of HarperCollins in the long-running ebook copyright infringement lawsuit concerning Jean Craighead George’s Julie of the Wolves.

“Having accordingly relied on the words of the contract, this Court holds that, by its language, the contract grants to HarperCollins the exclusive right to license electronic publications, a right which was infringed by Open Road in its unlicensed e-book publication of Julie of the Wolves,” held judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.

The critical point of the contract language apparently being:

Specifically, paragraph 20 of the 1971 contract states that HarperCollins “shall grant no license without the prior written consent of the Author… including uses in storage and retrieval and information systems, and/or whether through computer, computer-stored, mechanical or other electronic means now known or hereafter invented…”

The judge was not convinced by Open Road’s argument that the above language was in reference to storage in electronic form rather than sale.

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