Harper Charges Open Road with Infringement
HarperCollins filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on December 23 against Open Road Integrated Media over Open Road’s publication of the e-book edition of Jean Craighead George’s bestselling and award-winning children’s book, Julie of the Wolves. The suit charges that HC’s contract with George, signed in 1971, gives it the right to be the exclusive publisher of Wolves, “in book form,” including via “computer, computer-stored, mechanical or other electronic means now known or hereafter invented.” An Open Road spokesperson issued the followed statement in response to the complaint: “While we have not seen the complaint and therefore cannot comment, Open Road has been granted the e-book rights by the author and is confident that the HarperCollins claim is without merit.”
Investor Takes 6% Stake in BAM
An outside investor has acquired just over one million shares of Books-A-Million. The investment by Harsha Gowda, identified in his December 23 filing with the SEC as being with the Roseland, N.J., investment company Blue Shore Capital, gives him a 6.38% stake in the nation’s second largest bookstore chain.
Napack Resigns As Macmillan President
Brian Napack has stepped down as president of Macmillan, but will work with the publishing company on an as-needed basis in the new year to help with a smooth transition. Napack joined Macmillan in May 2006.
Hagens Berman Leads E-book Pricing Counsel
Hagens Berman, the first law firm to file an antitrust lawsuit against most major publishers and Apple alleging conspiracy in fixing e-book prices, has been named the lead counsel in the
action. After Hagens Berman filed its suit this summer, about a dozen other similar cases were filed in New York and Northern California, and last month the courts ordered all cases to be consolidated in the Southern District of New York. An amended complaint is due to be filed by January 20.
Macmillan Rebrands Higher Education Division
Macmillan is changing the name of its higher education group from Bedford, Freeman, and Worth Publishing Group to Macmillan Higher Education. The rebranding comes after the parent company, Holtzbrinck, changed the name of its U.S. trade arm from Holtzbrinck Publishing to Macmillan in 2007. The new name will only affect the higher education division. Macmillan’s educational unit covering k–12 will continue to use the Bedford, Freeman, and Worth name.