In its first formal response to the lawsuit filed against it by HarperCollins over the e-book publication of Julie of the Wolves, Open Road Integrated Media yesterday announced that it plans to hire Michael J. Boni and Joanne Zack of Boni and Zack in association with Robert La Rocca of Kohn, Swift & Graf, PC, to represent its interests. In December HC filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Open Road, contending that its contract with Wolves author Jean Craighead George gives HC the right to publish Wolves in all book forms, including e-books. The contract was signed in 1971.

In a statement issued yesterday as well, Open Road COO Chris Davis said the company is fully prepared to support its authors’ rights. “It appears to us that HarperCollins is trying to intimidate authors, overturn established law and grab rights that were not in existence when the contracts were signed many years ago. We are confident that we will successfully defend authors’ rights and we look forward to filing our response in court,” Davis said.