Alleging that its authors have been plagiarized, the Harvard Business School Press has filed a copyright infringement suit against a Decatur, Ga., outfit called Business Book Review.

HBSP, which filed suit in U.S. District Court in Boston, alleges that BBR has lifted pages of work from 26 titles and included them in eight-page summaries that it sells as downloadable files. Harvard says that because BBR has not added commentary or criticism, and because of the length of the excerpts, it has gone far beyond the fair-use terms that protect book reviews. The suit names BBR, president Jagdir Sheth, publisher John Fayad and reviewer Lydia Morris. The house is seeking an injunction, monetary damages (possibly statutory, which could run as high as $150,000 per title) and legal fees.

"Promoting is one thing; plagiarizing is another," said Allan Ryan, HBSP's intellectual property expert. "They're taking our authors' words and selling them for money, without permission and over our objections, and saying 'too bad.' " The house sent a cease-and-desist letter last summer, but Ryan said it went unheeded. As for the possibility of an out-of-court resolution, Ryan said that, given what he knew now, he was not expecting a settlement and thought this would go to trial.

In an e-mail, BBR's Fayad said he was "totally surprised that HBS could even think to bring suit against Business Book Review when so much value has been added by BBR to all parties involved, and for so many years." Fayad added that in a letter to HBSP, he has offered to drop their titles.

Ryan said that searches of online booksellers for HBSP titles turn up BBR synopses, possibly discouraging readers from buying the original books. In fact, he said, the BBR site actively promotes the review as a replacement for the original work.

Other publishers, such as the Free Press and Perseus, have also seen their books excerpted, but none have yet filed suit. Meanwhile, the Big Apple Tuttle-Mori agency has sent a cease-and-desist letter to BBR.