Open Road, George Deny ‘Wolves’ Charges

Open Road Media denied charges made by HarperCollins that it infringed HC’s copyright when it published an e-book edition of Jean Craighead George’s Julie of the Wolves, and in a twist George has asked to be made part of Open Road’s case. In a statement George said, “I have asked to intervene in this action to protect my rights under copyright and under my original contract with HarperCollins. When I signed that contract in 1971, eBooks did not exist so I could not have granted those rights.”

New B&N Investors

Two separate investor groups took stakes in Barnes & Noble last week. Dimensional Fund Advisors acquired just under 3.3 million B&N shares, giving it a reported 5.45% stake, while Fidelity Management & Research Company, a subsidiary of FMR LLC, acquired just under a 10% interest in the company by buying just over six million shares.

Pohlman Named Open Road Publisher

Tina Pohlman, currently v-p and publisher for trade paperbacks at Crown Publishing, will join Open Road Integrated Media March 5 as publisher. In that role, Pohlman will oversee all of Open Road’s editorial team. She succeeds Brendan Cahill.

Publishers Score Win Over Piracy

An international alliance of publishers and publishing associations has succeeded in getting a Munich court to serve cease and desist orders to the operators of the Web sites and that have been illegally offering more than 400,000 copyrighted books for free. The operators, currently based in Galway, Ireland, are estimated to have earned over $10 million annually from advertising sales, donations, and subscriptions.

Aptara Acquired by iEnergizer

The digital services provider Aptara has been acquired by iEnergizer, an international business process outsourcing company that has offices around the world. Dev Ganesan, Aptara CEO, said the acquisition will enable Aptara to focus on its core business while providing it with resources to expand the range of services it can offer. Purchase price was $144 million.

Wicks Group Buys Bendon Publishing

New York private equity firm the Wicks Group has purchased a majority share in Bendon Publishing, a leading purveyor of coloring, activity, and other mass market book formats. One of the three Bendon co-owners, CEO Don Myers III, will leave the company, while the other two, Ben Ferguson and Terry Gerwig, will stay on, serving as CEO and executive v-p, respectively.

Gibbs Smith CEO Resigns

After spending 17 years with the Layton, Utah-based Gibbs Smith Publishers, Christopher Robbins has resigned as CEO and said he is launching a new publishing business with his wife. Company founder Gibbs Smith said Robbins’s duties will be divided up among other executives.

New Trade Leadership at Zondervan

Zondervan has appointed Tracy Danz as v-p and publisher of its Trade Group, reporting to Annette Bourland, who has been promoted to senior v-p and publisher for the Trade Group and for Zonderkidz, the children’s division. Danz replaces Dudley Delffs, who left the company more than a year ago.