Thursday, June 16, 2005

OK, How About $600 Million?

The closer you look at the settlement figure of $10 million to $18 million, the sillier it looks.

As noted some time ago, the American Society of Journalists and Authors in 2001 publicized a National Writers Union study stating that damages to authors for database infringement amounted to “anywhere from $2.5 billion to $600 billion.” (See http://freelancerights.blogspot.com/2005/05/anywhere-from-25-billion-to-600.html.)

Remember, this was after ASJA, the NWU, and the Authors Guild had consolidated several class actions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Tasini v. New York Times ruling. Remember, too, that the plaintiffs never put any pressure on the defendants by following up the complaint with a motion for an injunction. Indeed, the defendants never even formally answered the complaint. After years of jawboning and mediation, the parties this spring announced their number. Presto! Ten to eighteen mil.

And now I come across the following article from the July 2001 issue of the newsletter of the trade group Text and Academic Authors. See http://www.taaonline.net/news/july01.html:

NWU: Publisher liability $600 million

NEW YORK, July 1, 2001 -- The National Writers Union estimates the publishing industry's potential liability for the unauthorized use of freelance writers' material on electronic databases and CD-ROMs could be as much as $600 million. The union based on the figure on a survey of 25,000 freelance writers. The union's president, Jonathan Tasini, was the lead plaintiff in challenging the publisher presumption that authors had no rights to material being recycled for digital sale. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has found for the authors, the task for publishers is to figure out how to compensate authors.

*****

$10-to-$18-million … $2.5-to-$600-billion … $600 million

What is this -- an affirmative action program for laid-off employees of network election day exit polls?

5 Comments:

Anonymous outsourcing said...

Hey this blog is not about freelance writers

I have been doing hours of research on "Outsource" and it brought me to your blog on OK, How About $600 Million?. Anyways, Irv Muchnick I was reading your blog and I think it is really cool. It’s really a pleasure reading your posts! Keep up the great work.

Keep blogging away :-)

9:36 PM  
Anonymous publishers said...

I would like to jump in here and bring to everyones attention that the information on this blog should also be shared with the readers of http://www.articlebeat.com Our sites readers and authors would benefit from the information being discussed here and would help get the word out faster, to everyone interested. With plenty of free web content on our site, the bloggers here would benefit from our site and our site users would benefit from the bloggers.

Come share, exchange and debate with us at http://www.articlebeat.com today.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous writers said...

I would like to jump in here and bring to everyones attention that the information on this blog should also be shared with the readers of http://www.articlebeat.com Our sites readers and authors would benefit from the information being discussed here and would help get the word out faster, to everyone interested. With plenty of informative articles on our site, the bloggers here would benefit from our site and our site users would benefit from the bloggers.

Come share, exchange and debate with us at http://www.articlebeat.com today.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous free web content said...

I would like to jump in here and bring to everyones attention that the information on this blog should also be shared with the readers of http://www.articlebeat.com Our sites readers and authors would benefit from the information being discussed here and would help get the word out faster, to everyone interested. With plenty of web content on our site, the bloggers here would benefit from our site and our site users would benefit from the bloggers.

Come share, exchange and debate with us at http://www.articlebeat.com today.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous free web content said...

I would like to jump in here and bring to everyones attention that the information on this blog should also be shared with the readers of http://www.articlebeat.com Our sites readers and authors would benefit from the information being discussed here and would help get the word out faster, to everyone interested. With plenty of articles on our site, the bloggers here would benefit from our site and our site users would benefit from the bloggers.

Come share, exchange and debate with us at http://www.articlebeat.com today.

8:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home