Friday, August 12, 2005

Silence of the Lambs

Remember the hype machine in late March and April, when the preliminary settlement was announced? The Authors Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Writers Union put the news release on the front pages of their websites. They set up a joint "informational website." They all but claimed that securing $10-to-$18-million for decades of systematic infringement by just about every known major publisher was the greatest feat since Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.

On July 28, instead of giving final approval to the settlement, the court gave new preliminary approval to an amended settlement. By court order, the amended settlement agreement was supposed to be posted on the associational plaintiffs' websites. But it's not there.

The settlement amendment provides a significant -- 10-fold -- increase in compensation for some members of the class in Category B. Perhaps a very large number of members. Yet now the associations are silent.

You explain it to me.


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