Thursday, September 08, 2005

Curriculum Reform

Today, I'm told -- four days before the deadline to object or opt out -- the Authors Guild is conducting another one of its members-only phone conference seminars on how to search for yourself for free in cyberspace and prepare your claims.

I don't know if there's a question-and-answer session. In case there is, I thought I'd help out with a few sample questions.

1. Kay Murray, the Authors Guild's general counsel, is listed as the organization's contact person. Mediator Kenneth Feinberg called her one of the "leaders" of the settlement negotiations. Could she please get on the line? What? Ms. Murray doesn't work at the Authors Guild any more? Where is she now? What? She took a job with the Tribune Company? Even before the settlement was finalized? C'mon, guys -- a little discretion, please.

2. Your two fellow "associational plaintiffs," the National Writers Union and ASJA, seem to have the yips. The NWU posted and pulled an "explanation" of the settlement amendment. The later posted and edited a statement that formerly characterized the settlement as "free money" and omitted mention of the License by Default provision, which objectors say will be a sure loser on appeal. (Indeed, the very notice to the class hides the License by Default.) What gives?

3. Moreover, these self-appointed class representatives have disobeyed a July 28 court order to publicize the supplemental notice prominently on their websites. Are you all ashamed of the mess you have wrought?


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