A $4.1m settlement between Harlequin, the world’s largest romance publisher, and 1,200 of its authors won approval on June 30 from the United States District Court for the Southern District Court of New York. The settlement money will be distributed to all Harlequin authors who signed book contracts with Harlequin between 1990 and 2004. The lawsuit, filed in July 2012, stems from Harlequin’s practice of sublicensing e-book rights through a Swiss subsidiary, which resulted in authors receiving 3% to 4% of net profits from their works rather than the established 50%. The settlement fund will be distributed to the authors through a claims administrator after attorneys’ fees and expenses have been deducted.
The authors’ attorneys argued for the settlement’s approval, noting that not a single class member objected to or opted out of the settlement. Judge William H. Pauley, after granting final approval, complimented the lawyers on both sides for their professionalism, lauding the fairness and generosity of the agreement.
Now that the settlement has been approved, the claims administrator will calculate how much is owed to each class member before checks can be distributed. Members of the affected class should consult the Harlequin class action settlement website for details.
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