Last week, HarperCollins sued the website Gawker because they posted 21 pages of Sarah Palin’s book, America by Heart, which hits store shelves today. A day later, a federal judge ordered the site to take down the unauthorised excerpts.
In a statement, HarperCollins revealed they have resolved their lawsuit against Gawker:
HarperCollins has reached an agreement with Gawker resolving the lawsuit it filed against Gawker on Friday over Gawker’s unauthorised posting of pages from Sarah Palin’s then-unpublished book, America by Heart, which goes on sale today.
Judge Grisea’s opinion also said that Gawker “published what amounts to a substantial portion of the book” but “essentially engaged in no commentary or discussion”, and that it had “not used the copyrighted material to help create something new but has merely copied the material in order to attract viewers.”
In settling the case, Gawker has agreed to keep the posted material off its web site and not to post the material again in the future.
HarperCollins is gratified that it was able to resolve the dispute in this way. HarperCollins does welcome public commentary on its books so long as any book content is utilized in a manner that is consistent with the law.
In an email, editor-in-chief of Gawker Remy Stern said:
HarperCollins’ decision to file suit against us and seek a temporary restraining order generated a good deal of press for Ms. Palin’s book in advance of its publication. Now that the book is out and destined to appear on the bestseller list, we’re pleased that HarperCollins proposed settling this case as is, this avoiding lengthy litigation for both sides.
This is not the first time Gawker has landed in legal hot water. Last year they were involved in a legal case over the McSteamy sex tape, which was eventually settled and resulted in the removal of the video (though not before it had been viewed by many, many people).
This latest case was resolved at a much quicker speed, possibly spurred on by a certain level of animosity between the Palin and Gawker camps that was first established back in 2008 when Gawker pubbed some of then candidate Palin’s emails.
Gawker is the high-brow gossip sheet covering media, entertainment, politics and technology.
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