Three authors have filed a class action lawsuit against romance publisher Harlequin, alleging that they are owed royalties from contracts signed between 1990 and 2004. Click here to read a PDF copy of the complaint, in which authors Barbara Keiler, Mona Gay Thomas and Linda Barrett are named among the plaintiffs along with “all others similarly situated”.
At issue is the question of royalties from ebook sales. It seems that when the contracts were originally signed, the question of ebook royalties (and the broader viability and importance of the ebook market in general) was tackled in a way that the plaintiffs now wish to challenge. They claim they were owed 50% royalties but received less than 10%.
Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes has responded by saying that the company will vigorously defend itself, arguing that their authors have always been properly and fairly recompensed for their work. The company, owned by Torstar Corporation, is one of the world’s leading publishers of romance fiction.