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This dispute arises between an author and his book publisher. In addition to writing a book, the author also designed his own original artwork for the cover. After two rounds of artwork proofs, the publisher allegedly went ahead and published the book without the author’s final approval (the author had actually signed the final approval form but claims to have later redacted his approval via email…the full story is laid out in the Exhibits below).

The book publisher is alleged to have “knowingly published and printed Plaintiff’s Works even after Plaintiff made very clear to Defendant of his displeasure and dissatisfaction of the cover art for his Works as proposed by Defendant.”

In case you’re wondering, the VARA right of attribution – by which the author could prevent the use of his name in connection with a prejudicial modification of his work – doesn’t apply here due to the exception in 17 USC 106A(c)(3):

(3) The rights described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall not apply to any reproduction, depiction, portrayal, or other use of a work in, upon, or in any connection with any item described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of the definition of “work of visual art” in section 101

Here’s that section from 17 USC 101, my emphasis added:

(A)(i) any poster, map, globe, chart, technical drawing, diagram, model, applied art, motion picture or other audiovisual work, book, magazine, newspaper, periodical, data base, electronic information service, electronic publication, or similar publication;

(ii) any merchandising item or advertising, promotional, descriptive, covering, or packaging material or container

Stay tuned for updates.

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Murdock v. Author Solutions, LLC

Court Case Number: 1:16-cv-01398-SEB-DML
File Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Antara Murdock
Plaintiff Counsel:
Mathew K. Higbee, Esq. of Higbee & Associates
Defendant: Author Solutions, LLC
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Southern District of Indiana
Sarah Evans Barker
Referred ToDebra McVicker Lynch