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Tuesday News: Youtube premium channels close to launching and reduced priced...

The Nook HD+ is a really good tablet at that price, particularly when you can add Google Play. I’m picking one up for our June ebook reader giveaway.Barnes & Noble

““With the advent of e-books and instantaneous worldwide distribution, it only makes sense that international publishers would redirect their financial resources from trying to court reluctant U.S./U.K. publishers and instead get the books translated themselves and sell them directly throughout the world,” said Chad Post of Open Letter, the literary publishing house dedicated to international works at the University of Rochester. “It may be cheaper, and it monetizes a lot of books that otherwise are just sitting there. And if one takes off… you may have a situation like with HMH and The Hangman’s Daughter,” which turned into a bestseller.”Publishers Weekly

For virtually all the time since the publication of her famous novel, Harper Lee was represented in her literary activities by Mackintosh & Otis C’M&O”), which sought to advance her interests as is appropriate for a literary agent. Unfortunately, when M&O’s principal, Eugene Winick, became ill in 2002, his son-in-law, Defendant Pinkus, took the opportunity to divert several M&O clients to a new company that Pinkus controlled, Veritas Media, Inc. C’VMI”), and then engaged in a scheme to dupe Harper Lee, then 80 years old with declining hearing and eyesight, into assigning her valuable TKAM copyright to VMI for no consideration.

Pinkus’s motive for engaging in this conduct appears related to his efforts to avoid M&O’s efforts to collect on a judgment that it had recovered against VMl in a New York arbitration over entitlement to commissions on the works and authors (including Harper Lee) that Pinkus had diverted from M&O during Eugene Winick’s illness. (See Exh. A.) To avoid that judgment against VMI, Pinkus created several different companies to handle the receipt of royalties and commissions and directed the payment of royalties to a continually changing series of bank accounts. Pinkus also assigned Harper Lee’s copyright, yet again, from VMI to another company that he controlled and signed foreign licenses on Harper Lee’s behalf granting rights at times when Pinkus knew that he owned the copyright in TKAM and that Harper Lee could not validly transfer the licensed rights. Through all these years, Pinkus ignored his agent’s duty of loyalty and diligence to Harper Lee, his principal, and neglected his obligation to act at all times in her interest. That dereliction of duty included his failure to exploit Harper Lee’s copyright on her behalf, even when pressed by publishers and potential licensees to do so.

In this action, Harper Lee seeks to ensure her ownership in the TKAM copyright, which should belong to her and no one else, and to hold Pinkus and his co- defendants responsible for the harm that they have caused.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

2 Comments

  1. SAO
    May 07, 2013 @ 05:25:18

    Harper Lee should sue for fraud and embezzlement. If all Pinkus loses is future profits from the copyright he stole, that’s pretty pathetic. An agent has a legal, fiduciary duty to his client.

  2. Nicole H.
    May 07, 2013 @ 14:45:33

    Thanks for the heads up about YouTube premium channels. I’d love for more kids programming. We stopped satellite tv awhile back and now only watch what’s available online or through AppleTV and Roku. And over-the-air stuff, of course. Ditching the paid cable/satellite service has been great.

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