What is a class action lawsuit?
The simple answer is that a class action lawsuit is one brought on behalf of a group of people who have a legal issue in common, where there are so many members of the "class" that it is impractical to handle the claims individually.
How do I know if I'm a member of the class?
If you signed a contract with Harlequin Enterprises B.V. or Harlequin Books S.A. between the years 1990-2004, you might be a member of the class. You would need to examine your contracts from that time period and determine whether the contracts mention a specific royalty for electronic or digital rights. This can be found under the "Royalty" section of the contract and will be listed as either 6% or 8% of cover price. If your contract does not contain a specific percentage for electronic or digital sales, then chances are you qualify as a member of the class.
Are authors from other countries represented in the suit? If not, why not?
It depends. You need to check your contract. Toward the end of the contract, there is a "Construction" clause, which is around number 24-33. The actual number doesn't matter. If the Construction clause says the Agreement will be interpreted and construed according to the laws of New York, then your country of origin does not matter.
Do authors with affected contracts have to do anything? If so, what? Can I opt out?
Right now you don't have to do anything. We will put up an announcement if there's anything you need to do in the future. You can opt out of the lawsuit. We will provide instructions on how to do so at a later date.
How long will this take?
We do not know at this time.
What remedies are we requesting?
We are requesting Harlequin pay authors what they are legally due according to the contracts we signed.
If I have contracts affected by this lawsuit could I be called on to testify?
We currently have three named plaintiffs who represent the "Class" in this lawsuit. They have accepted all the duties and responsibilities required.
What if I signed Harlequin's amendment to these contracts? Does that exclude me from any settlements?
It's difficult to answer this question definitively. Our hope is that it will not exclude you from any settlements.
What about readers? What will this mean to them?
No worries on that score. This won't change a thing. You can still expect the same excellent books authors have always provided. We are not interested in changing your reading experience or the cost of the books you love.
You haven't answered my question!
Sorry! Please send any questions to: Contact@HarlequinLawsuit.com. We will do our best to either answer you directly or post your question and our response on the website. Please be patient. We will answer your question as quickly as possible, though there are some issues we cannot discuss for legal reasons.