Random House, Inc. v. Rosetta Books LLC

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York150 F. Supp. 2d 613 (2001)

Facts

Random House (plaintiff) originally signed licensing agreements with a number of authors granting Random House the exclusive right to print, publish, and sell the authors’ work in book form. At the time these agreements were signed, literary work like that produced by the authors did not exist in digital or electronic form. Each author, pursuant to his respective licensing agreement, granted Random House the right to his work, but withheld certain rights of distribution (recording rights for the published work, for example). However, in the year 2000, Rosetta (defendant) had begun distributing literary works in an electronic form known as “ebooks.” Rosetta contracted with several of the authors whose work was already licensed to Random House in order to obtain the right to distribute the authors’ literary work in ebook form. Random House brought a copyright infringement action to enjoin Rosetta from selling the ebooks.

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