Compliance Requirements for Publishers That Settled: Everything But Ankle Monitors

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After complying with the draconian reporting requirements imposed by the Department of Justice, the three publishers that have settled to avoid prosecution may wish they’d fought the charges. The conditions are just a little less stringent than house arrest. We will not be surprised to hear that executives at Simon & Schuster, Harper or Hachette have been fitted with ankle monitors.

Richard Curtis

Here is a summary of the compliance requisites for the parties that settled (from Publishers Weekly):

Compliance:
This is the most onerous part of the settlement, and helps explain why Macmillan and and Penguin have decided to fight. Under the Settlement, each publisher will have to engage in a number of compliance measures including:

The appointment of an “Anti-Trust Compliance Officer,” reporting directly to the company’s general counsel.

In addition, the publishers must provide at least “four hours of training” for relevant staff delivered by an attorney and conduct “an annual compliance audit.”

The Settling Publishers must also furnish to the DoJ “on a quarterly basis” electronic copies of any non-privileged communications containing allegations of noncompliance and must “maintain and furnish to the Department of Justice on a quarterly basis, a log of all oral and written communications, excluding privileged or public communications,” between the publishers “officers, directors, or employees” involved in the development of the Settling Defendant’s plans or strategies relating to e-books.

Under the Settlement, the DoJ can also inspect the publishers’ offices, and “require Settling Defendants to provide to the United States hard copy or electronic copies of all books, ledgers, accounts, records, data, and documents in the possession, custody, or control of Settling Defendants, relating to any matters contained in this Final Judgment.”

DoJ officials can also interview “either informally or on the record” the Settling Defendants’ “officers, employees, or agents.” But, if you’re tabbed, you do get to bring your an attorney.

And, upon request, the Settling publishers must submit “written reports or respond to written interrogatories, under oath if requested,” relating to any of the matters contained in the settlement.

 

Richard Curtis

About Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis is a leading New York literary agent (www.curtisagency.com) who foresaw the Digital Book Revolution and launched an e-book publishing company early in 2000. E-Reads (www.ereads.com) is one of the foremost independent e-book publishers in the industry, specializing in reprints of genre fiction by leading authors in their fields. Curtis is also a well-known authors advocate, author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including several books about the publishing industry, and prolific blogger – see his hundreds of other blog posts here.

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