Quick Link | [More Bad News For O'Callaghan's HMH] After Flouting Print Run Limits, Publisher Faces Dozens of Lawsuits
Photographers, photo agencies, artists, and others who have contributed content to textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have filed more than 30 copyright infringement claims over the past five years in federal courts in Alaska, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, and other states. More claims are in the works, says attorney Chris Seidman of Harmon & Seidman LLC, which has represented most of the plaintiffs and has so far won settlements for about 20 of them.
“The scheme that Houghton employed was to license for the lowest amount it thought it could get away with, and then print whatever it wanted,” Seidman says. One HMH executive said in a court deposition that the publisher ignored print run limits in its photo licenses as meaningless numbers.
“It’s a compelling story of corporate greed and malfeasance,” says Seidman. “This venerable publisher has lost it’s way and veered off on a bad path of cheating the people who contribute to its existence, without whose contributions it wouldn’t exist.”