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November 7, 2007
Conservative Authors Sue Regnery
The powerhouse publisher of conservative books, Regnery Publishing, is being sued by 5 conservative authors over royalty issues:
In a suit filed in United States District Court in Washington yesterday, the authors Jerome R. Corsi, Bill Gertz, Lt. Col. Robert (Buzz) Patterson, Joel Mowbray and Richard Miniter state that Eagle Publishing, which owns Regnery, “orchestrates and participates in a fraudulent, deceptively concealed and self-dealing scheme to divert book sales away from retail outlets and to wholly owned subsidiary organizations within the Eagle conglomerate.” One can certainly understand the plaintiffs gripe. The question I would have is if the author's work is more widely distributed as a result of the company's promotions, how can they be sure that their royalty payments haven't increased as a result of the increased visibility? Would they have made as much if Regnery had simply promoted the book through "normal" channels?"
Some of the authors’ books have appeared on the New York Times best-seller list, including “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,” by Mr. Corsi and John E. O’Neill (who is not a plaintiff in the suit), Mr. Patterson’s “Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America’s National Security” and Mr. Miniter’s “Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush Is Winning the War on Terror.” In the lawsuit the authors say that Eagle sells or gives away copies of their books to book clubs, newsletters and other organizations owned by Eagle “to avoid or substantially reduce royalty payments to authors.”
The authors argue that in reducing royalty payments, the publisher is maximizing its profits and the profits of its parent company at their expense.
It will be interesting to see what Regnery's response to this suit will be.