Ebook Settlement and implications for Libraries

We have received a few inquiries as to how the ebook settlement announced by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will affect the WPLC.  It is important to know that only individuals are eligible for compensation. Libraries are excluded from this settlement. The case details are as follows:

  • Three Settlements have been reached with certain publishers in an antitrust lawsuit filed by State Attorneys General about the price of ebooks.
  • The lawsuit claims there was a conspiracy involving three of the nation’s top publishers and others to fix and raise retail prices of E-books.  These three publishers have agreed to settle the lawsuit. A separate lawsuit with similar claims continues against two other publishers and Apple Inc.
  • If you purchased one or more E-books from April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012 that were published by any of the five Publishers (listed in Question 2 of the FAQ’s), you may be eligible for a partial refund of the purchase price.
  • The Settling Publishers deny they did anything wrong, but have agreed to settle to avoid the cost and risk of a trial.

A full list of action steps for consumers can be found here: https://ebooksagsettlements.com

Certain people or entities are not included in the Settlements, as follows:

  • Residents of Minnesota are not eligible to recover anything under the Settlements because the Minnesota Attorney General chose not to participate.
  • Residents of countries other than the United States and its territories and commonwealths are not included in the Settlements.
  • Only individuals are included.  Business, governments, libraries, non-profits, and other entities are not included.
  • Rental E-books, free E-books, and E-books received as gifts are not included.  (Only purchasers are included in the Settlements.  If you received an E-book as a gift, you are not included.  The person who purchased it for you may be included.)

The site has a comprehensive list of  FAQ’s to provide additional information. Please share this information widely with your libraries.