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Sarah Palin, Gawker Settle Copyright Suit

“Gratified” HarperCollins reaches an agreement with Nick Denton over post

Sarah Palin's short-lived copyright battle with Gawker is over.

HarperCollins — which filed a lawsuit late last week against the Nick Denton-owned blog over a post containing pages of Palin's then-unpublished book, "America By Heart" — announced on Wednesday that it has resolved its dispute with the site.

A federal judge had ordered Gawker to remove the excerpts, and the site — somewhat uncharacterically, given Denton's history of waging stubborn wars with celebrities — quickly obliged.

It's unclear if there was a "financial settlement" involved, though it sounds like there was. HarperCollins did not comment on that when asked by Media Decoder directly.

Here's HarperCollins' full statement (via GalleyCat):

"HarperCollins has reached an agreement with Gawker resolving the lawsuit it filed against Gawker on Friday over Gawker’s unauthorized posting of pages from Sarah Palin’s then-unpublished book, America by Heart, which goes on sale today.  In the suit, HarperCollins alleged that Gawker’s postings infringed the copyright in the book, and violated HarperCollins’ exclusive publication rights.

On Saturday afternoon, Judge Thomas Griesa of the US District Court in Manhattan entered a temporary restraining order against Gawker. In an opinion issued yesterday, Judge Grisea stated that 'the purpose of the copyright law is to prevent the kind of copying that has taken place here.' Judge Grisea’s opinion  also said that Gawker 'published what amounts to a substantial portion of the book' but 'essentially engaged in no commentary or discussion,' and that it had 'not used the copyrighted material to help create something new but has merely copied the material in order to attract viewers.' Immediately after the hearing, Gawker removed the offending pages from its web site as the Judge ordered.

In settling the case, Gawker has agreed to keep the posted material off its web site and not to post the material again in the future.

HarperCollins is gratified that it was able to resolve the dispute in this way. HarperCollins does welcome public commentary on its books so long as any book content is utilized in a manner that is consistent with the law."

And one from Gawker editor Remy Stern (via the New York Times):

“HarperCollins’ decision to file suit against us and seek a temporary restraining order generated a good deal of press for Ms. Palin’s book in advance of its publication. Now that the book is out and destined to appear on the bestseller list, we’re pleased that HarperCollins proposed settling this case as is, thus avoiding lengthy litigation for both sides.”