New York Times, Penguin, Simon & Schuster: How the New York Book Review Has Changed Publishers
NEW YORK — In a landmark ruling, a federal appeals court on Monday said the publisher of a New York newspaper and the author of an acclaimed memoir are not allowed to sue each other for defamation in a lawsuit over their memoirs.
The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit means that both the New Yorker and Simon & Stoughton must settle the case.
The authors of “A Wrinkle in Time” and “The Hunting Ground” sued each other last year, claiming they published disparaging remarks about them that were defamatory.
In February, the New Republic published an article about them, which was defamatized.
In the lawsuit filed last year by the New Jersey-based Simon & Saint, the author, Caitlin Moran, wrote that she had written the book “in the hope of becoming an agent for a prominent New York book publisher.”
The New York Post, in its review of the book, wrote, “It is hard to imagine a more outrageous and outrageous statement than that.”
In a statement, Moran said the Simon & Shuster lawsuit was a “disgrace.”
“The New Yorker is a prestigious publishing house that deserves nothing less than the respect that it has been afforded in the past,” Moran said.
“I hope that the publishers of Simon & Sherman and the New Yorkers will do the right thing and stop filing lawsuits against each other.
If that means settling, I’m happy to do it.”
In January, the U-S appeals court sided with Simon & Smith, saying that the publisher is not entitled to sue the author.
The publisher filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in June.
Simon & Shultz had asked the 2nd Circuit to throw out the complaint because the lawsuit did not meet the definition of a lawsuit against a publisher.
The 2nd District judge, James R. Griesa, said in the 2-1 ruling Monday that there is no way for a publisher to be sued by its author.
Griesa wrote that he did not find the New Book Review publisher’s claims that the book’s publication was defamed.
He said that a publisher cannot be held liable for defamations made by the publisher.
The 2nd circuit also sided with the publishers on the claim that the plaintiffs were “a group of individuals with no connection to each other,” saying that they did not prove that their respective opinions had been defamed by the other.
The judges said the lawsuit was brought under a state statute that allows publishers to sue their own authors for defamation.
The court also said that the authors did not allege that the New Review publisher defamed them, saying they were not alleging that the magazine publisher defamated them.
The Simon & Schwartz decision has wide-ranging implications for the way publishers and authors handle their private life.
It is a major victory for the New Zealand-based literary publisher, which had been trying to collect damages from its authors and publishers.
Simon & Suster has been seeking to collect more than $1.6 million in damages from the authors and publisher.