Settlement close in Audible Captions lawsuit

Settlement close in Audible Captions lawsuit

Audible and a group of seven publishers are close to reaching a settlement in the copyright lawsuit against the firm's Captions programme, according to a letter from Audible's legal team.

Seven US publishers launched a lawsuit in August 2019 against  Audible's Captions programme, which allows US customers to read along to their audiobooks, arguing the feature violates copyright law, and are also seeking a preliminary injunction to stop their works from being used in the feature, which the audiobook company had planned to roll out in September last year. 

Chronicle Books, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishing Group, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster are all named as plaintiffs on the suit, filed by the Association of American Publishers. 

In a letter to Judge Valerie Caproni, on 27th December, Audible attorney Emily Reisbaum said: "There are only a few outstanding issues requiring further negotiation."

Writing on behalf of all parties, Reisbaum asked the court for more time to continue settlement discussions which started in October 2019. 

Reisbaum wrote: "Since at least October 22, 2019, the parties have been engaged in earnest settlement discussions to address this complicated, multi-party dispute with potentially significant implications. Including during this week, the parties have exchanged seven drafts of settlement documents and also conferred many times over the telephone and by email; as of the date of this letter, there are only a few outstanding issues requiring further negotiation." 

Judge Caproni has granted the request to suspend ruling on the request for a preliminary injunction and other matters until 13th January.