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Publisher Happy Gawker Won't Post Palin Book Excerpts

In the grudge match between Harper Collins and Gawker, it seems that the mystical power of Mama Grizzly #1 has won out (though it's not omnipotent). The blog raised the ire of former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin when it published scanned pages from her new book (claiming it was fair use), then removed them by court order, and, now, has agreed to not re-post them. The book publisher said in a statement, "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."

The publisher also pointedly included in its press release:

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.


Some legal bloggers questioned whether Gawker's use was indeed "fair use" and also said that Gawker opened itself to discovery in litigation. Gawker editor-in-chief Remy Stern told Media Decoder, "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."

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