I read an earlier question on the same/similar topic with interest. I also read author's guild of America sharing to authors to keep the copyright with them.

While it is much easier to get Music Recording companies shenanigans or Movie Studios on the web where they cheated actors, singers, song-writers etc. of their valid contractual agreements.

The book publishers, on the other hand seem to have a good life under the radar.

Have there been any famous/in-famous cases about Publishers arm-twisting fiction authors and denying them the fruitful rights or is life much more wonderful for authors than before ?

  • More money is involved in the music and film industry and musicians and film stars are better known to the public than authors. There are a few exceptions (such as J. K. Rowling, who is both a celebrity and rich), but generally most readers don't even know the names of the authors of the books they read, much less what they look like, and most authors earn very little for their writing. For that reason, law cases involving authors aren't of much public interest and not covered much in the media. They do happen, and I could find quite a few with a quick search. But none of them are "well-known"
    – user29032
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


Relating to royalties, perhaps this reported lawsuit in 2016 (which gives a link to the filing) would qualify as "famous" since it covers a class action suit (so widespread at least). It was against Simon & Schuster, who:

The lawsuit alleges Simon & Schuster has been cheating its authors by improperly categorizing eBook transactions as "sales" rather than "licenses."

The distinction is significant, because the royalty rate for sales is much lower than the rate for the license of rights. If categorized as a license the author receives 50% of net receipts, rather than 25% of net typically paid to authors for the "sale" of an eBook.

This undoubtedly affected more than just fiction authors.

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