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Cycling Author’s Case Moves Forward

Published March 25, 2009

NEW YORK, NY (BRAIN)—A U.S. district judge ruled on Tuesday that a copyright infringement lawsuit between Cycle Publishing owner Robert Van Der Plas and cycling author Julie Harrell will proceed to a pretrial conference.

Van Der Plas’ attorney had filed a motion to dismiss the case or transfer the case from New York to the Northern District of California. The judge rejected that motion on Tuesday and set a hearing on April 24 to discuss a case management schedule and settlement.

The case was filed last September by Julie Harrell, who claimed Van Der Plas republished and sold an unauthorized copy of Harrell’s book “A Woman’s Guide to Bikes and Biking” over the Internet and in bookstores in the U.S. and internationally.

According to the complaint, Cycle Publishing obtained the rights to publish the book in 1999, but in 2006 relinquished all rights except for the limited right to sell and keep in stock the current version of the book.

In 2008, Harrell allegedly discovered that Cycle Publishing had created and published a revised edition of the book containing new photographs, captions and text, and began selling it through its website, as well as Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

The selling price was marked up and the quality poor, the lawsuit said.

Van Der Plas countered that 30 percent of the book was his work including maintenance instructions, table of contents, bibliography, captions, bike cleaning, disclaimer and several photographs.

He also argued that the case should be moved to California, where his business is located, as there is no connection to New York.

Harrell is asking Cycle Publishing return all originals and copies of the book, recall all copies of the revised edition from bookstores and pay Harrell for all profits from sales of the book.

—Nicole Formosa

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