Not long ago, I wrote about the lawsuit that digital romance publisher, Ellora’s Cave (EC), filed against Dear Author and it’s founder, Jane Litte, for the post, The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave, that discussed EC’s finances and dealings with its authors. In my piece, I discussed exactly what Ellora’s Cave accused Dear Author & Jane Litte for, what they wanted out of the lawsuit, and what a lawsuit like this could mean for criticism in the book industry.
There have been updates in the case since then. Jane Litte wrote on Monday, September 29th that she was able to attain a lawyer, Marc Randazza, to defend her against the defamation-libel claims. Twitter did what Twitter does best and a hashtag was born: #NotChilled. The hashtag for the most part is backing up DA’s assertions on the post in question, and I suggest checking it as editors, authors, bloggers, and a whole host of other perspectives offer their insights on the situation whether as witnesses or as those directly involved in the allegations (EC authors, editors, etc). On Tuesday, September 30th, we got another update from Dear Author on the suit where Litte tells us that the temporary injunction hearing occurred, and the judge ruled to not grant the request in favour of a full hearing involving evidence to be presented to the court. According to author and former law professor, Courtney Milan, the hearing was in regards to the Temporary Restraining Order which essentially requests Dear Author/Litte to stop posting anything libelous about the company.
Limited in my law knowledge, I think it was the right call for the judge to not grant the injunction given that the whole lawsuit is about proving or disproving that Dear Author was in anyway libelous in her claims against EC. Until there’s proof, you can’t stop someone from writing whatever they want because that would be pure, unadulterated censorship. Dear Author does ask for EC authors, editors, and cover artists to help the case by testifying either in person, via telephone, or through a signed affidavit. Courtney Milan also is offering help to those authors, editors, and cover artists who would love to speak up, but feel they can’t due to confidentiality clauses.
You can read the legal documents regarding the public case here, and a new addition has made an appearance on the site. The lawyer’s representing Ellora’s Cave have submitted a signed affidavit by Patricia Marks who is the CEO of Ellora’s Cave and mother of the founder, Tina Engler, who also goes by Jaid Black. The affidavit is basically Marks agreeing with the lawsuit’s claims that what Litte had written in the post – in regards to the company’s poor finances, the authors/editors not getting paid, and Engler’s splurging on expensive items including a West Hollywood home – was all false.
It’s interesting because in Dear Author’s August 19th Tuesday News post, it was reported that someone anonymously posted on a writing forum a copy of an email that Marks (“Patty Marks” in the post) apparently sent to Ellora’s Cave authors. In the that same post, a DA writer, Janet, states that she emailed Marks inquiring about that email and posted Marks’ reply. It looks like the reply corroborates the original email about the downsizing of the company after the poor sales performance of the company at the time.
Will keep you posted!