Are you eligible for payments under Tasini?

Have you published any articles on a freelance basis since 1978? If so, you may be eligible to receive additional payment for your work as part of a class action settlement. Complete details, including claim forms and important deadlines, can be found at CopyrightClassAction.com.

The proposed settlement stems from the landmark case Tasini v. The New York Times, in which freelance writers charged major publishers and electronic databases with copyright violations for reuse of their work. After almost three years of negotiations, the parties reached this proposed settlement. It applies to anyone who owned a copyright in an English-language work that, at any time after Aug. 14, 1997, was made available in electronic format without the author’s permission. Claims can be filed for any story written after 1978, provided it was available in electronic form any time after Aug. 14, 1997. The Web site lists the participating publishers and databases.

For writers who registered their works with the U.S. Copyright Office, they may be entitled to payments of as much as $1,500 per article. Those who did not register their articles will receive a maximum of $60 per article.

The settlement has been given only preliminary approval by the court. A hearing to decide whether to give final approval is scheduled for July 28 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.