Industry & Advocacy News
April 28, 2014
As of March 4, MacAdam/Cage is out of business. After undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, the former publisher closed down shop and, by mid-March, officially reverted all print and subsidiary rights to its authors. However, under a 2009 license affecting 180 titles, the U.K.-based publisher MP Publishing is still exploiting MacAdam/Cage e-books through e-tailers in the U.S. and abroad. The legal status of this license agreement is questionable; many affected authors assert that MacAdam Cage was never granted electronic rights. The list of titles can be found here.
The Authors Guild will assist any MacAdam/Cage author who wants to challenge MP’s claim to his or her titles. To discuss the matter with our legal team, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching a copy of your MacAdam/Cage agreement. Now that MacAdam/Cage is defunct, we will hold MP and its owner Mark Pearce directly accountable for e-book titles that have been exploited without authorization or compensation.
For details of the MacAdam/Cage bankruptcy, please see the following report from the Guild’s legal department.
Good news for all MacAdam/Cage authors! On March 4, the MacAdam/Cage bankruptcy proceedings finally concluded. All publishing contracts between MacAdam/Cage and its authors are now terminated and most rights have reverted to the authors. You can view the “Final Decree” that was entered in the United States Bankruptcy Court here.
This, together with Section 365 (d)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, should act as proof of reversion of rights. According to that Section of the Code, all contracts not assumed by the trustee are deemed rejected 60 days after the filing date, January 17, 2014. This means that, as of March 18, the publishing agreements between MacAdam/Cage and its authors are terminated and the authors’ rights have reverted, with the exception of rights previously licensed to a third party.
However, the electronic rights to many titles may not have reverted to their authors. In March 2009, MacAdam/Cage signed an agreement with MP Publishing, a U.K. Company, giving MP Publishing the electronic book rights to almost 200 MacAdam/Cage titles. This agreement survived the dissolution of MacAdam/Cage, meaning MP Publishing may retain these electronic book rights, subject to the specific terms of the authors’ individual contracts with MacAdam/Cage. The titles are listed here. (Some of the books are listed in error, as the titles had already reverted to the author prior to the license agreement, or e-book rights had not been granted to the publisher in the first place.) It is important for authors of books on this list to note that although their print and various other rights may have reverted, their electronic rights might remain with MP Publishing.
Authors whose e-books are being offered for sale by MP Publishing may be bound by the terms of the 2009 agreement between MacAdam/Cage and MP Publishing, which can be viewed here. Some authors are questioning the legality of the licensing agreement between Macadam Cage and MP Publishing. Even assuming the licensing agreement is upheld, MP Publishing is now obligated to submit any royalty statements and payments to the author directly.
We recommend that all affected authors review their MacAdam/Cage agreements, assess whether their e-book rights have been licensed to MP Publishing, and confirm that MP Publishing is paying them the royalty rate stated in their original publishing agreement. These authors should also inform MP Publishing that print rights have reverted to them and should request that they be sent royalty statements and royalties due to them from the sale of the electronic form of their books.
The owner of MP Publishing, Mark Pearce, has indicated that he is open to communicating directly with authors and can be reached via email at email@example.com.