ERDC Fall 2007 Update

Dear Friends

The ERDC is still struggling away, although at the beginning of the summer we had hoped that we might have some good news about a settlement by this time.  Sadly, we don’t.

As you probably remember, in early spring our lawyer Me. Mireille Goulet met twice with lawyers for the defendants (revised list: Montreal Gazette Group, CanWest Global Communications, Hollinger Canadian Publishing Holdings, CanWest Interactive, Southam and Southam Business Communications, Infomart Dialog and Cedrom-SNI) to discuss the possibility of a settlement to our class action. The proposal asked for $25 million to be shared among several subclasses as well as contracts with fair compensation for electronic rights and explicit recognition that copyright remains with freelance writers.

In mid-July we received a reply from Me. Malcolm McLeod on behalf of the defendants, which offered $100,000. This was disappointing, to say the least, but the ERDC executive carefully considered its response. After a conference call in August, the executive agreed that Me Goulet should reply by politely rejecting the “offer” but saying that we are open to discussion in the future when the other side is ready to present a “reasonable” settlement.

In parallel with this, since early spring Me Goulet has been working toward getting a Court date for the authorization of the class action: all parties must agree on the date and doing this is not an easy matter. We are now waiting for the Court to set up the three days of hearings. The earliest dates possible seem to be in February, 2008. We’ll let you know when we have received them from the Court.

Best wishes

Mary Soderstrom, Chair
Jack Ruttan, secretary

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