Per previous commentary on this topic, the US lawsuit between Amazon-owned Audible and a group of publishers has legal ramifications beyond the USA, so is of continuing interest to the globally-focussed TNPS audience.

At its heart is the issue of copyright and whether Audible can freely create captions for its audiobook service without the expressed permission of the publishers.

As previously reported here, a settlement was reached whereby Audible conceded pretty much every issue the publishers fought on, without having to let the Judge decide.

And at first glance it appeared like an unmitigated disaster for Audible, which appeared to have conceded the case no sooner had the publishers spelled out in detail their position for the Judge.

But we now see that there might be more to the matter, with both sides demanding the Judge seal the agreement, which would mean no third parties outside the Court would know the detail of the settlement. The judge has other ideas.

Judge Valerie Caproni explained,

The parties’ motion to seal the entirety of the settlement agreement is denied with leave to submit proposed redactions (because) the public has a presumptive right to judicial documents (and) at this juncture, the court sees no reason to redact anything in the settlement agreement apart from settlement amount(s).

Subject to any further appeal it looks like we will sometime soon see the full detail of the settlement, excepting any financial redactions the Judge may agree to.

Too soon to make any judgments here, but one has to wonder, if the settlement was such a victory for the publishers as early reports suggest, why the publishers are now apparently just as keen as Audible to keep the details hidden from view.

We’ll know more later this month.