After 17 years of litigation, ‘freelance’ writers finally collect

The checks are in the mail—finally. Administrators have confirmed that payments were issued last week to thousands of freelance writers following a 2014 settlement in the long-running class action case In Re Literary Works in Electronic Databases, the culmination of some 17 years of litigation.

According to the Authors Guild, more than 3,000 writers initially filed claims pertaining to more than 600,000 articles. But in the final tally, 2494 writers were mailed checks totaling $9,456,000 in compensation. The publishers defendants were also responsible for paying attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $3,906,000, and claims administration expenses of $889,000.