Media Law Prof Blog

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Louisiana State Univ.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

KinderUSA, Laila Al-Marayati Drop Lawsuit Against Yale, Author; Cambridge Agrees to Destroy Unsold Copies of "Alms For Jihad"

Kinder USA and its chair, Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, have abandoned their defamation suit against Dr. Matthew Levitt and his publisher, Yale University Press. The suit concerned Dr. Levitt's book Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad. According to a press release from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where Dr. Levitt is a senior fellow, "In addition to dismissing its lawsuit, the plaintiffs released all their claims based on Dr. Levitt's book. Dr. Levitt, The Washington Institute, and Yale University Press are not obligated to make any changes to Hamas, they are not limited in what they can write in the future, and they have not offered or given any compensation -- monetary or otherwise, now or in the future -- to plaintiffs for their dismissal of the suit."

Read the entire press release here. Read more about the history of the suit in an article in the New Haven Independent here.

Meanwhile, rather than go to court, Cambridge University Press has agreed to destroy all unsold copies of Alms for Jihad, a book that Saudi banker Khalid bin Mahfouz complains has defamed him. The Press has also asked all libraries that have purchased copies to remove them from shelves. The American Library Association has issued a statement clarifying its position on this question. It says in part:

Unless there is an order from a U.S. court, the British settlement is unenforceable in the United States, and libraries are under no legal obligation to return or destroy the book. Libraries are considered to hold title to the individual copy or copies, and it is the library's property to do with as it pleases. Given the intense interest in the book, and the desire of readers to learn about the controversy first hand, we recommend that U.S. libraries keep the book available for their users.

I checked some Internet op book dealers. Copies are scarce, and those available are going for more than one hundred dollars each.

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