(CN) - Illumination Arts published three children's books on Google Books and two other websites without permission and refused to pay royalties, claim author Chara Curtis and illustrators Cynthia Aldrich and Alfred Currier.
Curtis claims in federal court in Seattle that the publisher did not get her consent when it put three of her books, "All I See Is Part of Me," "How Far to Heaven?" and "Fun Is a Feeling" onto Google Books and the websites biguniverse.com and betherebedtimestories.com.
Curtis and Aldrich brought their first children's book "All I See Is Part of Me" to Illumination Arts president John Thompson in 1988, according to the publisher's website. The book became the first in what the site calls their "award-winning collection of inspiring children's books."
In June 2009, Illumination Arts stopped paying regular royalties to Curtis and the two illustrators who worked onher books, despite their repeated demands.
In 2011, Curtis and Aldrich terminated the publishing agreements and requested an audit of the publisher's books sales, which they claim they are entitled to under the agreements. Illumination refused to provide the audit, the lawsuit states.
So, along with Alfred Currier, they say they demanded the books remaining in the publisher's inventory, credited against past-due royalties. Again, Illumination allegedly refused the requests.
As of the filing of the complaint, Illumination Arts continued to offer "Fun Is a Feeling" and "How Far to Heaven?" for sale on its website and still presents itself as the publisher of the books at promotional events, as recently as June 3, 2012, according to the lawsuit.
Curtis and the illustrators allege copyright infringement, unjust enrichment and breach of contract.
The plaintiffs want the publisher to stop selling the books and send them the remaining copies.
Curtis also seeks to have the publisher return or destroy all infringing copies and all plates, molds, electronic files, and other infringing materials. Curtis, Aldrich, and Currier are represented by Kurt Kruckeberg and Amit Ranade of Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson in Seattle.