An e-book battle between Random House and the Wylie Agency appears to have ended.
After a month-long standoff, Random House said on Tuesday that it now held the rights to publish e-book editions of 13 classic books that the literary agent Andrew Wylie had defiantly begun publishing last month under his own digital venture, Odyssey Editions.
Random House also said it would immediately resume doing new business with the Wylie Agency. Since July 22, the publisher has refused to acquire new books from the Wylie Agency and its more than 700 clients.
"We are pleased to announce that the Wylie Agency and Random House have resolved our differences over the disputed Random House titles which have been included in the Odyssey Editions e-book publishing program," said a joint statement signed by Markus Dohle, the chairman and chief executive of Random House, and Mr. Wylie. It added: "We both are glad to be able to put this matter behind us."
The dispute erupted in July, when Mr. Wylie announced that he was starting Odyssey Editions, which would release e-books exclusively through Amazon's Kindle store.
Book contracts that were signed before e-books existed typically do not make clear who owns the rights to publish the digital editions, so many authors and agents say they are free to sell them to whomever they wish. Some publishers are currently negotiating to capture e-book rights to older books and amending their old contracts, but publishers and agents tend to disagree on a fair royalty rate for authors.
Mr. Wylie, frustrated with the terms that traditional publishers were offering for e-book rights, persuaded some of his existing clients or their estates to transfer the rights of their backlist titles to Odyssey. In July, he said he had acquired the digital rights to 20 books, including "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov, the "Rabbit" books by John Updike and "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison.
His announcement infuriated publishers, particularly Random House, which had previously published the print versions of 13 of the Odyssey Editions titles. With a few exceptions, Random House has staked a claim to the e-book rights to all of its print titles.
Mr. Wylie was also roundly criticized by authors, agents and publishers for cutting an exclusive deal with Amazon. Reached on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Wylie declined to comment, as did Amazon.
It was unclear what the announcement meant for Odyssey Editions, which was immediately cut down to only seven books from its original 20. According to the Web site, they are by Saul Bellow, Jorge Luis Borges, William S. Burroughs, Louise Erdrich, Norman Mailer, Oliver Sacks and Evelyn Waugh.
Stuart Applebaum, a spokesman for Random House, declined to disclose the financial terms of the agreement but said they were consistent with agreements that Random House had reached with other literary agencies on backlist e-book rights. He said Mr. Wylie met with Mr. Dohle alone at the Random House headquarters in Manhattan on two occasions, most recently last Friday.
Mr. Applebaum said that all 13 titles would be available in electronic editions from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-book retailers.
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