Britannica sues Student News Net for breach of contract

Publisher also seeks declaratory judgment against false accusations

Feb 01, 2013, 18:15 ET from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

CHICAGO, Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. ("Britannica") on Wednesday filed suit against Student News Net, a division of Ninth Wave Media, LLC ("SNN"), in federal court in Chicago for breach of contract and declaratory judgment related to an agreement under which Britannica marketed and licensed the SNN current-events Web site to schools in North America.

In the lawsuit, Britannica alleges that SNN bowed out of the contract prematurely in 2012 based on claims of financial distress and "losing hundreds of thousands of dollars each year."  However, SNN continues to operate its Web site in the same format to this day.  SNN "did not accurately represent the financial position of SNN and/or [its] intent with respect to whether to continue operation of SNN.  Rather, the statements were a subterfuge designed to obtain [Britannica's] consent to terminate SNN's obligations under the contract prematurely and collect higher revenues through direct relationships referred by [Britannica] to SNN."

In addition to alleging breach of contract, Britannica alleges that SNN recently threatened Britannica with a $10 million lawsuit based on ill-founded claims of copyright infringement.  Britannica seeks to have the Court declare the allegations of copyright infringement invalid.

About Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., is a global leader in education publishing whose products are available in many media, including online, wireless devices and books. A pioneer in digital publishing since the early 1980s, the company markets a variety of curriculum products for schools, language-study courses, online learning services, encyclopedias and other reference works, management solutions and language products through its Merriam-Webster subsidiary. Many of them are available at The company is located in Chicago.

SOURCE Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.