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A federal appeals court in New York has rejected an $18 million class action settlement reached after freelance writers sued publishers.

The writers had said their copyrights were infringed upon when their works were reprinted online without permission.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Wednesday the 2005 deal had to be scrapped because the plaintiffs didn't adequately represent all members of the class. It says more than 99 percent of claims wouldn't be covered by the settlement because they involved writers who hadn't registered copyrights.

The settlement was reached after the Supreme Court in 2001 ruled freelance writers have online rights to their work. The case largely applied to articles, photographs and illustrations produced 15 or more years ago.

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