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Archived Author Help > Somebody stole my book!

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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Hi, all, well today I was checking my book The House on Benefit Street, on Amazon, which was published in 2003. I discovered that another book, with the exact same title, is available on Kindle, published this June, 2015. Not only is the title exactly the same (and I know that happens) but the setting is exactly the same: an old house on historic Benefit Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Moreover, this other book, as mine does, involves a woman who moves into an old house on Benefit Street in Providence, a house which, as mine does, hides a secret and a murder in its past. I contacted the legal department of amazon, and am waiting for a reply, but I realize that indie authors who own the rights to their own books, do not have publishing companies to fight for them. My book has always had a big following in Rhode Island, especially, and continues to sell steadily 12 years later. That someone would by sheer coincidence use my title, my venue and my basic plot is impossible to believe. I feel that some legal remedy is called for, but tracking down this writer has proven difficult. Any suggestions, friends?


message 2: by May (new)

May Sage (maysage) | 15 comments It's a difficult one! Your book definitely is your intellectual property and if someone was using your actual content you could definitely appeal to Amazons copywrite team and/or sue... But have they? Is it your actual writing, or is it just the same kind of story? I'm pretty sure you can do something about it because of the title, but think of fifty shades of grey: she openly admitted that it was a twilight fanfic and completely got away with it.


message 3: by Dotti (new)

Dotti Enderle | 26 comments Donna wrote: "Hi, all, well today I was checking my book The House on Benefit Street, on Amazon, which was published in 2003. I discovered that another book, with the exact same title, is available on Kindle, pu..."

Notify Amazon of copyright infringement. They'll take it down.


message 4: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hi Donna. If someone has published your book, word for word, then yes, Amazon will be able to take that down, however, if the issue is that the title and premise are the same, that's more of a gray area. Titles cannot be copywritten. Ideas cannot be copywritten. Amazon is not a publisher, just a distributor, so there is not much they will do if it isn't a clear case of plagerism.

If you feel strongly that this person has copied your idea, you will want to talk to a copyright lawyer. They will advise you as to whether or not you have a case and what you can reasonably expect to have happen.


message 5: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments As a side note, they don't have to have your full book copied. Paragraphs or sentences here and there could be enough. Something like this happened to someone in another group. Well not exactly. From what I gathered, some moderator from another group wrote a book stealing paragraphs and whole sentences from a few different books. She got caught, banned from GR and her book removed from Amazon.

Now I don't know who she was and I don't know what was her book or/and the books she used. I only know because they talked about it for months in that group. So yeah, as I was saying, the book doesn't have to be a perfect copy, but just enough to be unacceptable.


message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Have you gotten in contact with the other person and asked them why they've stolen your book? If this is word for word that is definitely plagiarism and I'd go after him/her. We work so hard to get all stuff out there and somebody just comes along and tries to find a shortcut and it's not right. If she stole the concept from your book I'm not sure if anything to really be done about that, which is a shame. What about your following in Rhode Island? Has anybody there contacted your regard to seeing the other book and mistaking it for yours? I go through the same kind of stuff with my cakes(I own a small custom cake shop). People work hard to design a perfect cake and then somebody goes and steals pictures off of my website and try to act like they did it. It happens a lot and it's a big problem in the cake decorating world.


message 7: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments I totally want to make a joke but this is BS and I hope you get it rectified.


message 8: by Scott (new)

Scott Scheller | 10 comments Hi, all.
Let me throw my hat into the ring.
My book, Haunted Tree, has appeared on a bunch of download sites where it is offered either in MOBI or PDF format. I contacted Amazon about it and they indicated that virtually all of these are phishing sites, and that they do not really have any books to download. They tend to offer just about every title out there for "download" and when someone tries to get a copy of whomever's work, they either get hacked, or have to give sensitive personal info which the site then uses for larcenous purposes (without ever downloading anything). I guess those who try to get "free" books (translate as "steal"), end up getting victimized. So sad.
I found these by Googling either my name or book title. As a test, I also tried a bunch of random titles (a large percentage of which were indie authors) and found almost all listed this way. The sites have a "page" for each title, with a cover picture mined from Amazon, Goodreads or possibly the author's web page. The information that is supposed to describe the book is all garbled, not just because the pirates running the site don't know English well enough to make any sense, but also from their use of a sloppy algorithm that unsuccessfully tries to cut and paste the descriptive text(s). I've also noticed that almost all these sites look identical.
I don't have any idea where these pirate sites "find" books to add, but promotional info for my book is available on Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook and my personal website.
Have any of you noticed this?


message 9: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Scott wrote: "Hi, all.
Let me throw my hat into the ring.
My book, Haunted Tree, has appeared on a bunch of download sites where it is offered either in MOBI or PDF format. I contacted Amazon abo..."


Hi Scott. The issue Donna has is different from piracy in that someone is offering a book with the same premise as hers under the same title, but yes, we have discussed that issue as well. Yes, most of those sites are just phishing scams.


message 10: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Thanks to all for your replies. I will let the group know how Amazon responds. I feel gob-smacked, that's for sure. I compare this to what happens to some screenwriters: they pitch a script, it gets rejected, and then two years later a movie comes out based on their screenplay but somebody else is taking credit for it. Lots of lawsuits happen over that kind of thing and sometimes the writers actually win. If a writer has representation, or a publishing house behind them, they have a better chance of prevailing in this kind of situation. I don't know if this is technically plagiarism, copyright infringement or theft of intellectual property, but I know it stinks, whatever it is.


Isabel (kittiwake) Have you downloaded the sample of the other book or bought a copy to read? The Amazon descriptions sound quite different, as yours seems like a ghost story and the other one seems to be a thriller.


message 12: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments A cursory glance at both book's Look Inside feature shows they are totally different texts.

It's easy enough for you to check, though. Read the Look Inside sample and see if your actual story has been ripped off before notifying anyone.


message 13: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Isabel, there are certainly many plot differences, and without giving away any spoilers, my book too is a thriller. Forget that she did not do the due diligence that most writers do: look up similar titles and similar books in the marketplace before they begin to write...but look at it this way: suppose a writer published a book entitled Twilight, which was set in the very state, town and street that the original Stephanie Meyer book was, but instead of vampires, it was about zombies. I doubt anyone would consider that just an odd but harmless coincidence.


message 14: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) I'm sorry that this happened to you, Donna. I know it must be extremely aggravating.

I did a cursory scan of both books, and they are apparently distinct and separate books. It looks like she used the same title as your book, and perhaps the same general theme, but that's where the similarities end. It looks like she wrote her own book.

It's not plagiarism to set a book in the same state, town, street, etc... as another book. You can't copyright titles, or locations, or themes. What this person might have done is lazy and unprofessional, yes; but it's not plagiarism. In order for it to qualify as "plagiarism," and be actionable, someone has to lift your actual sentences... steal your writing, word for word for the most part, although it doesn't have to be strictly verbatim.

Try to remember that mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery. Someone thought you had a great idea and used it as a starting place for her own novel. I know that won't make you feel any better.

Have you thought about writing the author and asking her to change her title? She could easily do that. Maybe if you confronted her on the issue, she would change the title of her book.

April


message 15: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Erica wrote: "Have you gotten in contact with the other person and asked them why they've stolen your book? If this is word for word that is definitely plagiarism and I'd go after him/her. We work so hard to g..."
Hi, Erica, and thank you for your suggestions and support. I am trying to find this author via Google, and have found Facebook pages which may or may not be her, and LinkedIn pages which also may not be this person; and in any case, they are blocked from public access. Nothing so far that links her name to her book. Not giving up, however. I certainly can't afford to hire a copyright attorney, but if it comes to a lawsuit I guess I would try to bring it myself.


message 16: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments It is probably not even a "her".


message 17: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Charles wrote: "I totally want to make a joke but this is BS and I hope you get it rectified."

Erica wrote: "Have you gotten in contact with the other person and asked them why they've stolen your book? If this is word for word that is definitely plagiarism and I'd go after him/her. We work so hard to g..."

Erica wrote: "Have you gotten in contact with the other person and asked them why they've stolen your book? If this is word for word that is definitely plagiarism and I'd go after him/her. We work so hard to g..."
Thanks, Charles. My book always had good word of mouth, especially in New England. Twelve years later, it continues to sell by word of mouth. When somebody recommends a book, they usually mention the title, not the author. So there will absolutely be readers who will mistake her book for mine.


message 18: by April (last edited Aug 09, 2015 08:03AM) (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Donna, I'm certainly not an attorney, but I doubt there is anything actionable here. She used your title, yes. But the similarities end there. Titles cannot be copyrighted (although they can be trademarked - but that has to be done prior). It doesn't appear that this author broke any laws. Her story is completely different. Different characters, a different plot, etc...

In other words, she didn't steal your book. She was lazy at picking a title for her book, yes. But that doesn't amount to breaking a law.

A copyright lawyer would be the best person to advise you. A lawyer would be able to tell you definitively whether you have anything actionable.

April


message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano April wrote: "I'm sorry that this happened to you, Donna. I know it must be extremely aggravating.

I did a cursory scan of both books, and they are apparently distinct and separate books. It looks like she use..."


April, if she changed the title of her book, that would go a long way. But I am not able to find this writer to communicate with her.


message 20: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Clearly, I am going to have to actually pay for her book (grrr) to see what other similarities are there. I suspect, with those similarities I already know about, that she was aware of my book before she wrote hers. And as I said in an earlier post, my book is still selling because of word of mouth, since after 12 years I no longer actively promote it. So it is not just probable, but definite, that readers will mistake her book for mine simply by title and setting.


message 21: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Hi, Donna

If you can't contact her, you could leave "review" on her book page, stating that she used your exact title and asking her to change it. This is a rather unique title, so it's not likely that she used it "by accident." If you can't contact her, you could try the public shaming route. ??

April


message 22: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Hi, April, thank you, that was the first thing I did! However, Amazon would not post it, because it wasn't really a "review". My book was published back in 2003 by iUniverse, and my sales still go through them. I will contact them and see what if anything they can do about this, but as the copyrights are mine exclusively, I don't know if they have a dog in this fight. I will keep all of you, who have so kindly given your support and advice, posted on this situation.


message 23: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments You have a few things going for you. One, when you google the book, yours pops up first. Two, on Amazon your book has reviews, the other doesn't. Three: The house has a secret history that isn’t mentioned in the guide books and when a murder takes place there she knows it isn’t the firsr time. She also knows her own hisrory will make her a prime suspect.

While I agree there may be something shady going on here, and I would be infuriated if this happened to me, I don't think you have much to worry about.

At best, consider it flattery.


message 24: by Christina (last edited Aug 09, 2015 08:35AM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Your best bet is to contact a lawyer. I would suggest speaking to one before you get yourself into a situation you do not want to be in because you engaged another author who may very well have used the name as a coincidence. Yes, it is considered a good practice to look up the title you want to use, however, that is not necessary because yes, titles can be the same. Do you think Stephanie Meyer was the first person to name a vampire book Twilight? Not even close.

Regardless, speaking to a lawyer and *not* trying to shame the other author is your best bet right now.


message 25: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Thank you again, Charles. Sad to say, in my book the house also has a secret history and also is the scene of a possible murder. But I absolutely appreciate your kind words, and your very thoughtful take on this situation.


message 26: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4277 comments Mod
I suppose it is unfortunate that someone could not come up with a more original title, but that seems to be the only thing out of place here. I read a bit of yours and a bit of hers and I can't see any real similarities between them beyond the title. Titles cannot be copyrighted. The location mentioned in the title appears to be a real street, so you have no legal claim on that. If fifty other writers want to set a thriller on Benefit Street, they could do so.

I would strongly encourage you NOT to leave reviews and shame the other writer. That is not a professional way to handle this. If you truly feel this is plagiarism or your copyright has been violated, you need to seek legal council.

Amazon sent me an email today with a list of books they thought I'd be interested in. One book had the exact same name as one of my books. Another had the exact same name as a book by another author here in SIA. The books have little similarities to ours beyond that. People use titles that have already been taken all the time. It happens.


message 27: by Donna (new)

Donna Montalbano Christina wrote: "Your best bet is to contact a lawyer. I would suggest speaking to one before you get yourself into a situation you do not want to be in because you engaged another author who may very well have use..."

Christina, actually I could only find one vampire book with the exact title Twilight, and it was set in England in the 1900's. Other vampire books only had the word twilight in their titles, and none were set in Forks, Washington. Your advice, and Dwayne's about getting a lawyer is good advice, but I do take exception to the characterization of voicing my legitimate concerns of losing book sales as "shaming" this writer. Calling her out seems a more apt description. And to Dwayne, of course book and movie and song titles and many creative works share the same title. Anybody who has ever done a google search knows that. However, 99.9% of the time, that is where the similarity ends. When the newer work uses the exact same title, very specific location, is a mystery story about a woman who moves into an old house on that same street, which also harbors a hidden secret, than that is something else altogether. By publicly accusing me of shaming this writer, you are really trying to shame me.


message 28: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Christina wrote: "Scott wrote: "Hi, all.
Let me throw my hat into the ring.
My book, Haunted Tree, has appeared on a bunch of download sites where it is offered either in MOBI or PDF format. I contac..."


Yes, don't bite.


message 29: by Charles (last edited Aug 09, 2015 09:51AM) (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Donna wrote: "Christina, actually I could only find one vampire book with the exact title Twilight, and it was set in England in the 1900's. Other vampire books only had the word twilight in their titles, and none were set in Forks, Washington. Your advice, and Dwayne's about getting a lawyer is good advice, but I do take exception to the characterization of voicing my legitimate concerns of losing book sales as "shaming" this writer. Calling her out seems a more apt description. And to Dwayne, of course book and movie and song titles and many creative works share the same title. Anybody who has ever done a google search knows that. However, 99.9% of the time, that is where the similarity ends. When the newer work uses the exact same title, very specific location, is a mystery story about a woman who moves into an old house on that same street, which also harbors a hidden secret, than that is something else altogether. By publicly accusing me of shaming this writer, you are really trying to shame me. "

Nope, be the bigger person and if the other book makes it big then sue the **** out of them. And you will win and be rich and you can tell them to **** it.

I do not feel like anyone is shaming you by suggesting you take a mature, calculated approach to this, and not sullying your name as an author by indulging in a mud slinging fest with someone when you haven't heard their side of the story.


message 30: by Isabel (kittiwake) (last edited Aug 09, 2015 09:56AM) (new)

Isabel (kittiwake) Weirdly, a couple of hours after my last post, I started listening to Episode 267 of the H.P. Podcraft podcast, which turned out to be about a story called The Survivor by August Derlath, a horror story set in a house on Benefit Street in Providence. Ever since H. P. Lovecraft wrote The Shunned House which is set in a real house on Benefit Street, people have been setting stories there. You are not the first and won't be the last.


message 31: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4277 comments Mod
Donna wrote: "By publicly accusing me of shaming this writer, you are really trying to shame me."

Donna, April was giving you advice to "shame" this other author. Her exact quote: "If you can't contact her, you could try the public shaming route. ??"

You responded by saying, "Hi, April, thank you, that was the first thing I did! However, Amazon would not post it, because it wasn't really a 'review'."

I am not accusing you of anything. I am strongly urging you to do the professional thing and seek out a lawyer.


message 32: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Isabel (kittiwake) wrote: "Weirdly, a couple of hours after my last post, I started listening to Episode 267 of the H.P. Podcraft podcast, which turned out to be about a story called The Survivor by August Derlath, a horror ..."

Winner.


message 33: by April (last edited Aug 09, 2015 10:08AM) (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) I agree with Dwayne.

However, seeking out a lawyer will cost Donna a lot of money, which she will not likely recoup. Instead of calling it "shaming," maybe we should call it "holding the author accountable" for her actions.

If she can't contact the author (and what kind of author doesn't provide contact details?), then the only way she can communicate with the author is by leaving a review on the book page. Another option would be to leave a post on the discussion forum on that book page in Amazon, but it's very possible the author would never see it.

I frequently see "reviews" on Amazon book pages that have nothing to do with reviewing the actual book. Granted, that's unfortunate, but it's true. In fact, just yesterday I saw a 1-star review on Amazon that said "Someone stole my credit card and bought this book. I didn't buy it." Posting something like that is patently unfair to the author of the book. In this case, Donna has a legitimate right to contact the author in whatever fashion she can utilize. It would have been better if the author posted some contact information, but she didn't.

I'm going to shut up now before I get in more trouble. Best of luck to you, Donna. I'm sorry this happened to you.

April


message 34: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Call it what you want, it is best not to indulge in it.


message 35: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4277 comments Mod
April wrote: "I agree with Dwayne.

However, seeking out a lawyer will cost Donna a lot of money, which she will not likely recoup. Instead of calling it "shaming," maybe we should call it "holding the author accountable" for her actions.


I guess I'm wondering what you expect the other author to do? If all she's done is use the same title, she is under no obligation to anyone to do anything. If her plot is similar to Donna's she's under no obligation to do anything. Let's assume the other author really has copied whole passages from Donna's book and published them as her own. She's aware she's done it. If she gets a review from Donna telling her she's copied from Donna, it doesn't change anything.

Plagiarism is a legal term and this is a legal matter. It will not be resolved by posting reviews. If there is copyright infringement involved the other author is certainly aware of it and it won't stop her just because she gets a review from Donna. The best course of action in a legal dispute is to go through the court system. File a lawsuit. Hire a lawyer. If Donna does have a case, she will recoup the money to pay for the lawyer.


message 36: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited Aug 09, 2015 10:35AM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4277 comments Mod
Donna,

I'm going to add on to what I said, even though this would be a better step BEFORE hiring a lawyer. The book in question is only $2.99. If you are using Kindle Unlimited, you can check it out for free. If not, buy it, read it and return it. Worst comes to worst, you're only out three bucks. I am encouraging this because in looking over the conversation, the main thing that really seems to be missing is if there is, indeed, copyright infringement involved. The title is the same, yes. The location is the same, yes. The stories have some similarities. What you need to find out is if this author really did blatantly take any of your work, even a few lines here and there. If so, then you do have a case.

That is where you will want to seek out a lawyer or file a lawsuit.


message 37: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Dwayne wrote: "File a lawsuit. Hire a lawyer. If Donna does have a case, she will recoup the money to pay for the lawyer. ..."

Maybe. If the other author is broke, she'll recoup nothing except possibly a judgement that may or may not be enforceable.


message 38: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Treude (vaughntreude) | 16 comments Sorry to hear about this. It sounds like a case of an unethical act (ripping off your title for a similar book) that is probably legal. (A nice change in a world where so many perfectly ethical things, such as feeding the homeless, can be illegal.) I think it would be in the other author's best interest to voluntarily change his/her title to avoid confusion with yours. Anyone who gets that person's book by mistake will be angry, creating bad PR. A few years ago I did exactly when I had a consulting company called Dakota Software and discovered there was already one in another state. The other company never contacted me in any way, but I was really sick of accidentally getting their email, so I changed the name. (And no, unfortunately I couldn't afford a national trademark at the time.)


message 39: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments If your work has been copyrighted, they may even help you win your case. I mean, when copyright is a done deal without paying, why would someone pay for it? For this exact reason. IF she stole your work and is using your words doing it, you may have a friend in Copyright.

Before hand though, I suggest you do as Dwayne said. Find a way to read the book and see if there is infringement first.

http://copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-gen...


message 40: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Buying and reading the book is a good idea. As Dwayne said, you can return it. You have up to seven days to return an ebook. In fact, if you discover that this *is* a plagerism case, you can note that in the reason you are returning the book. If you feel strongly enough after that, seek legal advice. Many copyright lawyers will actually give you a free consultation on the matter because they don't want to take a case that they don't think has a chance of winning.


message 41: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Aug 09, 2015 02:15PM) (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Donna, I speak as someone who DID (inadvertently) commit a copyright breach and was slapped with a "cease and desist." I did seek legal advice.

I honestly think you have no claim, sorry.

1. Your book title is generic.
2. You say, yourself, there are many plot differences.
3. You cannot copyright an idea


What is unique in your book that you believe is stolen?


message 42: by Jolie (new)

Jolie Mason | 41 comments I will say this about Amazon Kindle. There is the phenom called the scam book. Several romance authors have had it happen. Change the cover just enough, use the title of a selling author, change the book just enough to miss the copyright infringement thing.

Usually, this happens to either A. old titles or B. generic AHEM porn type titles that (to each his own) are kind of a dime a dozen. So the scam thing is real. It is happening. Report the account. That can help more than anything else.


message 43: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4277 comments Mod
Jolie wrote: "I will say this about Amazon Kindle. There is the phenom called the scam book..."

I don't think there's enough information here to be accusing anyone of a scam. Again, titles cannot be copyrighted. All Donna has mentioned is a few similarities between her book and the other one.

The best thing Donna can do is to read the other book and look for real signs of plagiarism and if any exist, contact a lawyer.


message 44: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Aug 10, 2015 07:59AM) (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments There are some cases when you can claim copyright breach for a title,

If the title is well known enough to be "Branded" or the title is unique.

E.g. "The Silmarilian" by Tolkien. The "Silmarilion" is a Tolkien invention, I think.

You could actually land in court with a title such as "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." It is clearly "branded."

However, I don't think that you could be served if you used a title like "Psycho." It is more generic. The author cannot claim "ownership" of the word.

"Robots Like Blue," is my book. I considered at one point calling it "Delilah's Dream!" I googled it and found a book about a chicken that wanted to fly!

The title was generic. I could, and did, independently arrive at that title without copying the story about a chicken!

There are millions of authors, with millions of ideas. There is BOUND to be thousands of convergent thinking by authors in stories.


message 45: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments I agree with what has been said about reading the other book for signs that the author was aware of your work and copied it, and seeking legal advice if that is the case.

Convergent thinking does happen. Is it possible your title has some significance that another person might also be aware of? Are there events that inspired you to write your book that might also have inspired someone else?

I mention this because when we released our first book, we got a bit of surprise. Our series is military sci-fi about a female naval officer named Kris. So what's one of the first things we saw showing up in our "Also Bought" list on Amazon? A military sci-fi series about a a female naval officer named Kris. That series been around for about 10 years and (in sci-fi circles), it's a bestseller. We had no idea.

Now, our character and basic plot dates from before 1990, so there's no question we were inspired by (much less "stealing" from) the author of the "Kris Longknife" series, but I'm a bit surprised someone hasn't said something about us trying to "capitalize" on a popular series. Now, there are no significant similarities between our work and his, beyond the name and the MC's profession (as far as I know -- I did read part of one book from the other series to see if we'd converged on other points), and I'm not saying our situation is comparable to yours.

Things like this can appear shady on the surface, but there can be more to it. I agree that looking before leaping is the best practice.


message 46: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Anthony wrote: "Robots Like Blue," is my book. I considered at one point calling it "Delilah's Dream!" I googled it and found a book about a chicken that wanted to fly!..."

Titles can be a real pain. For our current book, we went thru 3 before we found one that hadn't been used.


message 47: by Jolie (new)

Jolie Mason | 41 comments Dwayne wrote: "Jolie wrote: "I will say this about Amazon Kindle. There is the phenom called the scam book..."

I don't think there's enough information here to be accusing anyone of a scam. Again, titles cannot ..."


I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I am stating that these books do exist, that other authors in my genre are experiencing this type of blatant go around, so, yeah, I suppose the author in this case may not be doing it. However, it is happening. The accounts can be removed it it's proven to Amazon.


message 48: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Aug 11, 2015 05:12AM) (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Jolie wrote: "I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I am stating that these books do exist, that other authors in my genre are experiencing this type of blatant go around, so, yeah, I suppose the author in this case may not be doing it. However, it is happening. The accounts can be removed it it's proven to Amazon."

Yes, if people are actually copying text across into their own book, that is a "slam dunk." Even a small paragraph. That is not what is happening here at all.

Proving copyright breach that doesn't include copied text, is problematic and grey.

EVEN IF THE STORY HAS BROAD SIMILARITIES.

I quoted the three laws by Asimov. I cited Asimov as the source, but did not get permission. I am familiar with academic referencing, which allows this type of quote and indeed in academic writing it would be remiss not quote and cite intellectual thinkers that form the foundation of an argument.

It would be remiss of an academic writing about force and motion not to mention Newton and his three laws.

Amazon, when contacted by the lawyer, blocked my book and refused to publish it until their lawyer indicated that they made no further claim! Even with the copyright breach removed!

What interest do Asimov lawyers have in releasing a successful bind on my book? They were incredibly hostile in dealing with me.

The legal advice I received was, remove the copyright breach, and republish with a different name.

Amazon published the renamed book.


message 49: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) In my latest book I cite Clarke's Law about civilizations appearing as magic, and give credit. If Clarke's estate doesn't like it, it can sue me. I could use the publicity.


message 50: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Aug 11, 2015 05:29AM) (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Owen wrote: "Anthony wrote: "Robots Like Blue," is my book. I considered at one point calling it "Delilah's Dream!" I googled it and found a book about a chicken that wanted to fly!..."

Titles can be a real pa..."



Exactly, Owen, you independently arrived at a generic title that you thought was good and snappy. It described your story and somebody got there first.

Is your book to be ripped up?
Are you obliged to find another name?

Most authors will avoid matching titles, but some don't check and some don't mind.

Some might actually do it purposefully, to capture a share of the Rhode island market, even that isn't illegal, they are not selling your product.

They might actually be trying to catch a share of your sales, relying on confusion, that would be unethical, but very hard to prove.

I can see why Donna is upset, but the claim that the book has been 'stolen,' is based on a misunderstanding of copyright.


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