Whispers and Warnings

Whispers And Warnings For July 3rd

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9298&p=68957 Interesting Development in Google's 8-year-old digital books lawsuit "A trial judge should consider Google's argument that showing excerpts from books online is a 'fair use' that's allowed under copyright law. It's unusual to decide that kind of question at this stage in a lawsuit..." Ghost Rider lawsuit heads to trial in November "Writer Gary Friedrich is suing over the rights to the character." Unpaid-Intern Lawsuits Explained "Why are so many interns suing their employers?" Studio JMS sues self-publisher in feud over 'Sidekick' character "In a preemptive move, Studio JMS has sued a self-publisher who threatened legal action over a character in J. Michael Straczynski's Sidekick." Texas Supreme Court rules libel suit against an Austin TV station can proceed "A lawsuit alleging an Austin TV station aired a report that defamed a local physician appears to be back on track for trial after the Texas Supreme Court reversed decisions by two lower courts." Court of Appeals sides with The Buffalo News in libel suit "The Buffalo News' four-year legal battle with the owner of an air cargo company ended last week when the state's highest court ruled that the newspaper's stories about the company were fair and true." $20 Million Awarded in Internet Libel Case "The era when someone could use the cloak of anonymity of the Internet to destroy reputations and lives is over. There is no cloak of anonymity. We're coming for you." Has Iran elected a cheater? Rowhani accused of PhD plagiarism "Mr. Kamali is closely associated with the regime but his book was published in his own name and the extracts are virtually identical," said Morshedi, which is a pen name. "We will be submitting a petition calling on the university to cancel the PhD." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9298&p=68957

Whispers And Warnings For June 26th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9295 Author Sues 2 Moon Press "Company's shutdown still being investigated by Marshall police." Kickstarter Apologizes for Book Project "The offensive material was part of a draft for a 'seduction guide' that someone was using Kickstarter to publish." Psychic Wins Libel Lawsuit Against U.K. Tabloid "The Daily Mail had called her a 'charlatan' in a 2011 article." Daily Mail in …

Whispers And Warnings For June 19th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9294 Publisher of the Westchester Guardian files lawsuits against the IRS and FBI "A Westchester County newspaper owner refiled a federal lawsuit this week, alleging the IRS and FBI investigated him for potential tax violations because of his Tea Party activities." Two Interns sue Conde Nast After unpaid interns who had worked at Fox Searchlight earlier this week scored a legal victory, a new lawsuit has been filed, this time against Conde Nast Publications, alleging that the publisher violates the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York labor law. News Corp sued by stunt double for Angelina Jolie - claims they hacked her phone "A stunt double for Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie has sued News Corp over allegations its British newspapers hacked her phone, the first lawsuit in the United States against the company since the scandal broke two years ago." Patton Oswalt on "prodigalsam" plagiarism flap: "There's no wiggle room there" Oswalt opens up about the attitudes that hurt comedy - including those that helped a minister (allegedly) plagiarize jokes. Addicted To Plagiarism Bobby Parker speaks to David Morgan - perhaps the most prolific poetry plagiarist of all time - about his work (and 'his work') Update on the Apple Ebook Price Fixing Trial "Nook Media v-p of digital content Theresa Horner took the stand on Tuesday at the Apple e-book price fixing trial and the government and Apple clashed over questions about the profitability - or lack of it - in the e-book market of 2009-2010." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9294

Whispers And Warnings For June 12th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9291 Don't use celeb names in your novel without written permission! Scarlett Johansson Suing Over Use of Her Name in Book "Don't mess with Scarlett Johansson...or use her name in your book. The actress is reportedly suing over the unauthorized use of her name in a French novel, titled The First Thing We Look At, seeking compensation and damages from the 'breach and fraudulent use of personal rights,' as well as a ban on 'future transfer of rights and adaptations of the book,' according to The Hollywood Reporter." MORE DISTURBING ALLEGATIONS ABOUT AUTHOR SOLUTIONS (AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, WordClay, et. al.) "Author Solutions pressures customers into writing positive testimonials before releasing their books for publication. I received one such complaint the last time I posted about Author Solutions, from an AuthorHouse UK customer who said that they wouldn't publish the book she had already paid for until she wrote the testimonial here..." NY 'Ghost Rider' lawsuit reinstated "A federal appeals court in New York has reinstated a lawsuit against comic book publisher Marvel Entertainment by a man who claims he owns the rights to the 'Ghost Rider' character." Saudi prince sues Forbes for libel over claim he's only worth $20 billion "Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has sued Forbes magazine for libel in a British court, alleging its valuation of his wealth at $20 billion was short of the mark by $9.6 billion." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9291

Whispers And Warnings For June 5th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9290 Write.com / Crowdsource.com Writer alleges she's owed $973.00. U.S. blames Apple for increase in e-book prices "A U.S. government lawyer opened a civil trial Monday by portraying Apple Inc. as a corporate bully that swaggered into the market for electronic books in 2010, forcing an end to price competition and costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars." Jewellery website bows to complaints "Following multiple requests by authorities and exposure from the media, an online retailer has removed from its website misleading claims stating that amber necklaces have therapeutic properties." Jill Kelley sues FBI for defamation in Petraeus sex scandal "Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who became entangled in the David Petraeus sex scandal last year, is filing a lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of Defense for leaking her name and what she says was false, defamatory information about her during the investigation." Charges pending for man accused of online criminal defamation "The St. Paul City Attorney's office is hoping to make an example out of a man accused of posting naked picture of his ex-girlfriend online." Cal Coast News sued by Arroyo Grande man claiming defamation "An Arroyo Grande businessman has filed a defamation lawsuit against an online news site alleging a story published by the site contained false and defamatory statements about him." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9290

Whispers And Warnings For May 29th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9289 Penguin agrees to $75M settlement in Apple iBooks price fixing lawsuit "Book publisher Penguin announced on Wednesday it has reached a $75 million 'comprehensive agreement' with U.S. State Attorneys General and private class plaintiffs over e-book price fixing allegations connected to Apple and its iBookstore for iOS." Apple all alone in ebook scandal "In less than a week, Apple could meet Connecticut and Texas in court to face allegations that the tech giant colluded to fix prices of electronic books." Defendants in 500G libel suit say Staten Island neighbor has it wrong Couple posted sign about "pervert" in neighborhood videotaping their daughter but didn't name the individual. They claim a different neighbor sued them for libel. Daily News - Cleared of libel "The powers that be over at the headquarters of the Inquirer and Daily News are surely breathing sighs of relief..." Canada: Stacking the libel-law deck against plaintiffs "Until recently, Canadian law offered few defences to most publishers. But that changed in 2009, when the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Grant v Torstar, which introduced into Canadian law the defence of 'responsible communication in the public interest.'" Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9289

Whispers And Warnings For May 22nd

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9288 Authors Sue Self-Publishing Service Author Solutions (a.k.a. AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, WordClay, et. al.) "Three authors have filed suit against self-publishing service provider Author Solutions, and its parent company Penguin, airing a laundry list of complaints and alleging the company is engaged in deceitful, dubious business practices." The suit seeks class actions status. Facebook and ad agency sued for (alleged) copyright infringement of song Stems from a commercial that aired on Facebook last month. Blogger better be a billionaire, says 'open access' publisher lawsuit At issue is a list (allegedly) by Beall "identifying his assessment of the worth of different journal publishers." U.S. Now Paints Apple as 'Ringmaster' in Its Lawsuit on E-Book Price-Fixing "(An) e-mail, from Steve Jobs of Apple to James Murdoch of News Corporation, reads as if one old sport were trying to cajole another into joining a caper: 'Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.'" Apple Blames Book Publishers in E-Books Antitrust Lawsuit "Apple said the publishers had decided, independent of Apple, to eliminate discounts on wholesale book prices of e-books..." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9288

Whispers And Warnings For May 15th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9287 Associated Press blasts feds for phone records search "'These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,' wrote Pruitt, the news agency's CEO." Apple Wins Trademark Lawsuit over the term "iBooks" "The original trademark filed by another firm was abandoned back in 2003." Main Street Connect L.L.C. files for bankruptcy "Online publisher of The Daily Voice in Westchester County and Fairfield County, Conn. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week." Clodagh Hartley, Sun Editor, Charged In News Corp. Bribery Scandal "Britain's prosecutors say The Sun tabloid's politics editor Clodagh Hartley has been charged over a conspiracy to pay thousands of pounds (dollars) worth of bribes to a press officer working in the British government's tax department." Muslim, Christian groups clash in NY libel suit "A Muslim group is accusing a Christian organization of defamation for publishing a book that accuses the Muslim collective of holding terrorist training in its enclaves." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9287

Whispers And Warnings For May 8th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9286 Brian Burke lawsuit puts anonymous commenting back in the spotlight "When Brian Burke filed a defamatory lawsuit against 18 anonymous Internet users in April, the former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager said he was aiming 'to stop people who post comments on the Internet from thinking they can fabricate wild stories with impunity.'" Online Defamation: What you need to know "Shock and disbelief. This was Julie Posetti's reaction to discovering that the Editor-in-Chief of The Australian was suing her for defamation. The substance of his complaint? Three tweets." Mockingbird Author Sues: Harper Lee Files Lawsuit Against Literary Agent "Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' has sued her literary agent, claiming he tricked her into assigning the copyright on her book to him, Reuters reported." Author says Muslim group's $30M libel suit will expose terror ties "Muslims of the Americas, a group founded in the 1980s by elusive Pakistani Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, is suing the Christian Action Network for defamation and libel following CAN's recent publication of the book 'Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamist Terrorist Training Camps Inside America.'" Judge Finds Sammy Hagar Didn't Libel Woman Mentioned In His Memoir "A judge has ruled Sammy Hagar did not defame a Playboy bunny in his 2011 autobiography, 'Red.'" Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9286

Whispers And Warnings For May 1st

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9285 A former mayor's sharp tongue will cost Yonkers taxpayers thousands. "The city has agreed to pay Manhattan strip club owner and newspaper publisher Sam Zherka $100,000 as part of a legal settlement for slanderous remarks allegedly made by former Mayor Philip Amicone while he was in office." DOJ Asks Judge to End Suit Over Afghan War Memoir "The Justice Department has renewed its effort to shut down a lawsuit in Washington over the scope of information a former U.S. defense intelligence officer can publish in a memoir about service in the war in Afghanistan." Maui Time publisher sues, alleges assault "The publisher of an alternative weekly newspaper is suing Maui County, alleging he was harassed, assaulted and falsely arrested while filming Duane "Dog" Chapman for a story in 2011." Judge Appears Poised to Toss Booksellers' Suit "Federal Judge Jed Rakoff yesterday appeared poised to dismiss a lawsuit filed by independent booksellers against Amazon and the big six publishers over Amazon's use of proprietary DRM in the Kindle e-reading platform." Magazine Subscribers Ask Court To Revive 'Shine The Light' Lawsuits "Three magazine subscribers are asking a federal appeals court to reinstate their lawsuits accusing the publishers of violating a California law dealing with the sale of customer lists." Brian Burke files defamation suit over online comments "Former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has filed a defamation lawsuit against 18 unnamed individuals who he says posted untrue comments online accusing him of having an affair with a female sports reporter." A changing truth: Do online news stories about arrests constitute libel after expungement? "A class-action lawsuit scheduled for argument next month in Connecticut claims that the news media defamed arrestees in online news stories about criminal records that were later expunged." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9285

Whispers And Warnings For April 24th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9284 Two authors are upset with Noble Romance Publishing They have posted their experiences to their blogs. The Toronto Star and two of its reporters - Sued by Marineland for $7M Regarding coverage concerning animal conditions at the Niagara Falls theme park. Tampa Bay Times - sued by a physician for (alleged) libel She claims they produced "stories that 'created news instead of reporting the news' and of using her photo without authorization." Typist facing possible …

Whispers And Warnings For April 17th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9283 Booksellers Urge Court Not to Toss Amazon E-book Lawsuit "Plaintiff booksellers this week filed an opposition motion urging the court not to dismiss their lawsuit against Amazon and the big six publishers, arguing that there is indeed enough evidence of restraint of trade to keep the case moving forward." STUPID! Fritz + Fraenzi, a German parenting magazine (Allegedly) features children and teens lighting hair on fire and giving Nazi salute. Also, half-naked girls sending explicit photos on their phone. In the U.K. - Key libel reform thwarted as Conservatives block defamation bill "The Conservatives have succeeded in their attempt to water down defamation laws which would have prevented large companies ranging from McDonald's to Tesco from suing their critics unless they could prove financial losses." Twitter Libel Case Man claims another falsely linked him to an allegation of child sexual assault on Twitter. Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9283

Whispers And Warnings For April 10th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9282 Lulu published a book by a convicted killer who went to court to keep his royalties "Convicted Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph is fighting efforts by federal prosecutors in Alabama to seize the small profits from an autobiography he recently published from prison." TheLostOgle.com - Files suit against Gov. Mary Fallin alleging violations of the Open Records Act "The filing comes after TheLostOgle.com joined other media in filing a records request seeking emails and other documents that Fallin's office used in deciding not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. " New Filings Hint Royalties Driving HarperCollin's Suit Against Open Road "HarperCollins would not meet Open Road's 50% royalty offer..." Augsburg Fortress Publishers agrees to pay $4.5M for pension plan failure "The settlement would pay about a quarter of the pension plan's benefits for almost 500 employees and retirees of the Minneapolis-based publishing arm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America." Frederick News-Post files suit against the FCC "Newspaper seeks former college president's settlement information." Photog's Copyright Suit Against Pearson Survives "A lawsuit accusing Pearson Education Inc. of putting a photographer's work in its textbooks without permission can go forward, a federal judge ruled Friday..." Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9282

Whispers And Warnings For April 3rd

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9281 N'Digo magazine publisher Hermene Hartman Admits owing ex-employee money, but denies other allegations. Amazon and the Big Six publishers try to get lawsuit filed by indie bookstores dismissed Time will tell, of course, but Amazon tried to get our case against them dismissed, too...and it didn't work. When the judge refused, they offered to settle, eventually paying our attorneys $300K. Read about our case here: http://antitrust.booklocker.com/ - Angela Hoy, BookLocker.com & WritersWeekly.com Battle Lines Drawn in HarperCollins, Open Road E-Book Suit The two sides are fighting over the ebook rights to a best selling children's book. My bet is on Open Road on this one. Criminal Law Reporter / The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (BNA) - Judge Rules Convicted Murderer Can Proceed with Libel Suit They published a piece that "stated he 'showed no hint of contrition' and that he made statements to the press that the killings were justified by religious and philosophical beliefs." Problem is...those were words from the prosecutor; not from the defendant or the judge's ruling. Author cleared of defamation charges "A federal judge ruled that Michael Lewis is not guilty of defaming money manager Wing Chau in his best-selling 2010 book The Big Short, which examined the origins of the financial crisis." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9281

Whispers And Warnings For March 27th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9280 Hey, Amazon, Where's My Money? "My novel shot to the top of the site's bestseller list last summer. You won't believe how little I got paid." Green Mountain Power agrees to pay publisher's legal fees in trespass charge; lawsuit dismissed "Green Mountain Power will reimburse Barton Chronicle Publisher Chris Braithwaite for his legal expenses in defending himself against criminal trespass charges for the past year." Publisher wins copyright lawsuit "Publisher First News has announced it was compensated for VND700 million by American International School of Foreign Language Training in Hanoi for reprinting English language books that First News has been given exclusive rights to copy in Vietnam by a foreign publisher." Penguin publishing group sues Oregon nonprofit for posting whole books online "Publishing giant Penguin Group (USA) Inc. has sued the online library American Buddha, accusing the Oregon nonprofit company of posting to the Web the entire contents of books for which it holds exclusive rights." Author-Unfriendly Terms at Autharium "Over the past few weeks I've gotten a number of questions and alerts about author-unfriendly Terms and Conditions at Autharium, a new epublishing startup..." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9280

Whispers And Warnings For March 20th

Links to stories below are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9277 Apple CEO Ordered To Testify In E-Book Price Fixing Case "Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to testify in the Justice Department's antitrust case over alleged price fixing." Three publishers sue a university for (allegedly) photocopying textbooks for students "Three of the world's biggest publishers have taken legal action to halt textbook copying in India, a practice that is seen by many as crucial for the spread of education in the nation of more than one billion people..." Supreme Court Upholds Reselling of Foreign Books "If you're the legal owner of a copy of a book or other work copyrighted under U.S. law, the Supreme Court says you have the right to resell or give it away, even if it was made overseas." Tulsa police officer sues publication, ex-girlfriend, alleging libel, invasion of privacy "A Tulsa police officer has filed a lawsuit against a local publication claiming libel and invasion of privacy on allegations that it possessed a personal laptop computer containing compromising photographs of him..." Warner Bros Fires Back At "Hobbit" Creator's Estate & Publisher In $80M Case "Warner Bros says a multimillion-dollar merchandising lawsuit from the estate of Lord of The Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien and publisher HarperCollins has hurt it financially..." Links to stories above are here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9277

Whispers And Warnings For March 13th

The Research Masters - Writer claims they owe money. Caraccessories.com - Writer claims they've owed money since last year. Read about it here and here. Links to stories below are here. Book publisher to drop lawsuit against McMaster librarian "A U.S.-based publishing company says it is dropping at least one of its lawsuits against a McMaster librarian after scholars across North America came to his defense..." Free-Textbook Company (Allegedly) Rewrites Its Content Following Publishers' Lawsuit A free-textbook company that was sued last year by three major textbook publishers has now (allegedly) rewritten the content it was accused of stealing. A proposed Texas law would promote correcting incorrect news, online and off If passed, the bill would require a plaintiff give publishers the opportunity to correct, clarify, or withdraw false information in order to receive punitive damages in a defamation lawsuit - and it would apply to online media. Links to stories above are here. …

Whispers And Warnings For March 6th

NY Law Firm Now Investigating Author Solutions (AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris, Inkubook, Wordclay, et. al.). Will a Class Action Lawsuit Follow? If you have a complaint about one of the AuthorSolutions firms, you can submit it to that law firm here. Authors are questioning royalties reported by Amazon and Createspace. Why Ann Douglas is no longer a columnist for the Toronto Star. SHAME SHAME SHAME ON The Missouri School of Journalism! …

Whispers And Warnings For February 27th

Amazon, Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan - Indie bookstores have filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Amazon and the Big 6 publishers. Librarians and Lawyers - "With the proliferation of scholarly journals - particularly open-access Internet journals that charge author fees - some librarians consider themselves on the front lines of the fight to preserve quality publishing." Meltwater, a firm that monitors media for companies - sued by the Associated Press for (allegedly) copying/reselling AP content. …

Whispers And Warnings For January 9th

Winona Post - Settles lawsuit filed by former Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) Chair Stacey Mounce Arnold while claiming "the judge assigned to our case did not understand the rights of the press under the First Amendment." Amazon.com - Must pay $455K fine for (allegedly) "labeling and advertising textile products made of bamboo fibers that were actually rayon." …

Whispers And Warnings For December 12th

Not "new" news but in the spirit of the season... - Disney Wins Dismissal of 'Santa Paws' Copyright Lawsuit French president Franaois Hollande - Accused "of improper interference in a legal case" after he wrote to a Paris court backing a defamation suit (his girlfriend) brought against publishers and authors of a biography about her. Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical weekly - Sued by two French Muslim groups for $1M for publishing Mohammad cartoons. …

Whispers And Warnings For November 28th

Dex (a yellow pages publisher) - Settles lawsuit by restaurant owner who alleged their salesman listed the restaurant under the "Animal Carcass Removal" section after they refused to buy an ad. Warner Bros - Sued for $80M by J.R.R Tolkien estate and publisher Google - Guilty of libel in Australia "all because it didn't remove a link to an incorrect web site." They plan to appeal. …

Whispers And Warnings For October 3rd

Penn State - Sued for (alleged) defamation by the Jerry Sandusky whistleblower. Apple - Must pay encyclopedia publisher $82K for app store piracy. Stephen Raymond, former publisher - Sued by The Effingham Daily News and its parent company, alleging he "conspired against the newspaper while in its employ by secretly arranging to start a competing publication." Slate and former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer - A libel lawsuit filed against them has been dismissed. …

Whispers And Warnings For September 12th

Penguin - Spokeswoman sues publisher, alleges discrimination. Georgia State University - Publishers to appeal copyright decision. Amazon - "Back to discounting e-books from HarperCollins following publisher's accord with DOJ settling collusion allegations." Jazan Wild, a comics creator - Has begun sending cease-and-desist notices to reviewers. Murdoch Books - Sued by celebrity chef for alleged "copyright infringement and misleading and deceptive conduct." …

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