Baltimore mayor on “leave of absence” after self-published book controversy; Amazon was selling child-like s*x doll; Feds sued over screened manuscripts; CA may be putting some freelancers out of business, and more! Whispers and Warnings for 04/04/19

Baltimore mayor on “leave of absence” after self-published book controversy; Amazon was selling child-like s*x doll; Feds sued over screened manuscripts; CA may be putting some freelancers out of business, and more! Whispers and Warnings for 04/04/19

She admitted that 20K books for which she was paid in 2017 were “delayed” and haven’t yet shipped. It does NOT take two years for a self-published book to ship. It takes less than a week!
Baltimore Mayor Pugh to take leave of absence in midst of ‘Healthy Holly’ book controversy
“Under the deal with the medical system, UMMS paid Pugh $500,000 for copies of the books while she served on its board. UMMS paid $100,000 in each of five transactions in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018 to purchase 20,000 copies of her self-published books…”

More family members fighting over copyrights and trademarks…
Painter Bob Ross’ Son Gets Brushed Off in Fight for Rights to Father’s Image
“In the final ruling, Robert was declared to have zero rights to his father’s name and likeness, and the judge claimed he had no standing to file the lawsuit.”

I understand security can be an issue but these delays are getting ridiculous. I know authors who have been waiting months or longer for their manuscripts to get vetted. 
Ex-Intelligence, Military Officials Sue Over Manuscript Screening Rules
“A group of former U.S. intelligence and military officials filed suit over rules that require them to submit book manuscripts and other writings for review long after leaving government service.” 

More disgusting, inhumane behavior by Amazon.
Revealed: Amazon employees are left to suffer after workplace injuries
“A Guardian investigation has revealed numerous cases where Amazon workers are left to suffer after sustaining workplace injuries, leaving them unable to work, deprived of income, and forced to fight for months to receive benefits and medical care.”

Amazon quickly censors some books…but only removes child-like sex doll after numerous complaints?
Amazon caught selling ‘nauseating’ sex doll which comes tied-up and gagged
“The complainer from London, who wished to remain anonymous, told Amazon on social media they were selling ‘a sex doll of a child, tied at her ankles, wrists, chest and gagged’.”

An awesome gift!! 🙂
James Patterson donates $1.25 million to classroom libraries
“On Tuesday, the best-selling author Opens a New Window. announced the fifth installment for his Patterson Partnership, formed in coordination with Scholastic Book Club. Patterson is giving $250 each to 4,000 teachers around the country to help purchase books.”

Disgusting, unethical behavior
FTC hits predatory scientific publisher with a $50 million fine
“It used to be that publishing a scientific journal was a significant undertaking, requiring infrastructures for peer review, printing, and distribution, and the costs were often defrayed by charging authors for the honor of publishing. Now, it’s possible to simply convert submissions to PDFs and throw them online. With those barriers gone, science quickly became plagued by predatory publishers who decided to eliminate peer review as well. Instead, they simply published anything from people who have the money to cover the publication fees.”

A common but illegal practice in our industry!
Companies often mislabel employees as “freelancers” to cut costs. Workers are fighting back.
“An editor at Epicurious seemed super excited last week when he announced ‘an amazing job’ opportunity for a food writer on Twitter. Except that the details of the “full-time freelance” job he described — being paid hourly for 40 hours a week with zero benefits — didn’t seem so amazing. In fact, the setup sounded illegal.”

California might be putting some self-employed individuals out of business.
‘This could ruin us’: A class-action suit imperils California freelancers
“Last April, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Dynamex Operations West, a package delivery company, had misclassified its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. The ruling also covers exotic dancers, hairdressers, freelance reporters, and anyone else who works as an independent contractor (IC) in the Golden State.”

Under current U.S. law, a publisher can’t be held liable for unedited comments posted by others.
Yonkers blogger hit with $7 million defamation lawsuit
“I didn’t libel him,” said Aris, defending his editorials. “He’s mostly talking about the comments and people have a right to comment. It’s a freedom of speech. He basically wants to discover who my sources are. I don’t give that up no matter what.”

Spiteful bloggers beware!
Clarkstown teacher wins $4 million libel award against Rockland blogger
“The libel case grew out of McIlmurray’s writing a ‘series of malicious and fictitious online articles’ in the online Rockland Post over a six-month period in 2017, according to Feldman.”


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