Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I love the smell of swindle in the morning

It used to be that if you wanted to hornswoggle an author, you put an ad in one of those writing magazines advertising yourself as a "literary agent looking for new authors." (legit agents don't advertise, ever)

Now, you can just steal their work.

From Shelf Awareness this morning:

Kessinger, Whitefish, Mont., which says it uses "advanced technology to publish and preserve thousands of rare, scarce, and out-of-print books," appears to do so with low regard to copyright laws--so much so that its website invites copyright challenges. For an account of the ugly side of POD, see Denny Hatch's blog entry about Kessinger's apparent theft of his father's copyrighted 1947 biography of Franklin Roosevelt.


Susan Adrian said...

Argh. That's horrible. And of course they're from us a bad name.

H. L. Dyer said...

Good grief.

They might as well just type "If you think we might have used your material without your permission, please contact us immediately with your name, address, social security number, mother's maiden name, and current bank balance."

Julia said...

Unauthorized reprint mills predated POD technology--it's just that POD technology dramatically lowers the cost of entry into the book piracy market.

Just_Me said...

Oh! And there's nothing to do about people like this? Can't somebody shut them down? For advertising fraud if nothing else?

There goes my blood pressure, straight through the roof.

Jay said...

Sad thing is, you can spend a lot of money and sue, but in the end the only ones who win are the lawyers. Obviously Kessinger and their ilk know this.

Picks By Pat said...

Interesting post, especially since I get a lot of story ideas from newspapers and magazines. I'm working on a short story in which a crook steals someone else's work (a painting, in this case) and makes a fortune reproducing the image on postcards. He winds up dead, and the painter, naturally, is the prime suspect.

The story has a happy ending, though. The murderer gets away with it.