Friday, March 23, 2007

Crooks and Creeps in Publishing

Yesterday, while searching for my blog, DZ happened on this one: http://www.youdontneedatitle.com/wordpress/?cat=4
A glance at the October 10th post shows a reference to a commercial Web site that bases itself on a book DZ and I wrote that is still in print. Many years ago, the owner of that site approached us with a flat fee proposal for using the material. Our publisher turned him down and said they would send him a cease and desist order, which either did not happen or made no impression.

It should be pointed out that this was not our original publisher, ARCO/Simon & Schuster, which did all it could to protect us. It was a publisher, Peterson's/Thomson, that bought ARCO, divested itself of many of its titles, and turned the rest into crappy versions of themselves, which they then tossed onto the market without any plan other than to reap any benefits remaining before letting them go O/P. I have been in communication with comptroller Daniel Toto for some years over Italian and Indonesian foreign rights that I discovered had been sold (or perhaps they weren't sold--either way, one of my books has been translated and sold there). I never received a dime for either sale, despite having a contract in hand.

The good news, perhaps, is that Peterson's is on its last legs and most of the people we had dealings with there have been fired. The bad news is that I'll have to get a lawyer to deal with all of the mishandled misuses of our various written works.

1 comment:

DZ said...

Well, maybe they'll put our books on Youtube next. It's a trend...