Links, and some WTFery

As the Washington Post reported, romance author Adele Dubois received a “notice of copyright infringement” from Google, which then removed a post from the Romance Books R Us blog based on the entry “ADELE + EXITOS.”

The e-mail from Google stated, “Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others.” The e-mail lists the copyright owner as Sony, the copyright work description as “Adele + Exitos” and the “location of the infringing material” as the post by Dubois, which was removed by Google Blogger.

Who instigated the complaint remains a mystery. A “sworn statement” at the end of Google’s e-mail simply says “[private]” under the signature. The statement says, “I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”

Adele the singer has a recording contract with Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Although names cannot be copyrighted, they can be trademarked. And Adele is trademarked, according to the Trademark Electronic Search System.

I contacted Dubois, she explained that the entry “ADELE + EXITOS” was the only thing mentioned, with no other explanation given for the removal:

As a result, Google removed my post from the blog with no warning. Since my blog spoke about nothing other than my book, I'm at a loss as to why they objected. They also sent the copyright infringement letter to the blog owner, Marianne Stephens, and all 18 of the other authors who participate on our group blog. However, it was my specific blog post that was listed as the “infringement.” Google asked me to respond to the accusation, which I did. Google will either repost my blog in 10 days if my answers seem satisfactory, or a lawsuit will be filed against me by Sony in the state of California, according to the letter they attached. Sony claims that I will be held responsible for all their court costs and must appear in California to respond.

Since Adele is my legal name (and on my birth certificate) I know have done nothing wrong. Some spider bot at Sony probably picked up my name on a blog post and had Google shut me down. What upsets me most is that they removed my blog post first and demanded answers later. It's ironic that pirates have stolen from me for years with no repercussions, yet I've been cited for discussing my own copyrighted book on a legitimate group author blog with my birth name. 

I have no idea what the issue is really about, except for my use of the name Adele. I'm confident that when Sony and Google investigate, they'll drop this baseless accusation and go away.

Best–Adele (My real name. Honest)

So if the post was removed because of the name “Adele,” how many pages on Blogger are there from writers named “Adele?” And then there's the romances with titles like Someone Like You. Good gravy. What a strange, strange thing for Sony and Google to do. Adele Dubois tells me she's heard nothing from either company despite filing complaints.

ETA 5/17: Via Adele Dubois, her blog post has been reinstated by Google, no explanation given. Seems Sony and Google have worked it out. YAY! 

Over at DearAuthor, Jane has assembled All Of The Bullet Points that highlight the major points of the recent ruling from Judge Denise Cote denying the motion to dismiss from Apple, Penguin and Macmillan. 

Legally this is a complex process with a great many steps, but I absolutely cannot shake my dancing inner 9 year old rolling her eyes and saying, 'CHILD, PLEASE.' Motion to dismiss? “Child, please.”

I think this is among the most jaw dropping parts: 

When Random House refused to move to Agency, David Shanks of Penguin went to Barnes & Noble “I would hope that [Barnes & Noble] would be equally brutal to Publishers who have thrown in with your competition [Amazon] with obvious disdain for your welfare.”  B&N continued to promote RH titles and so Shanks went back to B&N.  ”Following this contact, B&N’s management decided not to feature Random House in any future advertising.”

“Child, please.” 

Seriously, read it. As Jane says, prepare to have your mind blown.

Via Amy: conservative political Duane Lester went into a local newspaper after they reprinted his work without permission in their newspaper, and confronts the editor in chief on camera about violation of his copyright, and presents them with an invoice for payment from the use of his content. It gets tense, and Mr. Lester stays calm and refuses to be distracted. It's kind of amazing. 

Meanwhile, in ebooks, my column this week for Kirkus features five contemporary romances available for less than $5 each. I think the total cost of all five books I featured was around $16, give or take a few cents for taxes. 

So, what interesting stuff are you reading online today? 


The Link-O-Lator

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Shannon says:

    The mind boggles – or is that a trademark, too?

  2. 2

    What upsets me most is that they removed my blog post first and demanded answers later.

    They have to do that. That’s the law under the DMCA.

    And authors, when you wonder why DMCA notifications are such a pain in your behind, THIS IS WHY. Because assholes can abuse the process and harass innocent people. Imagine what would happen if it were easier to get material taken down.

  3. 3
    Awaskyc says:

    That infringement thing seems nuts. Even if she were talking about the singer, you’re allowed to namecheck a trademarked good. I can’t imagine they’re going around the web making sure NO ONE TALKS ABOUT ADELE. And if they were, I can’t imagine that would be a good thing for her career.

  4. 4
    MissB2U says:

    Send Google that book with the clown on the cover. 

  5. 5
    MissB2U says:

    No, wait.  Let’s ALL send Google that book with the clown on the cover.

  6. 6
    Flo_over says:

    What… what happens if you… trademark your trademark?  DOUBLE PROTECTION!  Does that actually negate the protection altogether like a double negative?

    I… I think I hurt myself thinking about that.

  7. 7
    SB Sarah says:

    I think I may have figured out why Adele Dubois’ post was removed: I think “Exitos” is “hit” in Spanish – the term used for hit songs on an album. So if the title of the post was “Adele + Exitos” that may have set off a flag on the bot for pirated Adele hit songs. “Grandes exitos” would be “greatest hits.”

    Still, if all Sony grabs is a blog title without content examination to flag Google to remove an author’s content, ‘qué pena.’ What a pity.

  8. 8
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    I think my favorite part of that video is the comments. People are about equally applauding and complaining about it being posted. Some say he’s a ‘douchebag’ because he posted it even after receiving payment, and that the man should sue for defamation of character. Seriously? Who cares. They did something wrong, no matter if the article was ‘all over the county’. The author deserves credit and seeing as they didn’t receive permission, now they have to pay the consequences. Even if you’re ‘40 years older’ and things were done ‘different in [your] time’. Those are lame excuses.

  9. 9
    SB Sarah says:

    I like how the editor was going to get physically intimidating until he was alerted to a camera being there. DEAR LORD, SIR.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Sveta says:

    Feel kind of bad for the Adele poster. Sounds rather dumb, shouldn’t they have checked the post before removing it and putting her through hassle?


  12. 12
    Nmartin says:

    Can I just say it was a hoot to read “good gravy?” My hat is perpetually off to the Smarat Bitches.

  13. 13
    Susan says:

    “I’m confident that when Sony and Google investigate, they’ll drop this baseless accusation and go away.”  Hmm.  Maybe I’ve gotten too cynical in my old age?  So sorry for Adele Dubois.

    Dear David Shanks:  If you’re going to collude, don’t do it in writing.  That’s covered in “Collusion for Dummies”; it’s put out by a different publisher, but you should still check it out.


  14. 14
    azteclady1 says:

    Well, I don’t think that 40 years ago it was any more kosher than now, to use material without proper attribution or permission—copyright has been around just a wee bit longer than that, after all.

  15. 15
    azteclady1 says:

    I know, right? That was painful to watch, honestly.

  16. 16
    Cat C says:

    Thanks to your Kirkus column, I’ll be reading One Reckless Summer, Hot Island Nights, AND Her Best Worst Mistake this weekend (or…eventually). I’d already been interested in each book, but I’m glad I waited to buy them. I love sales! And being told about sales!

  17. 17
    SierraKat says:

    I think my brain has melted for the day. I read the excerpt that made you go “child, please” four times and still can’t understand what it’s trying to say…*sigh* Where’s my caffeine? I’m gonna follow the link and see if that’s better.

  18. 18
    SB Sarah says:

    Oh I hope you like them! I also liked Whisper Falls, which is, I think, book 3 in the Destiny series.

    Yay for sales, indeed!


  19. 19
    Adele Dubois says:

    Thanks so much for your post, Sarah. Just to clarify, there was no reference to ‘Exitos’ or anything having to do with the singer or her work on my blog post. Mine was strictly promotional about my reissued book Intimate Art. There is no connection in my post to the singer’s work, other than our first names. I’m mystified by the complaint and take down.

  20. 20
    Sandra Marshall says:

    In the end, Adele is going to be the winner.  All this fiasco with Sony, Google and Blogger is going to work in your favor.  They will look like idiots and you’ll sell a bunch of books. 

  21. 21
    Kaetrin says:

    Just bought the whole MacKade series.  Thx for the rec Sarah :)

  22. 22
    finbikkifin says:

    Pretty sure that the point of the whole sworn statement thing is that if you lie and don’t actually check what you’re DMCAing, you’re committing perjury.

    Naturally the courts just go “Oh, teehee, a corporate lawyer blatantly committed perjury and should be tried, convicted, sentenced and disbarred, but they’re so lovably rich! We can’t hurt them or make it inconvenient for them to exercise their rights to have anything they like taken down just because they’re breaking the law!”

  23. 23
    Adele Dubois says:

    ***Update!*** Google and Sony have withdrawn their complaint regarding the use of the name Adele, my real first name. There has been no apology, no hearts and flowers. They just withdrew the complaint documents and went away.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful support!

    Best—Adele (My real name. Honest.)

  24. 24
    Amy Raby (Alpha Lyra) says:

    I’m glad the blogger posted the video because there are so many people who don’t seem to understand that plagiarism is stealing. My local radio station did a segment on it, airing parts of the audio and then having people call in and comment, and I thought it was great to hear so many people discussing the issue of plagiarism, which is so poorly understood—as we saw in the recent brouhaha surrounding the YA blogger.

    I also appreciated the part where the lady said something about he just made a quick $500, and he corrected her, saying it wasn’t quick at all because he’d put a lot of time and effort into researching and writing that article.

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