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.”
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?