Fanfiction or Plagiarism? Better Make Sure.

publishing lawsuit gavelA few weeks back, we had a guest post by Kat Cantwell about the ins and outs of writing fanfiction. Now we have word of a cautionary tale that fanfiction writers – in fact, all sorts of writers – might do well to heed.

Trad-pubbed urban fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Tennessee against fellow author Cassandra Clare. Kenyon’s complaint alleges Clare’s “Shadowhunter” series infringes on the copyrights and trademarks associated with Kenyon’s “Dark-Hunter” series. Kenyon says she learned of the infringement from her fans, and that when she spoke to Clare about it, Clare promised to change her work so that there would be no infringement. What Clare did was to change the term for her demon-fighting warriors from “darkhunter” to “shadowhunter” – and then proceeded to use the new term extensively in promoting her series. Continue reading “Fanfiction or Plagiarism? Better Make Sure.”

Google Wins Appeals Court Decision to Scan Books

Judge's gavel, lawsuitGoogle wins again. For the past ten years, Google has battled authors and publishers over the right to make snippets of books searchable on its massive search engine. On Friday, October 16, the 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals in New York unanimously agreed with Google in their ruling.

In essence, it is legal under copyright law for Google to scan millions of books and make snippets of them searchable online.

What does that mean for us? Continue reading “Google Wins Appeals Court Decision to Scan Books”

Amazon Cracks Down on All Fake Reviews

flash fiction contest gavelI get it. It does feel like Amazon’s review policy makes our indie-author lives harder. This review is okay, but this one is not, so poof! Out it goes, with very little recourse. We work really hard for each and every one of our reviews. We need them all. Why is the Zon picking on us?

They’re not, of course. Fake reviews are a problem for any retailer that allows reviews of the products it sells – which is pretty much every e-retailer out there – and for every product imaginable, not just for books. Everybody who has a product for sale at Amazon is trying to get eyeballs on their product, and favorable reviews will push the product higher in the rankings. Continue reading “Amazon Cracks Down on All Fake Reviews”

FOULED! Part 4: Suing the Scammy Publisher – the Nuclear Option

Predatory Publisher Month at Indies UnlimitedYou’ve asked your publisher to edit and format your book correctly, and it hasn’t been done. You’ve asked for the rights to your book, and your publisher has either refused or told you you’d have to pay a fee to get them back. Now you’re just sick of the whole thing. You’ve paid these people a lot of money and you’ve gotten nothing in return but a lot of aggravation and ruined dreams. What can you do?

You can sue them. Unfortunately, even that may not get you very far. Continue reading “FOULED! Part 4: Suing the Scammy Publisher – the Nuclear Option”