Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What happened to LendInk? The owner responds.

(Updated with comments from LendInk's Dale Porter, below. Several authors who originally opposed LendInk have responded in the comments section, below. I have also written a follow-up post, "The LendInk Witch Hunt, Part II: It's gone too far", which is linked from the bottom of this entry.

LendInk is no more (Update: It's back online, see note at the bottom of this page). The site, which matched up people who wanted to loan or borrow e-books, featured an easy-to-use interface (see screenshot, below). When a match was made, the parties were sent to Amazon or BarnesAndNoble.com to complete the e-book loan.

Loaning certain Kindle books in this manner is allowed per the Amazon lending terms and the rights outlined by the publisher. Here's how the Amazon help page describes the arrangement:
Kindle books can be loaned to another reader for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle -- Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable -- it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period. Books can only be loaned once, and subscription content is not currently available for lending.
As an author (my books are in the how-to space, addressing topics such as what is Dropbox, how to use Google Drive and how to use Excel), I don't have any problem with this type of lending service as long as it's not abused.

However, there are many publishers and independent KDP authors who did not understand loaning and lending on Amazon's Kindle platform. Others wrongly assumed that the titles appearing on LendInk were pirated. Here's how one angry KDP author reacted:
I noticed my work there and sent the site a Cease and Desist Notice, giving them 48 hours to remove my work or face prosecution. They were in breech of copyright and deserved to be shut down. Am I proud they have been shut down? Am I proud to have stood up for my legal rights as author? You betcha! If they were a legitimate site and had written consent from each and every author to display their work for free (forfeiting their royalty income as a result) then I doubt very much that the site would have suddenly disappeared overnight. I am tired of plagiarism, book piracy and cheap-*ss scum bags who won't part with a measly $2.99 or $4.99 to support authors and show respect for their hard work, not to mention the graphic artists, editors, photographers who also contributed to the birth of an author's ebook.
Although not legitimate, hundreds of C&D letters and other complaints helped kill LendInk, according to LendInk's Dale Porter (see my interview with him at the bottom of the page). Dale also posted the following explanation of what happened on several forums:

My name is Dale Porter and I am the owner of Lendink (or what's left of it). I can say without hesitation that Lendink was not a pirate site, we did not store, transfer, lend or publish any ebooks, period! All we did was attempt to provide a means for people that enjoy their ebooks to meet other like minded people and share their "lend" enabled ebooks. The lending process was completely handled on the Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.

Lendink was operated solely by myself and operated the last couple of years with absolutely no income.

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet claiming that we hosted ebooks illegally, that Amazon did not allow us to lend ebooks, etc. Let me try to address some of those here.

Amazon did not allow us to lend ebooks. This is a 100% true statement and the fact of the matter is, Lendink did not nor did it ever attempt to lend ebooks. All we did was put person A in touch with person B and redirected A and B back to Amazon or Barnes and Nobles where the actual lending took place.

Lendink was hosting ebooks illegally. This statement is 100% false. We never hosted any ebooks on our servers. We attempted to dispell this rumor on our FAQ page and for those that actually read the page, it usually cleared up the misunderstanding. For those that did not read the page, all I can assume is that is simply doesn't matter at this point. No amount of explaination would have satisfied the vultures looming over head.

The Lendink website is down, this is proof they were pirating ebooks. Really, this is proof that we were pirating ebooks? The fact of the matter is that our host company was so overwhelmed with hate mail and threats of lawsuits that they felt they had no choice but to suspend the site. These hatefull people did nothing but harass and threaten Lendink and our host company to the point that it just didn't make sense to keep the site online. For those of you on this site that are patting yourself on the back for bringing Lendink down, shame on you. I only hope at this point that you see the same results with your books and your writing career.

Amazon dropped Lendink as an Affiliate due to digital rights violations or new digital rights laws in California. This is 100% false. Lendink is a California based company and as such, was cut off from earning money from sales when Amazon and the State of California disagreed over the collection of State Sales Tax. Amazon cut off all of their California affiliates from earning money via their affiliate program. It was not just Lendink. This only prevented us from earning money via Amazon. It did not however stop use from matching people for book lending.

I am simply a hard working guy that was trying to provide a legit service. Let me ask you all this, if I truley intended to use Lendink as a pirate site would I keep my contact information clearly associated with the site? Would I form an LLC and run the site as a business? Would I actually take the time to file for and receive a Federal Trademark for the site? These are not the actions of a person bent on stealing other persons intellectual property. The site had been negelected the past year or so and this was due to health issues related to my service connected injuries. Working a fulltime job to pay the bills and health issues just took their toll on me and unfortunately the site suffered. My plan was to ride out the Amazon vs. California Sales Tax dispute and then pick up when I was able to make some income from the sale of books. Sadly, it appears that my American Dream has been left as road kill at the hands of misguided individuals.

I contacted Dale with some follow-up questions, and he sent the following replies:

Who was threatening lawsuits? Was it authors, publishers, Amazon, other rights holders?

Dale: "At this time, the host company is only advising that they have received hundreds of threats regarding possible lawsuits if they did not take Lendink.com down immediately. I do not know personally if it was a result of authors, publishers, Amazon or other rights holders. I have not personally been in contact with anyone other thaan the host company. I do however have a certified letter awaiting my pickup at the post office which is from a company called Noble Romance."

How many people were using the site per month before it was shut down?

Dale: "At the time the site was suspended, Lendink had 15,000+ register users. Not bad considering the site has been on auto pilot for a year or so due to my health issues."

How did you make money from the site?

Dale: "When I purchased the site, I was an Amazon Affiliate and the hopes were that I could make extra income selling books as an affiliate and then earn a little extra from advertising. Unfortunately, shortly after I purchased the site, Amazon and the State of California had a large dispute over the collection of Sales Tax and in response, Amazon cancelled all California Affiliates. This meant I could not make money from selling the books but it did not prevent me from matching people that wanted to lend their books according to the terms set forth by Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. Since that time, I have not made any income from Lendink.com. It was kept alive in the hopes that Amazon would some day open up the affiliate program to California businesses again."

What other communities/sites are offering similar matching services for loaners/borrowers of ebooks?

Dale: "I know of a few sites such as Lendle.me, the Kindle Book Club and a few others. Many of the site owners contacted me when I first purchased Lendink to wish me best of luck. We never really consider each other as compteitors or business rivals. We all enjoyed ebooks and simply wanted to provide a service to others."

Dale also offered this comment:

"The hosting company has offered to reinstate Lendink.com on the condition that I personally respond to all of the complaints individually. I have to say, I really do not know if it is worth the effort at this point. I have read the comments many of these people have posted and I don't think any form of communication will resolve the issues in their eyes. Most are only interested in getting money from me and others are only in in for the kill. They have no intentions of talking to me or working this out. So much for trying to start a business and live the American Dream."

Update 8/10: Lots of people would like to contact or help Dale. I would suggest doing so through the LendInk Facebook page, which contains additional discussion about what happened.

Update 8/13: I have written a follow-up post, LendInk Witch Hunt, Part II: It's gone too far.

Update 8/14: Dale has started a crowdfunding campaign to bring LendInk back online.

Update 8/26: Lendink is back online!






Here is a screenshot of the original LendInk service:

LendInk book loan

The message now seen on LendInk.com:

LendInk suspended

91 comments:

  1. Dale - if you are reading this. It might be worth getting a list of those who complained, you know? I was one of them. I overreacted, didn't read the small print and I apologise. I suspect many are like me and you could probably match up names and send an email out. Now that I know the truth, I'd be happy to have my books up on your site. And maybe put a banner on the home page with a two-sentence summary and a direct link to the FAQ?

    The extra publicity generated from all of this could go in your favour - or it would if you were actually making any money out of it.

    I wish you well for the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While it is a nice gesture, an apology is meaningless. How 'bout you and your fellow author/sharks actually give Dale hard cash for this fiasco?

      Personally, I think he's got GREAT grounds for a defamation lawsuit against the likes of you and your fellow IP mobsters.

      Delete
    2. Yeash and it's because of YOU and you're "quick I gotta ruijn this guy" response, instead of doing research that now we lost as vbaluable sedrtffc. "I'm sorry" doesn't cut it Debbie. I mena reqally---- is it so hard to take half an ahour to THINK before you act??? But no; You ahv eot go off ike a reedneck with no brain and sdjsdut start atckigvn.


      Way to ruin a guy's hobby website. I hope you enver seerl anthte ebooiok. It's what you deserve.

      Delete
    3. And yes I know how to spell but I'm angry at you Debbie. You're like too many people in the world who ACT FIRST and don't think. And then later when you do think, you realize you were wrong. (But by then it's too late.)

      And if this site was put back up
      I'd certainly use it.
      I have several great SF Anthology books I'd lend (or borrow).

      Delete
    4. Debbie, you do realize you committed perjury which is a crime by submitting a false DMCA take down notice or cease and desist. "Ignorance" is not a defense.

      While I personally do not wish you ill, I do want you to understand you committed a crime.

      Delete
    5. Now there's something you don't see every day: An author who can't read.

      Delete
    6. Debbie, I trust that you have written a second letter to LendLink's ISP, apologising and withdrawing your earlier, false, complaint? And copied it to Lendlink? Under the circumstances, it's the least you can do...

      Delete
    7. While it is very nice of you to apologize, you're now trying to cash in on the same service you helped to bring down with your reckless behaviour.

      This is why the copyright laws need to be changed and that fast.

      If you're truly sorry about what you did, then you would be writing the emails on Dales complaints. Not him, but you.

      Don't just apologize but really help him the mess that you where part of creating.

      Delete
    8. So Debbie apologizes and you all attack her for it? Seriously?

      And I'm pretty sure that submitting a request to have her books removed doesn't constitute "perjury." Wow.

      I know an author who requested that her books be removed because the information was wrong: Titles were incorrect, books with similar titles that weren't hers were attributed to her, cover pictures were wrong.

      I'll be sure to tell her what a horrible person she is for wanting to guard the integrity of her work.

      Delete
    9. Debbie,

      "Gee whiz, I'm sorry" just doesn't cut it at this point.

      You and all the other idiots who helped get the site shut down will probably face a well-deserved backlash. I know that I will certainly never buy anything you've ever written (or ever will write).

      Delete
    10. I would be more than glad to host the site at no cost. If you'd like to contact me about doing this, please do. You can reach me at jadedangel99(at)yahoo.com if you want.

      Delete
    11. Debbie (and other authors reading this), your enemy is not piracy nor is it pirates.

      When Neil Gaiman put up his book American Gods for free on the internet the sales for ALL his books went up and when he later took down American Gods from the internet, then the sales dropped again.

      http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/02/kids-free-book.html

      http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/02/death-and-free-revisited.html


      Just last year CK Lewis put up his latest show in the internet, without DRM and at the price of 5 bucks (if I remember correctly) and within 12 days had earned over 1 million dollars. He made more money selling DRM-free at a low price directly to his customers than he would have if he had released the show as a DVD.

      https://buy.louisck.net/news/another-statement-from-louis-c-k

      Several studies, including one from Harvard, have shown that the people who pirate the most are also the people who put the most money into buying the things that they like. Pirates are also consumers and since there is so much stuff to buy today many pirates use piracy as a way to find the good things. And most of the others just do it because it's easy and those people are willing to pay for a good service.

      In general people are nice people and are willing to pay. But there are a few criteria that they go for. And these are (not in order of importance):

      1) That it's easy to download
      2) That it's easy to pay
      3) That it's a reasonable price (in Sweden I can get a paperback at half the price for a download - which is just crazy)
      4) That the creator gets most of the money
      5) That it's easy to transfer between gadgets (computer, phone etc) - yes, this means DRM-free
      6) Getting the material at the same time as the rest of the world.

      If you look at the things I listed above most of them come down to easy of use. And that's the key to getting people to pay for content online. How easy it is.

      If you who are reading this would like to talk more about this I can be reached at jan.lindgren(at)piratpartiet.se

      Jan Lindgren
      Party Secretary Swedish Pirate Party

      Delete
    12. ASB: if she submitted a DMCA request asking for her books to be removed, then YES she DID commit perjury, and will be liable for the damage she has caused, including lost income, etc to LendInk.

      If she submitted a C&D, then no, she has not committed perjury, or any other crime.

      if she submitted a C&D, the hosting company should have ignored it (and they may be liable for taking down the site without having a DMCA notice). She is required to submit a DMCA notice (not a C&D) to have content removed. C&D has no legal force.

      Delete
    13. I agree with the rest that while an apology is nice, it does not excuse not reading the FAQ and learning about the website. People like you make it difficult for innovative websites to remain open due to the fear of lawsuits. Thanks for helping kill innovation.

      Delete
    14. I think Debbies post is great, we all make mistakes, of course you'll attract som heat, most people who post here will probably be very upset and frustrated while writing a comment.

      I just hope that anyone who is able to reach Dale would recommend a different service provider who doesn't give in to threats (like the Swedish provider Binero). Don't know if they accept international customers but I'll ask them! :)

      Delete
    15. Actually, she was attacked for her original action, not her apology. The simple reality is that her actions have cause a legitimate site to be shut down. Given that most copyrights proponents claim that piracy "steals" from authors, I think its fair to say that Debbie and her cohorts "stole" Dales website from him.

      At this stage, sorry really isn't enough. Dale did not damage them, in fact he promoted them. They responded by damaging him, and considering he was providing a valuable service, they damaged the public as well.

      Regards perjury - when you contact a site with a takedown request, stating that it is using your work in breech of your copyright, it is up to you to ensure that this is accurate. Under the DMCA rules, filing a false takedown amounts to perjury. This is a classic example of a false takedown.

      As to your friend, on behalf of everyone, let me say that we are "sorry". I'm sure that makes it all better, right?

      Delete
    16. "So Debbie apologizes and you all attack her for it? Seriously?"

      Its exactly how she reacted in sending a C&D. She had a fit of self-righteous rage at the threat to her income and screwed someone else out of some of their own. Her apology should be sent with a £1000 for the unnecessary stress her ignorant actions have caused.

      Delete
    17. It's good that Debbie's apologizing, but I don't blame those who are still angry.

      This is a clear example of mob mentality subverting the instincts of what probably are otherwise intelligent and well-meaning people.

      But really, it's their responsibility to take the time to understand a situation before destroying someone's creation, and they plainly did not do so.

      To ASB, if she sent a complaint about misrepresentation to the site creators, great. If she sent it to the hosting company to get the site taken down, then that was not an appropriate response. There is no copyright protection regarding getting indexing information correct.

      Delete
    18. Debbie (and other authors reading this), your enemy is not piracy nor is it pirates.

      When Neil Gaiman put up his book American Gods for free on the internet the sales for ALL his books went up and when he later took down American Gods from the internet, then the sales dropped again.

      http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/02/kids-free-book.html

      http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/02/death-and-free-revisited.html

      Just last year CK Lewis put up his latest show in the internet, without DRM and at the price of 5 bucks (if I remember correctly) and within 12 days had earned over 1 million dollars. He made more money selling DRM-free at a low price directly to his customers than he would have if he had released the show as a DVD.

      https://buy.louisck.net/news/another-statement-from-louis-c-k

      Several studies, including one from Harvard, have shown that the people who pirate the most are also the people who put the most money into buying the things that they like. Pirates are also consumers and since there is so much stuff to buy today many pirates use piracy as a way to find the good things. And most of the others just do it because it's easy and those people are willing to pay for a good service.

      In general people are nice people and are willing to pay. But there are a few criteria that they go for. And these are (not in order of importance):

      1) That it's easy to download
      2) That it's easy to pay
      3) That it's a reasonable price (in Sweden I can get a paperback at half the price for a download - which is just crazy)
      4) That the creator gets most of the money
      5) That it's easy to transfer between gadgets (computer, phone etc) - yes, this means DRM-free
      6) Getting the material at the same time as the rest of the world.

      If you look at the things I listed above most of them come down to easy of use. And that's the key to getting people to pay for content online. How easy it is.

      If you who are reading this would like to talk more about this I can be reached at jan.lindgren(at)piratpartiet.se

      Jan Lindgren
      Party Secretary Swedish Pirate Party

      Delete
    19. How about some of you guys read Debbie's apology properly? She was misinformed by rabid anti-piracy propaganda and is trying to make amends by making the very good suggestion that Dale reopen the site.

      The Streisand effect is going to help increase subscribers in a big way. I had never heard of this site, but it's a great idea, and one that is likely to drive book sales (something the pissy anti-piracy group should pay attention to): http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012/kindle-owners%E2%80%99-lending-library-drive-e-book-sales-increase.

      Don't put people down for doing the right thing and gracefully admitting they were wrong, it just makes you look like a massive douche. I also agree with Edmund that if she really wants to do the right thing she should now ensure the damage she's done really is undone to the best of her abilities.

      Delete
    20. "you and your fellow author/sharks"

      Boy, Mr. Richter, you certainly are an entitled little spoiled brat, aren't you? Someone took away your free ice cream, and you're throwing a tantrum.

      Get a job, freeloader.

      Delete
    21. Like Victoria said, we all make mistakes. At least Debbie's apologizing for it.

      How many of you (sorry to say: jerks) have the guts and actual sympathy to go out to someone you have never met, but hurt deeply, and actually say you're sorry ? In public !?

      How many other authors are apologizing on this thread ? And I'm sure dozens, if not hundreds of them have read this post.

      Plus, your reactions are certainly discouraging others from doing so. And I guess Dale would appreciate it if others actually apologized for what happened.

      It's really a shame the site and Dale suffered this badly, but Debbie is right: this has given the site quite some publicity. Maybe relaunching it would really give it a huge burst in popularity.

      @Dale
      This sucks really bad. We're all with you on this one (as you can see above from this heated thread) !

      @Debbie
      Kudos for having the guts to apologize. Next time though, think a bit longer before acting (and, trust, we ALL fail often at that one).

      @all
      We must ALL think longer before acting. Those hateful comments are also proof of that...

      Delete
    22. To the anonymous talking about the DMCA take down and the C&D.

      You are correct. Any network provider is completely shielded from any claims of copyright violation if they follow the DMCA take down and challenge processes. Unless the Cease and Desist carried the provisions set forth for a DMCA take down, the ISP or network provider can simply ignore it. Their "not ignoring" them actually opened them up to potential liability over the process or removing the content. Also, the DMCA counter claim process requires the accused to submit a statement declaring that the infringing activity is mistaken or misidentified to the _ISP_ not the persons making the complaints and they need to re-enable access to the content taken down in order to maintain their immunity from liability for the content being removed. The exception to that is if the parties who filed a legitimate take down notice informs them they are starting legal action against the accused infringing party.

      However, there is no shielding for the accusers in the DMCA laws or with a C&D from civil liability resulting from the accusations made in connection to them. Perjury is a criminal act which carries up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine which it doesn't directly list in the law. However, other legal issues will likely be existing in cases like this regardless of DMCA or C&D including slander and libel, defamation of character (about the same thing), the recovery of losses due to loss of service, costs of lawyer fees, costs associated with loss of work or travel expenses to pursue action and so on. In California, where the webt site owner is at, there is probably a lot more that can be sought after in a civil court from a state level too.

      Delete
    23. >>>So Debbie apologizes and you all attack her for it? Seriously?



      An apology AFTER you already destroyed something is worthless. It would be akin to a CEO saying, "Yeah I told my secretary to have sex w/ me, and she refused, so I fired her. My bad," and the court just lets him go. (In reality the CEO would be thrown in jail.)

      Once a Wrong has been done, it's over. Too late to be sorry..... you should be punished. Debby and the other authors that filed false DMCA takedowns should be fined $500 a piece (per the law).

      Delete
    24. Author Boycott List is being maintained by a user watching the mob on facebook.

      http://www.2abd.com/politics/copyright/lendink-taken-down-by-asshole-indie-authors/

      Delete
    25. "An apology AFTER you already destroyed something is worthless."

      Call me stupid (and you likely will), but I don't know that many people who apologize BEFORE they destroy something.

      Delete
  2. I would be happy to host the site. I have one now called http://www.stargatethetwins.com

    I am an affiliate of Amazon, and I don't see any problem with the idea. If you can send me the files that you uploaded to the hosting service, I will get things rolling.

    Jon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jon

      Have just looked at your amazing site. How do you accept book submission? or do you do your own selections.

      Cheers - Micki

      Delete
  3. Can you say which authors did this? Would be nice to know who not to buy a book from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do not list the authors. We have had enough of the attacks on authors, readers and reviewers. We need to educate the public so that these incidents don't happen. If someone makes a mistake then we should act like civilized adults and help them understand the problem.

      Some of the authors are poor, and believed they were being ripped off. Some of the readers are poor, and can not afford a single dime that must be used to pay for food and medicine.

      Senior citizens like myself benefit from the kindness of authors, rich and poor, who allow lending, and it saves them a painful trip to the public library, which is filled with books they have already finished 40 years ago.

      Jon

      Delete
    2. Normally I agree, but if people are attempting to violate my rights, I think I have the obligation to explain my objections to them personally. The authors who brought this into the public sphere on twitter and forums deserve a response.

      Delete
    3. If authors are so dangerously ignorant of their trade that they destroy other peoples' businesses out of fear then I want the choice not to trade with them! They're presumably grown adults and they can accept the consequences of what they did. They don't deserve any special protection.
      List the authors!

      Delete
    4. Those authors do not deserve much respect. Wrongly designed law game them too much power and they misused it.

      Delete
    5. So its ok for them to attack a website, but site supporters will have no recourse? I don't condone personal attacks, threats, or pirating; it makes you no better then they are.

      As a consumer, I believe its my duty to not patronize these authors, and to recommend friends away.

      Delete
    6. >>>We have had enough of the attacks on authors, readers and reviewers. We need to educate the public so that these incidents don't happen.

      Best form of education is punishment. As we do with our kids. Otherwise they think, "I got in trouble but nothing happened! I can do it again and again w/o ever getting punished." Dale's name has been splashed all over the net (and vilified as a pirate, thief, etcetera).

      Let's get the authors' names out there too and give them the same treatment as they showed towards Dale. Not harsh treament but negative publicity. That would be fair and equitable. (And be a teachable moment for them: Don't tear down your readers' websites.)

      Delete
    7. Authors and their comments have been captured here. Notice how vicious they are? Threatening to drag this poor Website owner Dale into a court of law & seriously-disrupt his life? BOYCOTT is the only consideration they deserve. Don't attack them but don't buy their stuff either.

      http://www.2abd.com/politics/copyright/lendink-taken-down-by-asshole-indie-authors/
      .

      Delete
  4. Ditto for the AC above, I want to know whom to pirate and spread the books as far and wide as possible.
    F* Ahole Author's.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would like to see that list as well, if possible with any authors like Debbie noted as having changed their tune.

    this kind of action will have to resulting actions.

    1. many people such as myself will spread the word far and wide to not buy these authors works, we will also request others spread the word as well.

    2. these authors works if not already on sites like the pirate bay, will endup on there, they WILL endup being pirated by those who want them but refuse to support such childish behaviour....

    I want to be clear, I have dropped a few authors I was very fond of due to their actions and statements they have made, one has gone over 15 years without a sale to me or anybody I know... this will hurt authors who choose to act without thinking and attack a legitimate service that was HELPING THEM.

    I dont get how this is such a hard concept for some people, but even if this had been "piracy"(copyright infringement), you need to look at the up side and down side of any action you take, think about it this way, you may get 5 sales now if you prevent "piracy" and lending, but, you may get 20 new fans who only found you due to lending or copyright infringement, of those 20 your likely to get some sales AND alot of good word of mouth....

    if you doubt this can work, you clearly havent paid any attention to what baen has found in their study with giving ebooks away free with physical books...

    if you look it up, they found that low ebook prices with no drm as well as giving ebooks away AND effectively ignoring copyright infringement lead to higher sales numbers, and thus higher profits......FOR EVERYBODY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If a site truly is a pirate site, then yes it should be taken down. There's several threads over at goodreads.com where the Thread owners are "loaning" books. What that really means is that they are making hundreds of copies of books.

      The thread should be removed (by the moderators). Unfortunately the mods are failing to act, so I think the entire website should be taken down for enabling piracy (as happened with demonoid torrent server).

      Delete
  6. Can we donate to help bring you back up, with a better host? Sell annual memberships?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone willing to donate or purchase a membership so they may borrow books at no cost. Am I the only person who sees the irony here?

      Delete
    2. No, it wasn't thousands or millions of authors. There isn't even close to that much blame spreading possible.

      And my (kind of huge) problem with Debbie is that her version of apology is to post a comment on a blog. Much less active than her damaging actions. Can't she put the same effort into fixing her mistake, if she's this hard-working? Asking Dale to try to figure out what's going on with the authors, and email people... really?

      If anyone sent a C&D, DMCA notice, or any other type of threat to Dale or his host they need to ACTIVELY FIX IT. They need to contact them, take responsibility and try to do whatever they can to make it right. Otherwise they are just horrible people.

      You can say people can make a mistake — though how they made this mistake I completely don't understand — but for so many when they realized they ruined this man's business out of stupidity, they all just walk away, most muttering whiny drivel like "but the FAQ wasn't very CLEAR..." "Striking fear into the hearts of REAL pirates, even if this one wasn't, they know we're a force." Really, all anyone knows is you're a tech-illiterate mean-spirited moron with no sense of personal responsibility.

      One more thing, for anyone else thinking about filing false DMCA takedowns- there have been lawsuits in the past where even ONE falsely filed takedown cost someone $125,000. And they don't let you say "it was a mistake", when you're screwing with people's LIVES you are supposed to do due dilligence and it's YOUR fault if you don't.

      http://targetlaw.com/consequences-of-filing-a-false-dmca-takedown-request

      I hope Dale speaks with a competent attorney.

      Delete
  7. I second the anonymous post. Any chance of putting up a list of the threats/take down notices/etc. I'd also like to know which authors/publishers to not buy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i suggest the site owner look at the host I use, coolhandle, I have had nothing but good experiances with their support, and I even questioned them for a friend whos father was putting up a site that could have similar issues, they seemed to understand the issues and said they wouldnt jump to any conclusions even if they got a DMCA notice or a bunch of them.....(site he put up is legal but....well as this case shows, that dosnt help much)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous, Una and Sam: here is one, http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dale,
    I'm a nobody, but I really felt for you when I read your story. I work closely with a number of authors on various projects, and even provide assistance to them with filing legitimate DMCA takedowns. Seeing a few dense people with chips on their shoulders and no reading comprehension slander and destroy a valuable service that was helping authors and readers alike is simply heartbreaking.

    It was mentioned that your host would consider reinstating your site if you'd be willing to answer all DMCA complaints yourself. I imagine dealing with those emails isn't a pleasant proposition, and I wouldn't blame you if you weren't willing to do it. If it'd be any assistance to you though, I'd be happy to volunteer to handle those emails for you. Despite how dunderheaded I think many of these people are, I can be polite and patient, and can readily provide links for more information direct from the KDP, KDP Select, and PubIt programs' terms and FAQs. And if your host wishes, I could also file counter-notifications for each report, to satisfy Safe Harbor requirements.

    If you'd like to reach me, ask Ian to provide you the email address attached to my comment.

    Whatever you end up doing or not doing with the site, I wish you brighter days ahead.

    Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, no email address came through with your comment, but I would be glad to pass the message along. Ping me at lamont -at- sloan dot mit dot edu so I can send him your contact info.

      Thanks,

      Ian

      Delete
    2. Well, you're *my* hero tonight.

      Delete
  11. It's been said the best disinfectant, and defense, is sunshine. Make every effort to publish the companies, representatives, authors who complained. We all have a right to know those who abuse the law and do so carelessly. That's the only way they'll learn to take proper care and operate honorably.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dale -

    Two words: Kickstarter Campaign. Or an Indiegogo campaign. Run it with the goal of relaunching the site on a host who understands the nature of the service from the start, and paying a lawyer to vet it as being legal.

    On the site, have a prominent simple explanation of how it works, and have a "complaints" form also prominent, so hopefully people prone to fly off the handle can be caught early and mollified.

    It sounds like you were doing authors and fans alike a great service and it would be a shame to let an incident like this stop that. Use the kickstarter campaign to garner some media attention, tie it to this story of the shutdown, etc and maybe work with Amazon to get awareness built with the author community from their end, perhaps a email sent out to explain the lending program, how it works, and how services like yours enhance it. The problem here was lack of awareness on the authors part, which is pretty specific and now that you know about it, you can build in additional methods of addressing it from the get-go.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would like to see a list of all authors and publishing companies. That way I'll know which books to not buy and what publishing companies not to support. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, especially when the owner of the site explained how his website worked in the FAQ. A user must be able to have the freedom to choose who to support, and I don't want to support ANY author or company that harms legitimate websites.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Many authors get caught in the tide of information and when told a site is a pirate site, they write to complain. Publishing the name of those who complained will accomplish nothing good. They are not evil people - they were misinformed. Stop throwing stones as if you've never made a mistake in your life .

    Instead let's work on educating people, making this known so it doesn't happen again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I told you the street light was green and it was actually red, and you drove through it, it would still be you who gets a ticket and it would still be you who gets cited for any accidents that happened because of it.

      I agree that publishing the names would accomplish nothing good, but it's a little disengenuous to attempt to white wash the authors culpability with the situation as them being told something instead of checking it out themselves before doing something so harmful and potentially liable for themselves.

      Delete
  15. Damn, this is such a shame. It is the first time I've heard of LendInk. If I had of known, I would've gladly given my e-book, after all, isn't it exposure us newbie authors are wanting. Such a pity this has been closed down. Hopefully, you can get it up and running and if you do, I promise my book will come your way.
    Cheers Micki

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dale, if you are reading this or get message on this site. I volunteer to help you answer the emails as you direct and help get the site back to what it was or as close there to as is allowed until Ca. laws change.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Not sure if it's legal to do so. I would release the names of the Authors and publisher who had wrote in to complain and therefor have a hand in shutting lendink.com

    Let the public decide if they want to ever purchase any books from such author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Number One - Debbie is one of the most diligent, hardworking incredible women I've ever known. If you DARE to impede on an upstanding individual who actually takes the time to do the right thing you are no better then the vultures who deserve to see their rights abolished for compromising the rights of Dale.

    Is it worth responding to the thousands, if not millions of people who attacked this legitimate site? No. Not likely. It's unfortunate because this site, like a library would be, was a great source of free advertising for Independent Authors (many of whom led the charge) including myself. I am grateful for the effort of the site.

    Dale, should you select another avenue keep in mind that it is possible to be come a Barnes and Nobel affiliate, and I would be pleased to assist in any way possible. I'm a B & N Affiliate and I am aware of other options that may prove beneficial in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just don't get it, do you? Yes, civility is a must in any discussion, but when a person acts irresponsibly enough to destroy a livelihood, of course people will remain pissed off, OF COURSE an apology alone won't be seen as enough.

      Christ almighty.

      Delete
    2. Number One - Dale the Website Owner is one of the most diligent, hardworking incredible women I've ever known. If you DARE to impede on an upstanding individual who actually takes the time to do the right thing, then you deserve to be FINED under the DMCA law for filing a false takedown notice against this man. Shame on you.

      Delete
  19. Perhaps you should host your site using Amazon AWS? I'm guessing if Amazon was hosting the site then they might understand what you were doing and that it was 100% legal and therefore not feel threatened to shut you off?

    ReplyDelete
  20. As the co-founder of another popular lending site -- Lendle -- I thought I'd chime in here.

    We started getting angry emails from confused authors a few days ago and I eventually tracked it to the pile-on on the LendInk Facebook page and some of Amazon's forum pages.

    Out of the 5 authors who sent DMCA notices, we only heard back from two or three when we responded to set the record straight. One wouldn't back down while the other two engaged in a nice dialogue about lending, lending rights, Amazon, and our role in all of this as a lending site.

    What I've learned is that there is a ton of confusion. I think this is partly Amazon's fault, partly the fault of authors who don't understand the contracts they're signing and, of course, partly the fault of sites like ours.

    My take is that authors didn't understand something, they over-reacted, and that was compounded by the fact that the site that was at the center of the storm was largely unresponsive to DMCA notices and concerns. I appreciate that the owner of LendInk hadn't been actively working on the site for some time prior to the controversy, but it can't be comforting (as an author) to have concerns go unanswered.

    Calming the situation down (for us) really was as easy as a detailed response laying out what our site offers and explaining to authors that they need to look closely at the agreement that they signed with Amazon.

    It's worth noting that blaming LendInk's host for caving is a bit unfair: If the site owner wasn't able to respond to complaints and legal takedown notices, the host has little choice but to act.

    Of course, there will always be authors who feel that the lending license is limited to "one lend, to a personal friend" but we don't think that's a reasonable restriction on a license that a customer paid for. Authors who don't like the idea that their fans can lend a book to anyone, if it comes with a lending license, should turn lending off. It's as simple as that. Leaving the option on but having unrealistic expectations about how it'll be used (legally) seems an awful lot like an author wanting to sell a book with an added perk with the expectation that their customers will never get any actual use out of that perk.

    With that said, we at Lendle have always been eager to talk with authors about lending, about the future of the industry, and about how lending sites (like ours, and like LendInk) can actually be a great help to indie authors. We've never really found a great forum for opening that dialogue despite our best efforts, but anyone who wants to get in touch should feel free to do so.

    Still, I sure hope that the authors involved in this dust-up have learned something, will use a little more common sense and restraint, and avoid letting others do their thinking for them in the future. I'm glad to see that a few are here expressing regret about the way things went down and hopefully we can avoid any further efforts at intimidation which isn't any better than the original reaction.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Debbie says, "Gosh, I'm *so* sorry I helped burn your house down. I'd be glad to loan you my shovel so you can clear the debris away."

    ReplyDelete
  22. As a small ebook publisher, we like things like Lendle and LendInk that help make books more visible to readers because word of mouth (or keyboard) is probably our most effective advertising. Your services are much like the "give a book, take a book" shelves at coffee shops and even some employers break rooms. It's another step toward making ebooks as functionally friendly as their paper counterparts.

    One thing you can do to mitigate the effects of overreactions is get hosting outside the US- there are good hosting providers who have servers outside the US and are likely to be more responsive than what you're dealing with now. Our hosting (hub.org) has servers in Canada and Panama and may be less hassle (though possibly more work- it's a command-line vps without cpanel)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Congrats Debbie, you just helped DMCA a Library to death. Who's awesome? You're awesome. Wait... I might have that the wrong way.

    So Debbie, for nuking a library here's my response: I will find out, exactly, who you are and what you write. From here, until the day the copyright expires on all your works (assuming I live that long) I will never touch one of your works, I will advise all my friends and colleagues to never touch your works. I will obviously advise them to pass it along to their circle of friends and co-workers. I hope everyone else from Slashdot (and I assume Reddit, Fark and all the others) does the same.

    I hope you didn't give up the day job.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Like it or not (Debbie and other authors who piled on Dale like rabid dogs), this stems from the stupidity of the RIAA/MPAA suing everyone and their computer-illiterate grandmother.

    I'm not going to say any more than this, because the proper points have been made ad nauseum by many other voices.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Author hit list is being maintained by a user watching the mob on facebook.

    http://www.2abd.com/politics/copyright/lendink-taken-down-by-asshole-indie-authors/

    ReplyDelete
  26. I absolutely don't excuse what the authors did who acted out of ignorance and poor reading skills to take down LendIt. But those actions also do not excuse some pitchforked internet mob going after them and trying to ruin their careers, if not worse. Next thing you know, "righteous" will be digging up all the personal details on these authors they can find, posting it on the internet, and hinting that others do something to them. Sound familiar? Let's just...not go there. Helping the site owner recover is the most productive thing any of us who adore ebook lending (and who did read our KDP contracts) can do, as well as continuing to educate others in a professional manner and, possibly, helping him respond to idiots in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? *They* ruined a person's hobby/business and should be given a free pass? They should be named publicly as purported "writers" who can't read, and whose "work" deserves to be ignored or ridiculed.

      Delete
    2. 2 pitchforked internet mobs might not make right... but as the cooler headed authors were not able to prevail against a few hundred angry authors; why would you think that the cool headed netizens could stop angry lendink supporters?

      I don't think we should stoop to the authors level. There are much better ways to hit an author where it hurts then use of personal attacks.

      Delete
    3. Karma is a bitch. I don't see how anyone who was part of a mob, can complain when a mob turns against them . Not saying it's right, but to me it's just life's way of biting you in the butt. As you sew, so shall you reap.

      And no, i'm not defending the threats to life and family, or any of the retaliatory activity going on against the authors unable to read their own contracts. That is reprehensible. But if you act like a fool, you are probably going to rile a bunch of fools yourself. Think before you act next time. You've made all indie authors look like idiots, and removed a source of revenue and publicity for indie authors who have a clue.

      Delete
  27. If everyone who sent out complaints now wrote to the hosting company & withdrew their complaints then he wouldn't have to respond to them individually would he? He deserves some sort of break after what he's gone through doesn't he?

    Here's an opportunity not everyone gets. A chance to make amends for a mistake. Even if you don't feel like doing it out of the kindness of your heart it might be a good idea for other reasons too.

    I'm making this suggestion on my blog ( LendInk - how can we put things right?) & facebook and twitter.

    I think instead of attacking the people who caused this - we should be encouraging to clean their mess up by spreading this message as widely as they did their form complaint letters etc

    See if we can all work together and make something good happen instead of making another horrible situation on top of the first one.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I looked through the 2abd list, and at least to me it seems like there's levels of culpability at play here. I think the ones who just left it at "please remove my books" should be given a pass. There were some on that list, though, who said their books had lending disabled and were still listed. Just curious, what was going on there?

    Those who say you *have* to have lending enabled for KDP are misinformed. I just uploaded my new novel White Pickups over the weekend; there was a choice to turn off lending. Yes, lending is on by default, and I left it enabled. I think you have to allow lending for Kindle Select, though. A fine point, perhaps, but I just thought I'd mention it.

    But yeah, for us indies, it's kind of dumb to go and trash a potential source of free publicity. A real pirate site is one thing, but it would almost be worth having a book pirated if I got some good honest reviews out of it. That's why we offer reviewers free copies, right? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Copyright is only relevant to physical media, such as books, DVDs, tapes, etc. Digital media can be copied and shared. That is its nature and artificial restrictions such as DRM should be destroyed. The Internet is a sovereign entity and shouldn't be subject to laws that were created decades ago!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your argument infers that if I post my book as an ebook, I no longer benefit from copyright protections simply because of the "sovereignty" of the internet? Then again, a DVD or CD contains digital media. I guess by your perspective those artists have no right to complain of unauthorized sharing of their digital works as well.

      Delete
  30. Firstly, this is a pretty cool blog. Thanks for sharing your opinions and views, Ian. :)

    Before any of you fire abuse to the following parts to this comment, please think... I am a real person trying to make a real living and feed my family too.

    Look, I appreciated Dale's thought of contacting the authors who messaged him. Some might say, 'it's the thought that counts..' I thank you, Dale for your thought and appreciate having read your side of the story.

    In defence of authors, most of them were probably only acting on advice they received from their copyright agents.

    I have countless author friends who have had their work stolen and published on Amazon by real pirates. You people reading this post have no idea what that feels like for an author to experience the loss of their identity.

    Our work is as precious to us as a child would be to a parent. Creativity comes from our soul, and often something that is hard for us to share.
    Think: How would you react if your baby was stolen or a picture of your child turned up somewhere and someone else was posing as your child's parent? Wouldn't you jump to defend what is yours if you were that parent? That was just what these authors did. Why should we be persecuted for our belief, our passion, the source of our livelihood?

    Contrary to what you may think, authors get paid very, very little for all the hours they spend away from their families trying to get a story just right to publish. We are all human and less than perfect. There is no multi-million dollar advance cheque for independent writers. The small amount we sell our work for is often less than a cup of coffee - and we receive a fraction of that. We're not monsters. We are people too.

    We go through a whole creative process, and unless you've tried it out, please don't bash authors for fighting for something that is very personal to each and every one of us. It is our work - our 'children'.

    This paragraph is for the spiteful, hating person who is malicious in their comments and very rude - you know who you are: Authors are artists. We're sensitive creatures. 'If you want to maliciously critique our work, why don't you first have a crack at bearing your soul and write something worth being criticised.'

    The witch-hunt-claim seems to be swinging both ways with authors trying to defend what is their right to make a living and some readers defending a belief in wanting everything for free. As a writer, I couldn't care less either way any more.

    Kudos to you Dale for making the books available for purchase with links. From this Interview, I can understand how completely innocent your concept of hooking up readers who want to 'share' their kindle files from their - not your - libraries.

    Dale I do hope you accept the apology from authors who want to spread the RIGHT message through their literary channels. We all need each other.

    I hope everyone else reading this will understand that and be peaceable about their interactions with one another so that a calm can be achieved.

    I can appreciate you were only trying to make a buck as an affiliate. Authors are only trying to make a buck selling their books too. We are all one and the same as far as trying to make an honest living goes.

    To the hateful 'person' who does not deserve to be named or glorified in their hatred. The one who fired abusive comments directed toward me, my books and other writers who were only standing up for their rights, shame on you! Your emails and abusive threats are all accounted for, so please, continue to dig your own hole. Hopefully you will have enough grace to go hide in it, and fester there alone with your hate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're trying to play the reasonable card now? After this?

      http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,122064.msg1818315.html#msg1818315

      No apology? No retraction?

      By the way, you weren't standing up for your own rights, you were trampling over Dales. Shame on you.

      Delete
    2. If you actually read the entire post (including the highlighted red quote from another individual) of my comment on the message board, you would have realised that I, (like many other authors) had been mislead to believe that what we had been told was true. Thanks to light being shed on the matter from Dale's point of view, things have now become abundantly clear. I have shared Dale's statement among my community in an attempt to shut up some of the irate authors, and help clear the air. Amazon was also in the wrong for saying what they said in that context too. If an apology would make you and Dale feel better, then I am a big enough person to apologise for posting that comment, since I had been lead to believe a lie. I have since removed the offending comment in an attempt to offer an olive branch of peace. I hope to hear at bare minimum, a 'Thank you' in return. I do hope the site gets back up and running again soon. I'll do everything I can to support it, and like other authors who have offered their help, I hope Dale will accept it in good grace. Authors are not monsters, and can use their power for good if apologies are accepted when given.

      Delete
    3. You'll have it from me, comrade Brumby, the 'Thank You' you think you deserve for your olive branch of peace: thank you for what you did up till now, which is contributing to shut down a legitimate site putting pressure on the owner, thank you for being part of a lynch mob, thank you for thinking you were lead to believe a lie without investigating on your own. Finally, thank you for your help offer, which Dale Porter may evaluate. Surely he will accept your apologies, but as of now I've seen other authors unrepentantly deleting their accusations or reiterating them, like John Davis. You were sidelining with them. Since you were part of this lynch mob I think you have the moral obligation to do whatever you can to talk to them, I'd say, hunt them down and shut their mouths for good.
      Finally thank you for all the damage done, which hasn't been undone yet.

      Delete
    4. "I hope to hear at bare minimum, a 'Thank you' in return."

      There's a certain arrogance in all your posts which is quite offensive. That you would even expect anyone to thank you for anything at this point reveals one hell of an ego and a rather oblivious personality, besides. I would ordinarily agree that authors are not monsters, but in your case, I have my doubts. The tone of your response to all this is monstrously off-putting, that's for sure.

      Shame on you.

      And for God's sake, quit comparing books to children. I've written books and raised children and they do *not* compare. At all. Your comment makes me assume you're not a parent. In fact, it makes me *hope* you aren't.

      You need to get over that seriously overblown sense of entitlement. You owe more than an apology. And no one owes *you* a damned thing.

      Delete
    5. "How would you react if your baby was stolen or a picture of your child turned up somewhere and someone else was posing as your child's parent? Wouldn't you jump to defend what is yours if you were that parent? That was just what these authors did. Why should we be persecuted for our belief, our passion, the source of our livelihood?"

      Do you seriously believe that having one's book pirated (which as an author myself I agree is a bad thing) can be legitimately compared to having one's child kidnapped? If so, I sincerely hope that no parent who has suffered that sort of tragedy ever has to spend time in your company.

      Delete
    6. Ho-hum....looks as though none of you have the ability to be reasoned with via use of illustrations. Nothing but sticks and stones from the lot of you.

      Ms Brumby, don't waste your time trying to reason with swine. These people don't appreciate being civil or reasonable or seeing matters from both sides of the story. I love your work. Keep strong. We know you were not part of this lynch mob everyone believes you party of. Everyone makes silly comments and remarks we all wish we could take back. It's called being human.

      It's unbelievable the bullying mentality of some people who are like dogs with a bone. That's all they are honey - dogs with bones. You've done the right thing, and a brave thing too. At least you have the grace and humility to admit your errors.

      Delete
  31. Cg Brumby, they were advised to write with Caps Lock on, yawning about theft, caling Dale names and using multiple question/exclamation marks ? We're not kids any more, adults should take responsibility for their actions.

    Some authors are jerks and there is no way around that. "Standing up for their rights" is a bullshit excuse for the blind fire that was aimed at Dale Porter however now we're seeing the same blind fire aimed at the other direction.

    All in all, it's not between me or you, it's been the authors and Dale. Only he knows what he's been through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand that your reply is not between you and me.

      I am saddened to hear that some authors behaved the way that they did. It's not professional. I wasn't advised to do that - to write with Caps Lock on, and never once used an exclamation mark in my email to the site. I was only advised to send a private email to verify my copyrights and to request my work be removed from the site. That is the right way an author should go about it when dealing with an alleged act of piracy/plagiarism/whatever. As writers, these people ought to know that there are 'right' words to use, and 'wrong' words to use. Perhaps some of them need to be taught how to write a diplomatic letter to a stranger?

      I'm grateful the site is not a pirate lending site, and that it is perfectly legitimate. I didn't even know Dale's name when this information broke early August. My request was not meant to be interpreted as a personal attack on Dale as an individual man. I was both relieved and a little embarrassed to read the truth about the site, and horrified by the effect some comments have had on Dale. I was unaware a personal attack was being aimed at him as an individual person. You're all right. Dale didn't deserve it.

      I removed my forum comment about being pleased the site had been taken down. I am ashamed to have said as much, and hope Dale can be the bigger man and accept my apology along with my heartfelt offer to help rebuild it.

      Delete
    2. What makes this hard for me to accept its that you and other authors posted that you were glad the site was down even after all those other posters spent at least two days showing you the facts.

      I get being misled, and can cut slack for those who jumped before being told not to and apologized as soon as they saw that they jumped the gun. But most authors made an informed choice to assume guilt.

      Delete
  32. Ok we could all argue the rights and wrongs here but the way I see it is that authors have probably learned a very valuable lesson, Dale has not lost income as he wasn't earning through the site anyway, and if he were to put the site back up and maybe join an ad-sense type of program I would think that this whole thing has probably given him so much publicity that traffic to the site would multiply in the hundreds of thousands. Ok I accept that people were a bit to quick to fire off copyright infringement notices. Once the pirate rumour was leaked the chinese whisper spread like wildfire and people did over react. This could act as a valuable lesson to everybody and could in the long run benefit Dale, Dont fight hate with hate, fight it with love otherwise the mudslinging never ends.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The woeful lesson here is that there are so many writers who go about their business with no CLUE about (a) what they agreed to when they published their work on Amazon, etc., and (b) took the word of a couple of people without verifying it independently, and (c) acted on it in a most brutal and efficient fashion.

    This is the internet's eloquent affirmation of Charles Haddon Spurgeon's observation: "A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on."

    ReplyDelete
  34. Readers, I have a follow-up post to the original LendInk story:

    LendInk Witch Hunt, Part II: It's gone too far

    It references some of the discussion in this comment thread, as well as elsewhere on the 'Net.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Initially, I was outraged when I read about what these authors did, and I was in agreement with the vitriolic attacks against them. But then I took a little time away to think about something else, and came back with a clearer mind.

    What these authors did was what most people would do as part of a mob. That is the nature of the beast. Some of them are still adamant they were being ripped off. Some of them realised they were wrong. Harm was done.

    If we boycott these authors, shame them publicly, they would be a lot less likely to write and offer us the products of their creativity. We would all be the poorer for it.

    I offer no solutions to how to fix the situation for Dale, but I think the voice of reason needs to be heard.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    ReplyDelete
  36. The drunk driver who killed my dad apologized for it in court. He was a 'good guy' who made a 'bad decision.' We all make mistakes, right?

    But you know what, that just doesn't cut it.
    Seems an apt analogy to me.

    The authors should feel the consequences of their 'bad decision'. Part of it is simple justice; part of it is deterrence. Mobs act until people are shown that hiding in the mob is false safety. I agree with an early poster that responsibility is shared and not divided.

    I hope Dale takes legal action against everyone who defamed his business for damages. And I hope the everyone who filed an illegal DCMA notice "in error" is prosecuted in criminal court.

    Their remorse, or lack of it, should have small bearing on the severity of the consequences levied by the courts or, if necessary, by the marketplace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This whole debate has gotten way out of hand.

      Personally, I found the comparison to a drunk driver illustration both out of context and distasteful, but that is just my opinion and don't hold it against you for trying to express your opinion.

      Quote -"I hope Dale takes legal action against everyone who defamed his business for damages."

      I know that not all authors (if any) 'filed' a DCMA. An email request to C&D by removing content that proves an author's copyright is not the same as filing an actual DCMA with a court of law and having it legally issued by the justice system. Such things cost a lot of money. Judging by the comments I've read, both the site owner and these authors don't have the resources or money to do it, so why is it being assumed that anyone can 'afford' this type of action?

      Silly Question:- Could author's file subsequent action against any individual/s who contributed to compile and compose a boycott list?
      Bet a lot of you here, and on facebook didn't take that into consideration - hey?

      It's nice people are sticking up for a guy with a service while slandering authors and the material the service shared. To me, that's plain stupid and each one shoots the other in the foot. The guy was trying to make a buck from these authors too - that is also clear by earlier statements. There's nothing wrong with trying to make a little income on the side. Like Dale was trying to make a little on the side as an affiliate, the authors were only trying to make an honest buck by selling their work too.

      Looking at the matter now after days of debate leads me to the conclusion:-
      Dale is at a loss - Authors are at a loss - Readers are at a loss. In retrospect, it appears the scales of justice are evenly tipped. Everybody is at a financial loss. Dale has lost what little affiliate income he received (if any from these authors), the authors have lost a free avenue of advertising and possible royalty payments from sales their work, and the readers have to either buy books or borrow them elsewhere.
      The way I see it is that everybody is out of pocket.

      In relation to DCMA rights etc, I found this on Wikipedia. Don't know if it helps clarify matters for anyone, but I quote - "The law is currently unsettled with regard to websites that contain links to infringing material."

      Not sure if any parties have right of claim to legal action.

      Call me simple, but I still believe in a world where apologies matter, and the entire issue can easily be resolved with them from all parties. I'm all for mediation and coming about peaceful solutions.

      I also know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone is bound to make mistakes, and say things that will rub other individuals the wrong way. It happens all the time. It's always better to comment with a clear hear, and calm heart - and read comments in the same frame of mind too.

      -"He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.."

      Ask yourselves these personal questions: Am I a sinner? Have I made mistakes? Am I also a hypocrite for adding to this thread, and this entire debate?

      Who hasn't made a mistake in their life? - Maybe when people read this they will be inclined to shut up about the entire issue, realizing that they are less than perfect too.

      Delete
    2. "The law is currently unsettled with regard to websites that contain links to infringing material."

      Are you suggesting that Amazon was infringing these author's rights?

      I don't believe in mob rule, but I don't believe that the sort of harm to livelihood and reputation done by these witless fools calling themselves victims in a non-existent pirating scam should be given a free pass either.

      In a perfect world:

      The website, what's left of it, should be reinstated and all costs should be covered by those who thought with their lawyers instead of doing a few minutes of basic research.

      And everyone who gathered in the town square with bottles of gasoline aflame should acknowledge they did wrong and apologize as publicly as they called for heads on stakes.

      In the real world:

      Tweets and Facebook posts will be deleted because those who made them haven't learned that life on the internet is eternal, and they will lie or - astoundingly - make justification that although nothing wrong was being done in this case their actions are somehow a warning to those that flaunt the law.

      The parallels with certain historical events are rather frightening to my mind.

      Delete

I will review and approve comments as soon as possible, but spam, personal attacks, and rude messages will be deleted.