Tag Archives: controversy

James Frey Signs Off on Book-Movie Deal

If you’re familiar with the name James Frey, it’s probably not for a good reason. After all, he is the author who, years ago, wrote the bestselling memoir A Million Little Pieces, which turned out to be a fabricated story. But it seems like he’s on his way to making a comeback, sort of.

According to Los Angeles Times, James Frey recently sold a new young adult book, entitled Endgame, to HarperCollins and also sold the rights to 20th Century Fox for movie deal, possibly worth $2 million to $2.5 million. Allegedly, he will be writing the screenplay for the movie as well.

Since the memoir scandal of 2003, Frey founded his own company and has been writing young adult fiction.

But according to Deadline, the plot of Endgame sounds all too familiar:

“In a world similar to Earth, there are 12 bloodlines, or races. Each bloodline has a champion between the ages of 13 and 17 who is trained as a warrior and is always ready to do battle. When they turn 18, the teen warrior behind them gets promoted. This has been the case for hundreds of years, but no one remembers why — they’re always ready for some sort of battle to take place, but it never does. But the tradition continues. And then one day they’re called to fight, and all the bloodlines but the winners will be exterminated. They’re fighting to be the last race.”

Hunger Games much?

Obviously the news comes as a shock to many. After all, the one thing he’s known for is fabricating what was alleged to be a memoir and now he comes out with a fiction novel that seems extremely similar to another hugely popular young adult novel? Hmm.

How successful do you think the Endgame book/movie will be?

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Lawyer Fined for Leaking that Pseudonymous Author was J.K. Rowling

rowlingIf the man who leaked information about J.K. Rowling being the true author of this year’s crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling thought he was in the clear, he thought wrong.

According to The Chicago Tribune, lawyer Chris Gossage has been fined 1000 pounds ($1650) and has received a warning for revealing that bestselling Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was the true author of The Cuckoo’s Calling. The novel was released under the pseudonym Robert Gailbraith.

Gossage is a partner in the firm Russells Solicitors, which represented Rowling. He apparently leaked the information to his wife’s best friend. She then tweeted it out, causing international book shock and making The Cuckoo’s Calling a fast bestseller.

After it happened, Rowling was publicly upset, telling the press that she had enjoyed releasing the book under a pseudonym and not having hype surround her. The book had received positive reviews, but initially hadn’t sold well.

In addition to the fine and warning, Gossage’s firm paid Rowling’s legal costs after she sued them. They also made a donation to the charity of Rowling’s choice, the Soldiers’ Charity.

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Judge Rules in Favor of Google in Book-Scanning Lawsuit

It took eight long years, but a judge has finally ruled on a lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild against Google, concerning the web site’s library book scanning project. The judge dismissed the Authors Guild’s lawsuit.

So what is the library book scanning project? According to the Google Books web site, “[Google is] working with several major libraries to include their collections in Google Books and, like a card catalog, show users information about the book, and in many cases, a few snippets – a few sentences to display the search term in context.”

According to Publishers Weekly, the Authors Guild argued that copyrights were ignored only to ultimately impact the book market in a negative way. But Judge Denny Chin ruled that Google’s book scanning project is a benefit for books, readers, and authors, as Andrew Albanese explains:

“In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits,” Chin wrote. “It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.”

The Authors Guild plans to appeal the decision, but it could run into a problem. The Second Circuit is already handling a similar case, in which the judge also initially ruled against the guild.

What do you think of Google Books and its library book scanning project? Good for books/authors or bad?

 

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Book Deal: Get Bill O’Reilly ‘Killing Lincoln/Killing Kennedy’ Collection for 46% Off

He’s one of the highest-grossing television news anchors of this generation, and he’s recently written some of the most controversial books of the past few years — and yet, they’ve been huge bestsellers. Now you can get Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy in hardcover a boxed set for almost half the price.

Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy tell the story of the last days of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Bill O’Reilly, anchor of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor,  has been ripped by the mainstream media, accused of writing inaccuracies in these books, as well as his other book Killing Jesus. And yet, all of his books have rapidly shot to the top of the bestsellers lists. Now is your chance to read some of his books and decide the truth for yourself.

Get Killing Lincoln/Killing Kennedy Boxed Set for $30.49, down from $56.

Or get it on your Kindle for $27,99.

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Apple Penalized for E-Book Price Fixing

For a year-and-a-half, Apple has been claiming its innocence in an e-book price fixing case filed by the Justice Department against the tech company and five other book publishers. Though the other publishers settled a while ago, restrictions are just now beginning for Apple.

The Justice Department charged the publishers and Apple in April 2012 for illegally working together to raise the price of e-books as a way to curb Amazon’s success with e-book sales. Apple was the only company that didn’t settle and instead fought the case in a trial this summer. Ultimately, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled against the company.

According to The New York Times, Apple cannot enter into agreements with the five other publishers that “restricts, limits or impedes Apple’s ability to set, alter or reduce the retail price of any e-book,” under the new restrictions. The company is also prohibited from speaking with one publisher about its contract with another publisher. A “monitor” will keep its eyes on the company ,evaluating it and making sure all antitrust laws are followed.

Apple plans to appeal the case.

Though the other companies profess their innocence, why is Apple the only one to fight so hard in court? That’s likely because Apple is the only one with the money to afford it.

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‘Mockingbird’ Author Harper Lee Settles Copyright Lawsuit

The story of To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee’s copyright lawsuit has come to an end. As I earlier reported, Harper Lee filed a lawsuit against her former agent’s son-in-law, for not properly protecting the copyright of To Kill a Mockingbird.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the author and the defendants in the case have reached an agreement. The details of the settlement are still unclear, but a court filing regarding the case was dismissed last week.

There you have it — drama-free Harper Lee. I wonder if recent talk about the lawsuit helped boost sales?

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Controversy Over Book Using ‘Modern Family’ Photo

When you think of the TV show Modern Family, you don’t typically think of the show’s families as an accurate portrayal for religious Christian people. Modern Family, of course, portrays families with gay couples and adopted children.

So when Christian preacher and author Doug Sehone used a photo of the cast for the cover of his e-book Bible Principles of Child Discipline, it caused quite an uproar. According to TV Guide, Doug Sehorne used the photo, featuring actors Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, not knowing that they were, in fact, actors from a television show. His friends pointed out to him that the family on the cover was from a TV show that didn’t necessarily emphasize strictly religious Christian values. He took to Facebook to explain exactly what happened:

“1. I do not even have a TV and have not for 35 years.

2. I never heard of the TV show.

3. I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc.

4. Anyone who knows me, knows I would never condone such wickedness as sodomy or even TV.”

Sehorne is now removing the book and changing its cover.

Would love to hear your comments on this one!

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J.K. Rowling Pseudonym Leak Traced

It’s been years since the last Harry Potter novel was published, and yet author J.K. Rowling still knows how to make a splash. Last week, it was revealed that she had written another book, non Harry Potter-related, under a pseudonym. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, published in April, was actually written by Rowling herself.

News about The Cuckoo’s Calling made news around world and became an overnight bestseller. It left many scratching their heads: how did Rowling keep it a secret? And better yet, who ultimately leaked it? As it turns out, it was someone from a law firm.

According to The New York Times, one of the partners for Russells, an entertainment law firm based in London, told his wife’s best friend that J.K. Rowling wrote the book. The woman passed the information along to a columnist for The Sunday Times last week via Twitter and then quickly deleted her tweets.  Rowling admitted to writing the detective novel, and The Sunday Times published the first article regarding the book.

Since then, J.K. Rowling has expressed her disappointment in Russells, as Julie Bosman explains.

Through her publicist, Ms. Rowling released a statement saying that she was “disappointed.”

“A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know,” she said. “I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.”

So why did J.K. Rowling decide to publish the book under a pseudonym? That might be one mystery that will remain unsolved.

Get The Cuckoo’s Calling in hardcover for $16.90.

Or get it on your Kindle for $9.99.

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‘Mockingbird’ Author Harper Lee Takes Copyright to Court

Well folks, it looks like Atticus Finch is returning to the courtroom. Sort of.

According to Deadline, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee is suing for the copyright of her 1960 classic To Kill A Mockingbird. She alleges that after her former agent got sick 10 years ago, his son-in-law assigned the copyright to himself and a firm he manages. The 87-year-old author claims he took advantage of her poor eyesight and hearing.

Now she’s suing to get her copyright back as well as money for damages.

With a book like Mockingbird, it makes sense that she’d want to hold on to that copyright. After all, between the Oscar-winning movie and the book, which is still read in most high school classrooms, I imagine a copyright like that would bring in a lot of money.

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Unused Borders Gift Cards Deemed Worthless

For those of you who still had old, unused Borders gift cards lying around, you’re not in luck. According to the LA Times, a judge ruled last month that old Borders gift cards could not be redeemed.

Borders filed for bankruptcy in February 2011 and shut its doors later that year. Soon after, a few customers filed a lawsuit, claiming customers did not get enough notice about the closure to use their gift cards in time. Though a claim deadline had been printed in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, they claimed the average person wouldn’t have necessarily read those articles.

Although there’s an estimated $210.5 million worth of unused Borders gift cards out there, a Manhattan federal judge determined that issuing all of that money to former customers wouldn’t be fair to creditors of the Borders Group, especially since the bankruptcy and liquidation is already complete. The judge upheld last year’s ruling of a U.S. bankruptcy judge.

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