And if you self-publish, better be warned by this lawsuit

So my new axiom–if you write a really successful book like “Fifty Shades,” somewhere somehow someone will file a lawsuit–isn’t entirely true.

According to this notice from Publishers Marketplace, you can be not necessarily anywhere near successful and still be sued. Drat.

Although of course, if you self publish through really successful companies, they too will be named in the lawsuit. Because they have, ahem, “deep pockets”:

Legal Briefs: Testing Self-Publishing Liability, and More

A couple whose picture was used without permission on the cover of the self-published novel A Gronking to Remember by Lacey Noonan has filed a suit that may further illuminate the extent to which the Communications Decency Act of 1996 shields ebooksellers that run their own self-publishing platforms. The plaintiffs have sued Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble along with author Noonan. The 1996 Act protects “interactive computer services” from liability as the publisher or speaker of information provided by another content provider — yet the act has exceptions for intellectual property law and communications privacy law.

I’d never heard of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 but it was signed into office by Bill Clinton, along with a host of really bad acts he triangulated himself into as a bilateral gesture to Republicans who didn’t stop hating him anyway.

In any case, this weirdly named Act might zip up those deep pockets from the plaintiffs’ eager fingers and they’ll be stuck with the author, who may not even have pockets.

UPDATE 4/29/2015. Geez, here’s why I read the Daily News. Because I had no idea when I posed the above thing about “A Gronking to Remember,” that “Gronking” referred to New England Patriots’ tight end, Ron Gronkowski. Me, a football fan. Never worked out what that silly word “gronking” could possibly have meant.

So as an apology–and an update–here’s the Daily News’s story about this lawsuit, with FULL COLOR PHOTOS yet! Of the Gronk and of that couple who’s suing because their photos wound up on the cover of the book.

Oh and the book is “erotic.” Of course we all have different definitions of “erotic,” and I don’t know–never mind because I’m a Giants fan–that I’d have erotic thoughts about Gronk, but I think this is the full story.


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