Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is there a Lawyer in the House?

So, our friend in the UK is apparently upset with me for posting his emails to me on this site. He is claiming copyright infringement. I just received the following from my ISP:

-------- Original Message --------
Dear Sir / Madam,

I am contacting you regarding a breach of copyright law being hosted on a website for which you are the registered domain name owner.

The breach is occurring at http://www.zackcompany.com/_dropbox/firstwriter.pdf where private correspondence has been publicly reproduced without permission. The emails I sent are covered by copyright and to reproduce them in this way without my permission is illegal.

By publishing this material without consent your user has breached their agreement with you:

"If it comes to DBP's attention that You are using DBP's services for purposes of engaging in, participating in, sponsoring or hiding Your involvement in, illegal or morally objectionable activities, including but not limited to, activities which are designed, intended to or otherwise: ... (ii) defame, embarrass, harm, abuse, threaten, or harass third parties; (iii) violate state or federal laws of the United States and/or foreign territories;..."

This is a demand that the unauthorised publication of emails sent from editor@firstwriter.com to [deleted, but is a generic address used by TZC] be removed from the domain name registered to you immediately. Please ensure that this is done within 48 hours and that confirmation is sent when it has been done in order to avoid formal legal proceedings.

Kind regards,
J. Paul Dyson

--------------------------------------------------------------
J. Paul Dyson
Managing Editor, firstwriter.com
editor@firstwriter.com

Now, forgive me for being dense, but can a user sending email to a generic mailbox expect privacy? Or expect to retain copyright? More importantly, wouldn't you think this guy would find it easier to just respect my desire to not be listed on his site than complain to my ISP? And this guy wants you to pay him for his services?

Oy.

If there's a lawyer out there reading this who wants to chime in on whether or not he has a case, I'd love to hear from you.

Z

5 comments:

Alex, New York, NY said...

I see your too much of a pussy to publish my comments. So what, you only post people who agree with you? Way to distort reality. So what is it? You afraid of other points of view? Crush opposition - stifle debate - man, you should go move to China and join the communist part with all the other chicken-shits who daren't take any criticism. You sure as hell don't belong in the US of A.

Andrew Zack said...

It's true. I chose to reject three other comments posted by Alex. I trust that anyone reading this comment understands why I did that? He is a vulgar and abusive individual who posted three other posts that contributed nothing to the conversations that happen on this site.

Andrew Zack

Mary, Folkestone, Kent said...

OK, Andrew. I would like to make my views felt in a polite way, and I hope you will still publish them. I thoroughly disagree with your stance over FirstWriter. I think it is unprofessional of you to publish private correspondence with the editor, regardless of whether you are breaking the law (and my time as a legal secretary would suggest you are - it is a well-established principle in case law), but I think you only embarrass yourself by doing so. I also think it is sad when agents like you who make a living off writers behave so shabbily towards them as to dismiss their work out of hand based on where they found your contact details. Disgraceful.

Andrew Zack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Zack said...

Actually, what's disgraceful is that Mr. Dyson CHARGES for information that is outdated and/or incorrect. And it CHARGES for information is that is FREE on my website. Had he ever ASKED me to remove the material, I would have, right after he removed my information from his site, but he has not. He simply refused my request to him to remove my information. After all, it says right on my home page that I request that sites such as his do not take information from my site and publish it on theirs. I suspect you did not read all of the email exchanges or other blog entries or my website home page. Kindly fully inform yourself before posting.

Further, it is my right to refuse to read or represent any material that comes into my firm. And as firstwriter.com will not respect my wishes, why should I assist them in making money charging for information I provide writers for free by accepting queries or submissions from them? I am 100% certain that if more agents take up my position--that any queries or submissions from authors who used Mr. Dyson's site will be rejected--then he will swiftly being to respect the wishes of agents not to be included on his site. It's the power of the marketplace.

Every agent with whom I have discussed this matter agrees with me that sites such as Mr. Dyson's should respect the wishes of agents and allow them to "opt out" of being included on their site. While some have taken a "what can you?" attitude with regard to such sites, I have found none that think it appropriate for him to FORCE agents to be included.

I have noticed since my disagreement with Mr. Dyson went public that I have received numerous email queries, even though I do not accept email queries, and I have received quite a bit more spam, but only to those addresses with which Mr. Dyson is familiar. I can't help but wonder if there is a connection.

Authors need to do their own due diligence and not count on websites that gather information from agents' free websites and charge you. They can never be as up-to-date as the primary resources. As noted in other blog entries, Mr. Dyson had an out-of-date address (by a year or more!), said I was closed to queries when I had not been closed for months, and had generic categories that were not up-to-date. That shows you how often his site checks up on the sites he lists and updates them. Please don't waste your money.

Andrew Zack

Andrew Zack

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