Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Simon & Schuster Seem To Be Seriously Rattled Over Lack Of Due Diligence On Sollecito’s Book

Posted by Peter Quennell

See this emailed exchange which took place late today.

What Simon & Schuster’s agent is complaining about was a chronological reordering (behind the scenes and not linked to from the front page) of these many corrections here. Our Kindle and hardcover copies were legally purchased. Simon & Schuster put about 1/4 of the book on the front of their own website, and Google Books also carries about 1/4 of the book to read free.

Admittedly, our corrections may have been quite a shock. However, we didnt cause the book sales to tank. All of our past posts on Raffaele Sollecito’s book can be seen here.


Mr Eraj Siddiqui
119 South B Street Suite A,
San Mateo, CA 94401

Dear Mr Siddiqui

Thank you for your “Verified DMCA Removal Request from Attributor” copied below.

The book you refer to appears to contain up to 30 instances of criminal defamation under Italian law and literally hundreds of wrong and injurious statements that are hurtful to many fine officials in Italy.

We have full legal rights to point out the myriad mistakes in the book. In fact a defamation of a prosecutor in the book has ALREADY been admitted on Italian national TV by the writer’s own father in Rome.

That Simon & Schuster apparently failed to do their legal and factual due diligence on the book prior to publishing seems to us to be absolutely nobody’s fault but their own. They are hardly new at this game.

Nice try, but sorry, no cigar.

Peter Quennell


Dear Sir/Madam,

I certify under penalty of perjury, that I am an agent authorized to act on behalf of the Rights Holder identified below, the owner of certain intellectual property rights in the Work(s) identified below.

I have a good faith belief that the information contained in this notice is accurate, and that the page or material listed below is not authorized by the Rights Owner, its agents, or the law for use by the individual(s) associated with the identified page listed below or their agents.

To the extent that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the European Union’s Directive on the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society (2001/29/EC), and/or other laws and regulations relevant in European Union member states or other jurisdictions apply to your service, if at all, I HEREBY DEMAND THAT YOU ACT EXPEDITIOUSLY TO REMOVE OR DISABLE ACCESS TO THE PAGE(S) OR MATERIAL(S) at the Infringing URL(s) identified below.

Note that in some cases the pages/material may have been removed after the sending of this notice but prior to your review.

My contact information is as follows:

Organization name: Attributor Corporation as agent for Simon & Schuster Inc.
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 650.306.9474
Mailing address:
119 South B Street
Suite A,
San Mateo, CA 94401

Nothing contained in this letter or in any attachments constitutes a waiver or relinquishment of any right or remedy possessed by the Rights Holder, or any affiliated party, all of which are expressly reserved.

My electronic signature follows:
/Eraj Siddiqui/
Eraj Siddiqui
Attributor, Inc.


Infringing page/material that I demand be disabled or removed in consideration of the above:

Rights Holder: Simon & Schuster

Original Work: Honor Bound
Infringing URL:
Infringing URL:
Infringing URL:


The genie is out of the bottle. Pretty tough now for S&S to put it back. And nice of them to give us that burbling text to post.

Though the corrections submitted by a dozen of our posters were already behind the scenes (good luck S&S with a suit on that one) the corrections had previously been linked to from the front page for more than a month.

S&S in that time had EVERY OPPORTUNITY to correct the mistakes or to withdraw the book. They have KNOWN for more than a month that the book is legally and factually a huge steaming mess, and that people were defamed.

So. Why didnt they correct the mistakes or withdraw the book? Good lawyers will want to know. Probably including their own.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/12/12 at 05:27 AM | #

Since when does a commentary on a published piece, supported by citations from the source material, constitute copyright infringement?

If the pages mentioned included a pirated version of the book or parts thereof published for no other reason than to illegally offer free access to copyrighted material, they would have a point. 

As it is, the portions quoted serve as citations for the corrections we offered - a proper form of documenting our claims. Perhaps if the authors had documented their own claims in a similar manner, there would have been no need for corrections.

Posted by Vivianna on 12/12/12 at 08:56 AM | #

“Intellectual property rights”. Intellectual? My God, what a joke!

Boy, are they rattled. Tell ‘em to get stuffed.

Posted by James Raper on 12/12/12 at 11:07 AM | #

If commenting on or quoting from a published resource is copyright infringement, then there would be no reviews, no critiques, no previews, no wikis and no blogs on the net.

Its obvious they are rattled and that’s nice to see. Otherwise, why don’t they run behind The Guardian, Daily Mail, etc, because all of them have quoted portions from his book.

As far as the chronological ordering is concerned, a quarter of the book (including TOC) is available for free preview on the internet anyway, so it’s not like the ordering of chapters is a big secret.

Posted by Sara on 12/12/12 at 02:01 PM | #

What a bunch of baloney. They are only trying to intimidate, probably because they are beginning to feel vulnerable and don’t want any Italian lawyers taking notice, but they’ve arrived at the party a little late.

This is material that has already been freely distributed as “promotional” content and is being cited by TJMK in a limited and focused manner; very reasonably within the domain of educational purposes.

This specific material and the way it is being used by TJMK is not protected under any copyright laws that I am aware of; copyright laws are not designed to protect against defamation lawsuits.

Rattle on!

Posted by Fly By Night on 12/12/12 at 02:56 PM | #

Nice to see the fine job the lawyers at the Bookseller are doing.

I consider it a free publicity (if it is needed) for TJMK by RS et. al.

For example, I read the quoted section again, just like the way I would read an important paper in my professional area.

They should learn from AK on how to keep their mouth shut! But then the lawyers at S&S are resistant to learning!

Posted by chami on 12/12/12 at 03:50 PM | #

So now it’s a copyright infringement of the DCMA to quote from and critique a book? Hmmm. I never knew that. If this were true, there would be about a million book reviews out there that are also violating DCMA.

Posted by Earthling on 12/12/12 at 06:42 PM | #

Italian Law authorizes the reproducing of about 15% of a written work of intellectual property for non-lucrative purposes, and anyway allows it as far as it does not cause a damage to the author and owners of rights.

The US law is actuall more permissive. It allows practically the dissemination of copyrighted material under the principle of “fair use”. The use of material for non-lucrative purposes and merely purposes of justice is certainly a fair use.

Posted by Yummi on 12/12/12 at 06:48 PM | #

I am pleased to see that S&S has taken my advice seriously. I was worried that they may fall victim to the “foot-in-the-mouth” syndrome.

Keeping their mouth shut is the best option for them. At least for the time being. Now the world knows that they are really rattled over the misinformation spread by the publisher (the publisher is more accountable compared to the author, right?).

Expect more in the next three months.

(This is an empty quote: I am so scared now that I have stopped quoting quotes).

Posted by chami on 12/14/12 at 09:25 AM | #

See Leon Uris’s “QB VII” and Dr. Dehring’s defamation suit. Publisher settled, author ‘lost’, but complainer Dr Dehring won a Pyrrhic victory

Posted by Cardiol MD on 12/14/12 at 04:18 PM | #

I am amazed at all the inconsistencies which you pointed out in RS’s book and what he said in previous instances. 

I am also amazed at the ridiculous and embarrassing style of writing which was obviously doctored by Gumble (Bumble?).  The worst line so far “we then tumbled gratefully into each other’s arms”.  Gag. 

I haven’t read the book yet because I don’t want to contribute to its sales.

Thanks for your analyses and pointing out the contradictions.  If this doesn’t result in a new trial I will have lost faith in the justice system.

Posted by believing on 12/16/12 at 07:36 PM | #
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