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Books DRM Your Rights Online

LendInk EBook Lending Service Returns, Receives Fishy DMCA Notice 43

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the thou-shalt-not-share-with-strangers dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Remember LendInk, the legitimate ebook lending community that got knocked offline at the beginning of August by a mob of misguided authors? The site's owner, Dale Porter, received a lot of support after the story went viral and last week was able to reactivate the site and his affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble." The owner reportedly received a DMCA notice immediately, but a few folks dug and it appears that the "lawyer" who issued it is no lawyer at all, and probably an Internet troll (evidence includes not being listed as a lawyer in PA, using a home address, and sending the takedown from gmail). Or just a really bad lawyer.
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LendInk EBook Lending Service Returns, Receives Fishy DMCA Notice

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  • by Quakeulf (2650167) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:10AM (#41147191)
    Come on, don't be another network-relinking farm.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      Come on, don't be another network-relinking farm.

      ..wtf?

      that's slashdot!

      slashdots forte was never the original content, half the article blurbs are shit too. the point was always to be just a link farm, with comments.

  • He's "For Hire" (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:12AM (#41147197) Journal

    probably an Internet troll (evidence includes not being listed as a lawyer in PA, using a home address, and sending the takedown from gmail)

    I guess it's possible that this is the lawyer we're talking about [padisciplinaryboard.org] who has changed his name to something more official sounding like "Hank St. James" or uses that version in litigation to avoid repercussions. It's also possible that Hank James is just a really common name but Wilkes Barre and Pottsville are pretty close to each other.

    Anyway, I dug up a few other things. Here's an article sort of heralding his efforts [ereads.com] as a "piracy exterminator for hire." Here he is leaving comments on a complaint board [complaintboard.com] against infiniread.

    I'm pretty sure this is his MO to generate revenue: 1) find registered copyrighted books on small websites. 2) make sure the site's owners don't have any money. 3) send take down notice. 4) upon failure to remove material, THEN contact the copyright holder and offer them your services for a price. 5) pretend nothing happened if site did, indeed, have the rights to host or sell copyrighted material.

    Isn't that all indicated by his phrase "I have a good faith belief that..."?

    • by Fwipp (1473271)

      From the ereads link:
      "Like anyone else in the law enforcement field, St. James’s job is fraught with danger. “I have been threatened by one clown in Holland connected with [an underground website] when we had a five day running battle to get one of my authors works removed from his site. I’ve picked up viruses from some sites which my software has caught. Fifteen of those viruses are in quarantine, however, as there apparently is no antidote for the strains that infected my computer. So, t

  • On the facebook page (Score:5, Informative)

    by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:22AM (#41147247) Homepage

    On the facebook page there's a link to this:

    http://ereads.com/2010/03/book-ripped-off-who-you-gonna-call-pirate-sinker.html [ereads.com]

    So it appears the guy is likely not a kid trolling and is presenting himself as an attorney. Whether or not he's licensed to practice as one is another question.

    You can check attorney's registered to practice in PA on the state Supreme Court's website:

    http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org/pa_attorney_search.php [padisciplinaryboard.org]

    It's possible that he's admitted to the bar somewhere else though. Of course the guy who owns the site could email and ask for details of his bar admission(s).

    • Who says you have to be an attorney to send a legal notice? Now, impersonating an attorney is another matter, as well as misrepresentation of any kind, but you do not need to be an attorney to send a DMCA notice. It's a good idea to have an attorney look at it to make sure it's not missing something or is just poorly written, but unless it goes to court there's no attorney necessary. In the U.S. you have the right to represent yourself. There's no law saying you have to have an attorney act for you in any m
      • You dont have to be an attorney, especially for something simple as a DMCA notice. But you cannot claim to be an attorney (he claims to be), when you are not registered as one (all states have laws governing unauthorized practice of law)

        • I believe I said in my second sentence that you cannot impersonate (i.e. claim to be when not) an attorney, but thanks for stopping by!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:23AM (#41147253)

    1) Briefly what Amazon's terms are and why his site is ok
    2) The Email address to send DCMA takedowns to.
    3) That he will formally complain to the state bar of any attorney who sends a takedown disregarding #1 above.

  • falsification? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So is there any consequence for falsification of a DCMA notice? Like 5 years in Federal Hotel...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Do you think the purchasers of this law would of allowed that? Really?? Who do you think is in control?

    • Re:falsification? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CarsonChittom (2025388) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @08:29AM (#41147697) Homepage

      Yes. Section 512 [loc.gov], subsection (e) of the DMCA provides that

      Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section--

      (1) that material or activity is infringing, or

      (2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification

      shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys' fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner's authorized licensee, or by the service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

      No prison time, obviously, to answer your direct question.

      • by jythie (914043)
        Unfortunately this shows one of the big problems with our legal system. Someone has a low/no cost method of harassing people, but you can not go to the police and the DA will not help you, your only option is to sue at your own cost.

        While people like to comment how 'sue happy' our culture is, this is a fine example of this not really being the case. Many of our laws are written in such a way that the only way to enforce the law is a private lawsuit rather then the DoJ actually doing its job. So the onl
        • Why would the DoJ be in charge of policing and arresting matters which are of an entirely civil concern between entities? It's not as if anything criminal is going on in a majority of these cases. Law enforcement should only enter a civil dispute if one of the parties requests assistance - otherwise they'll focus on crimes like theft and not civil affairs like basic infringement.

          Would you really want the police stopping by every time you had a disagreement with your neighbor?

          • by jythie (914043)
            Well, they are 'civil matters' because that is what they have been defined to be. What is 'civil' and what is 'criminal' is pretty much 'what requires lawsuit' vs 'what the government will enforce', thus anything can be moved from one category to another.

            Oh the whole, I really would prefer police be involved when there is a conflict, rather then have to decide 'can I afford to enforce my legal rights? can I afford to defend my legal rights? or should I sit and accept these crimes against me because I do n
    • by Shagg (99693)

      Theoretically, filing a false DMCA notice is perjury, but I don't think it has ever been enforced.

      • by kaws (2589929)
        The reason it has pretty much never been enforced is because it's difficult to impossible to prove that someone knowingly did wrong in this case.
  • We should've known. The first one didn't come by gmail but did have an auto-inserted corporate disclaimer:

    This email should considered the employee's personal opinion and should not be construed as the opinion of McDonald's corporation or its subsidiaries or affiliates.

  • It must be Saul Goodman XD
    • by gmhowell (26755)

      Nah, Saul seems to know his shit. I think it was the guy filling the safe deposit box for Mike grandaughter.

  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @08:25AM (#41147641) Journal

    LendInk's most valuable contribution to society may be the outing of a bunch of authors as at best woefully confused fools vainly fighting the march of technology. I find it hard to believe in the perceptiveness, insight, and progressiveness of these authors-- traits we find make for the best story telling-- when they make a blunder like this. Did they ever admit they got it very wrong, and apologize? I don't know but I guess some slunk away silently in embarrassment, and the rest are still on the warpath, still convinced of the moral inferiority of the balance of society. By their lights we are all cheap, greedy jerks who will read without paying if we can. Perhaps so, but that is an unnecessarily negative way of viewing the situation, as it is based on wrong thinking. Those authors who feel this way are not worth reading. What this really says, again, to anyone who will listen, is that the copyright system is broken. Piracy should not be vilified. Copies of data are simply not a scarce resource, and no amount of legislation can reverse this fact of nature. Most of all, we shouldn't fight copying, we should embrace it as the huge public good it is. We are all more knowledgeable for copying being easy.

    Interesting that the latest salvo from the copyright extremists against LendInk is from a doubtful lawyer with a dubious and unsavory reputation. Once again we're looking at an age old question: does the end justify the means? Is it okay to get in bed with the slimiest lawyers on the planet to save copyright? Shouldn't our wiser folks, including authors, already know the answer to such questions? If this DMCA takedown is an unsanctioned, independent act, not done at the behest of the authors, they ought to be quick to say so, and quick to publicly support LendInk.

  • probably an Internet troll (evidence includes not being listed as a lawyer in PA, using a home address, and sending the takedown from gmail). Or just a really bad lawyer.

    Here, I'll simplimafy it for ya:
    bad lawyer == troll.

    ex:
    SCO vs everybody
    Jack Thompson vs reality
    Astrolabe vs the timezone database

  • A quick Google reveals that this is (verbatim) a standard Internet template for takedowns.

    http://www.preservearticles.com/copyright-infringement-takedown-notification-template-preservearticlescom.html [preservearticles.com]

    I'm guessing any practising attorney probably wouldn't have taken the first Google result and copy pasted it... That being said the consequences of falsification are non-trivial [targetlaw.com].

  • there's a reason they call becoming a practicing lawyer "admittance to the bar."

  • The site is down again. It says "This site is currently unavailable. If you are the account holder, please contact customer service." Slashdotted? Spineless hosting company?

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