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Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints 288

Ian Lamont writes "LendInk, a community for people interesting in using the lending features of the Kindle and Nook, has been shut down after some authors mistakenly thought the site was hosting pirated ebooks. The site brought together people who wanted to loan or borrow specific titles that are eligible for lending, and then sent them to Amazon or to make the loans. Authors and publishers who were unaware of this feature of the Kindle and Nook, and/or mistakenly assumed the site was handing out pirated copies, were infuriated. LendInk's hosting company received hundreds of complaints and shut the site down. LendInk's owner says: 'The hosting company has offered to reinstate on the condition that I personally respond to all of the complaints individually. I have to say, I really do not know if it is worth the effort at this point. I have read the comments many of these people have posted and I don't think any form of communication will resolve the issues in their eyes. Most are only interested in getting money from me and others are only in it for the kill. They have no intentions of talking to me or working this out. So much for trying to start a business and live the American Dream.'"
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Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints

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  • Crowdsource (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ktappe ( 747125 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:15PM (#40926235)
    Crowdsource the job of responding to them all. I'm sure enough of us are infuriated at this turn of events that we could all lend a hand. I think the first thing you'd need is a lawyer-type to draft a boilerplate response. Nothing too long, but substantial enough to explain in, say, 3 paragraphs that you are 1) your site is 100% legal, 2) this is a standard feature of the readers, and 3) no money will be paid out to anyone under any circumstances. Then let us volunteers each "adopt" a complaint to handle. If a sufficient percentage can be done away with, perhaps your venture can survive.
  • Re:Can't he sue? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:43PM (#40926481)

    Here's a perfect example. I would not accept this bitch's apology if it were me. She probably saw the site and 30 seconds later was sending a takedown notice w/o ever bothering to do any research. And she ruijhne d an's website because of ti. I hate bitches (and bastards) like her....... mshe should be fined $1000 for filing a false DMCA request


    Owner of Website - if you are reading this. It might be worth getting a list of those who complained, you know? I was one of them. I overreacted, didn't read the small print and I apologise.

    (Too late dummy. Who's an ass. It's like you're a ..... dumbass.)

  • Re:Crowdsource (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:58PM (#40926607)
    I let them know what I thought about the situation and how they could help recover at least a little goodwill. Dropping the requirement for them to respond individually to the ridiculous "complaints" would be a good start.
  • Re:Easy.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pepty ( 1976012 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:01PM (#40926639)
    do "all costs associated" include lost revenue or just direct expenses like hiring lawyers? Somehow I don't think the lobbyists who wrote the DMCA would have wanted the former.
  • by number11 ( 129686 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:21PM (#40926831)

    He should publish the name of the authors who complained. Authors are definitely vulnerable to negative press. And certainly legal threats can't be thought to be private.

    Mod this up!

    Names? No, publish the entire email. So that we can, for instance, write the authors and share our opinion with them.

  • by medv4380 ( 1604309 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:22PM (#40926851)
    Let the crowd have their Names and Contacts. If they're lucky 4chan stays out of it.
  • Re:DMCA irrelevant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @12:20AM (#40927279)

    Yes and my housing association contract says, "No antennas or dishes allowed on roofs." That clause was nullified by the 1996 Telecommunications Act and so too is any ISP clause that is nullfied by the DMC Act.

    They are not allowed to suspend a user simply because of an email from a complaining author or lawyer. They MUST follow the DMCA process and give the user a chance to respond, "No this does not infringe anybody's copyright or ownership."

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:23AM (#40927707) Journal

    They not only banned you

    The message you posted also got deleted !

    I have just lost all respect to those so-called "authors"

  • Re:Easy.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2012 @03:11AM (#40928219)

    So all the lawyer has to say is "I believed my client." and he's off the hook. And the client was never ON the hook.

    You confuse criminal and civil law. The standard for proving your case is MUCH lower in civil cases. All you need to do is convince a judge that the lawyer should have done his homework before sending off a takedown letter.

    And it's REALLY easy to convince a judge that some lawyer didn't do his homework.

  • by jaymemaurice ( 2024752 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @03:48AM (#40928425)

    The facebook page is quite entertaining, here are some of the comment threads

    Some are not only stupid and ignorant, but incomprehsibly so:
    Linda Gillard - TAKE MY 6 E-BOOKS OFF YOUR SITE IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS BOOK PIRACY AND THEFT! I receive nothing for these loans & you haven't even asked for my permission to give away my books. (And you wouldn't get it.) I have informed Amazon, my agent and The Society of Authors of your illegal activities.
    Linda Gillard - It looks as if the whole thing is a scam. You can't download the books. Borrowers are referred to Amazon to buy them. Whoever runs the site is probably just collecting referral fees from Amazon. Neat racket.
    Jenny Woodall - Linda, have you tried registering and 'borrowing' a book?
    Linda Gillard - No, but someone else has. I think their post is on this page if you look back.
    (previous referenced comment: Philip Catshill Hang on hang on.... I have just registered and tried to download my own book, But the site tells me the Book CANNOT BE BORROWED - ONLY BOUGHT : Click on BUY and you go to the Amazon sell page. Its just a referal site - I have similar links for "friends" novels on my Website so I reckon this guy is just out to collect referal fees from Amazon.)
    Jenny Woodall - Thanks, will do.
    Jenny Woodall - Did a 'Who is" search and have now contacted the Domain host with a cease and desist letter as well.
    Linda Gillard - I've just heard back from the SoA who think what they are doing is not illegal but is probably misleading to both borrowers & authors.
    TLDR; Even after understanding site is reffering customers to buy her books through legit channels, Jenny Woodall decides to bother the hosting company.

    And then there are some clearly out for blood money:
    Rosalind Smith-Nazilli - I have mailed them also and commented here..
    Philip Catshill - ?"Hang on hang on.... I have just registered and tried to download my own book, But the site tells me the Book CANNOT BE BORROWED - ONLY BOUGHT : Click on BUY and you go to the Amazon sell page. Its just a referal site - I have similar links for "friends" novels on my Website so I reckon this guy is just out to collect referal fees from Amazon."
    Miranda Stork - This 'guy' is not a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and so is not collecting referrals. We currently have a lawyer looking into all of this for us, as even if the site WAS legit, he has books there that are DRM protected. These should not even be SHOWING up. On top of that, if he is legit, why has he answered no emails, or removed any books?
    Jeanette Baird Vaughan - Please keep me in contact with you about the lawyer. My book is on Kindle Select and he should not have access to it a all!
    Miranda Stork - We will do, as I mentioned in the message to you, we are just sorting out things before we make a lot of statements, as we don't want too much information floating around panicking people until we have compiled everything, but this guy will NOT get away with this.
    Dawn Sinclair - If this action goes ahead, could you inform me as I have 2 books on Amazon Kindle and they are both on Lendink's lists illegally...Theresa Dawn email address is very much
    Jeanette Baird Vaughan - He has taken down the site for now. Wish we could still get him financially!
    Miranda Stork - That's what we are still looking into, we're still talking to our legal counsel.
    Miranda Stork - Also, he didn't take the site down, it was taken down by the server after several lawyers got in touch :)
    Jeanette Baird Vaughan - Awesome! Who are these lawyers...let's join forces!!
    Miranda Stork - I heard about it from a friend, Maxi Shelton, so if you ask her, she can tell you the full details.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:02AM (#40929671)
    Here's an example of how truly insane it is.
    In 1932 an Australian music teacher wrote a song: "Kookaburra."
    In 1934 she entered it into a competition run by the Girl Guides Association of Victoria and won, giving over the rights to the Girl Guides in exchange for a prize (I don't know what, but the budget would have been low so most likely something donated by a local business). The rights for the song were sold in 1934 and the proceeds used to buy a camping ground far from the city where land was cheap. After some years Australian copyright expired and the song would have gone into the public domain.
    Fast forward to around 1980 and the flute player with the band "Men at Work" put a riff from "Kookaburra", at that time public domain, into the song "Down Under", and that version was recorded by the band in 1981.
    Move ahead to near the present day and Australia adopting copyright extensions on the insistence of some shady characters in the USA as part of one of the many one sided conditions of a "free trade" deal. Then one recording company wanted to take over another but they were not selling. The lawyers were called in, the archives searched, and it turns out the company doing the takeover had previously owned the rights to "Kookaburra" before it entered the public domain and thanks to new laws it was out of the public domain and theirs again, and even better the company they wanted to take over had recorded the song "Down Under" with that "Kookaburra" riff. It all went to court, the law had changed to retrospectively make it an offence to use part of a song that had been in the public domain. Substantial damages were paid, of course none went to the heirs of the composer or the Girl Guides, and the flautist that included the riff suffered months of depression before being found dead in his home.
    All that messing about just so one company could find a blunt instrument to use on another.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham