Tuesday, December 28, 2010
A writer told me the truth once.
She said, "When I write, I am the God of my world and I am closest to the Divine that I can be. I form the men and women of my world from the left-over dust of my thoughts and I breathe the life of my inspiration into them."
Long hair, rich and brown. A glass of wine bled from fragrant grapes bursting with life. A slight tilt to her chin and eyes brash with a challenge to the whole world as though I wasn't even there. Drunk with the power of creation.
Beyond the porch light of her world, the demons watched, drawn by her passionate fire.
For the difference between the Divine and the Darkness is the gift of creation.
Writers create, plagiarists hide in the shadows waiting to steal what they cannot bring forth on their own.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
No, Not Another Lump of Coal...
This year, all I want for Christmas is to be able to write for one week straight without having to deal with the rest of the world. That includes working for a living, of course. Bills. Holiday colds. That sort of thing.
I admit it, when someone says the word Holiday, I usually think of even less time to write. It's not that I'm not grateful for friends and family and parties, I'd just like for the rest of the world to reconsider. To think that there should be a holiday from holidays. At least for writers.
Or bring back patronage. It worked for artists a ways back. It could work for writers.
And with the publishing houses investing less in marketing and promotion and expecting more and more of writers including conventions, blogging, Facebook and, yes, the dreaded twittering- when do we get time to write? Are any of the rest of you social networked to death? I just learned about LinkedIn. Or something like that. Very helpful to writers, I was told. I admit, I covered my ears while the informant was talking.
So next year, we have to have a new holiday for writers, where all we have to do is write. No cards to send out- just time to write.
What a present that would be!
Monday, December 13, 2010
This Book Must Be Made into a Movie!
Lisa Morton's gift for pacing is so naturally displayed in this Halloween tale that you don't notice how quickly the suspense builds until your shoulders begin to hurt.
Here's the publisher's plot synopsis:
The Samhanach by Lisa Morton
“On a Halloween night 300 years ago, something rose out of a Scottish bog to curse the McCafferty clan. Now, in 2010, single mother Merran McCafferty finds her suburban Halloween celebrations torn apart by the arrival of the Samhanach, an ancient trickster demon. When the Samhanach tries to steal Merran’s young daughter, Merran is forced to put aside reason and accept that magic is real, and bogies really do exist on Halloween night.”
In this deftly crafted short novel, Lisa Morton shows such mastery of pacing and tension that when you're through you'll really believe that she can alter your heartbeat.
Because of her internationally acknowledged expert status in Halloween lore, we expect the factual precision she delivers with regard to world superstition and legend, but her buildup of powerful tension through clever placement and presentation of culturally encoded symbolism is a marvelous surprise. The horror a mother experiences when her child is abuducted is forcefully contrasted with that same mother's life and death struggle against a creature summoned by a man wo died before she was even born. The intriguing psychological conflict is that her main character must first believe in the demon who has stolen her child in order to confront it.
"The Samhanach" begs to be made into a horror movie. It's main character, Merran, is a woman that I so immediately liked and cared about that I unconsciously began selecting which actress could play her in the movie while I was still reading the story. And the visuals of Merran's decent into the Otherworld are as startling as those suffered by Alice in "Through the Looking Glass," by Lewis Carroll.
This short novel can be read in a single setting, which I thought was great because, as another reviewer said, I didn't want to put it down until I'd read the whole story. In fact, having read "The Samhanach," I'm heading to the bookstore to find another Lisa Morton novel to read. When it comes to reading, I like to hang out with quality people.
For more information on Lisa Morton, visit her website: http://www.lisamorton.com/
To purchase "The Samhanach," please visit: Bad Moon Books
For more information on Lisa Morton, visit her website: http://www.lisamorton.com/
To purchase "The Samhanach," please visit: Bad Moon Books
Friday, December 10, 2010
Inivite Your Publisher to Sit Down
But Not on You
"Union grievance officers have recovered more than $1.4 million for NWU members and have represented members in non-monetary grievances as well."
Source: The Nationa Writers Union website.
J.K. Rowlings probably doesn't need a union. Stephen King can buy and sell the state of Maine, and Stephanie Meyers is probably looking at buying the Virgin Islands. They can afford to to stand up for themselves. How about you?
Let's say you sold an article a few years back to the New York Times. You sold them First North American print rights. You beam. You glow. Your friends and neighbors ask to be photographed with you and you begin to get holiday cards not addressed to "Occupant." Things are going well.
Then, someone tells you that they saw your article on the web, or accessed it on an electronic database. You start to think. Maybe it's a mistake. Maybe they misunderstood the deal. You contact them. They say they're exercising their rights under the contract. You point out that the contract is for print, not electronic publications. They hang up on you.
A quick check of your bank account reveals that you can afford to buy a new blender, but unfortunately can't afford to sue the New York Times.
You've been proud of your independence. You take on the world with your laptop. Your brain and you against the world. You're published. By a big publisher. But now that big publisher is pushing you around.
If you were both a freelance writer and also a member of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, you could contact your Union. If you weren't, well, you'd have a long, uphill and expensive legal fight that just might be more than you could afford.
Here's the story, taken from the National Writers Union Website of "Tasini et al vs. The New York Times Company, Newsday Inc., Time Inc., Lexis/Nexis, and University Microfilms Inc. et al":
"Tasini v. New York Times
Tasini et al v. The New York Times et al is the landmark lawsuit brought by members of the National Writers Union against The New York Times Company, Newsday Inc., Time Inc., Lexis/Nexis, and University Microfilms Inc., charging copyright violation regarding the electronic reuse of work produced and sold on a freelance basis.
For decades when freelance writers sold stories to American publications, it was understood by all concerned that they were selling only First North American Serial Rights which allowed the newspaper or magazine to publish the story in print one time. For freelance authors, retention of all other copyrights is crucial to their economic survival because a significant additional source of income comes from their ability to sell secondary rights such as syndication, translations, anthologies, and so forth, to other publications.
With the advent of electronic media including databases like Nexis, publishers such as Time/Warner and the Times/Mirror Company, the parent companies of Time and Newsday, have been selling freelance-authored material to electronic databases such as Nexis/Lexis without any additional payment or purchase of electronic rights from the original authors. They claim, without justification, that by purchasing First North American Serial Rights they automatically gain electronic republication rights. Tasini et al v. The New York Times et al established that they are violating the copyrights of writers."
Now that's what I call a happy ending. Oh yes, there was a financial settlement involved. Guess how much?
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I'm a proud member of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981 and today I'm asking you to join, too. We represent both fiction and nonfiction writers. But, you may say, I became a writer/poet/screenplay writer/ magazine freelancer to be a creatively independent professional. Why should I join a union?
Put aside your stereotypes for a minute and I'll tell you why. This isn't about politics- it's about protecting your work and your income as a writer no matter which end of the political spectrum you embrace.
It's a fact. In this day and age, writers need representation. I know from first-hand experience. When I needed help, the National Writers Union was there for me. But do you need to join this union? I think you should because of the benefits. This quote from the NWU Home Page makes the case:
"Now, more than ever, with the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer’s work, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests."
Corporations are taking over the publishing industry like never before. The National Writers Union has stood up to the likes of the New York Times. They raised the warning flag about Google moving in on our copyrights. Believe me, they can stand with you for fair treatment from your publisher, no matter how big or small that publisher or media giant is.
And writers suffer financially as much and sometimes more than the rest of the workforce during these difficult times. Many of us don't have health insurance, dental and/or vision insurance. We can't always afford lawyers. We don't know where to go for contract advice. When our work is being threatened by plagiarists, copyright infringment or publishers that don't respect our electronic rights, most writers stand alone. When we're not paid on time or at all by publishers, what can we do? What do we do?
Most writers can't afford to stand up to an Indie Press publisher when they're not paid on time or at all, much less stand up to a large publishing house. In fact, most freelance writers can't even get a press pass.
Regular readers of this blog know that I was plagiarized a while back, and after it sunk in that someone had stolen from me,do you know who I turned to for both advice and moral support? It was to you, my fellow bloggers, and the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981. So I thought I should bring the two of you together. Why might my fellow bloggers/ writers be interested in the NWU? Because the internet is still full of scam publishers and plagiarists and because the NWU is still the only labor union that represents writers.
My father was a Union President at the Post Office. He also owned his own business, repairing appliances at night. He believed in the right to being an independent, and he also believed in collective representation. The two are not mutually contradictory. As writers, most of us work independently at our writing business, but, like my father, I believe we still have the right to benefit from professional collective representation.
Stay with me for the next two posts and I'll tell you why being a Union member doesn't take the romance out of writing for me, it puts the excitement back in it!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
An Epic Adventure
Janrae Frank is an impressive writer whose skill at world building and character building is first rate. Her plot is as tightly woven as braided hair and her prose is rich and evocative. The tragic scope of her plot is at times enough to take your breath away.
But it is the easy mastery with which she reveals her characters that is the most rewarding feature of this compelling novel. The struggle between the lycans and sa'naceri (vampires) she weaves is both detailed and tension filled.
Serpent's Quest is the first fantasy novel I ever read, and it impressed me so much I now understand what I have been missing all these years. Here is the publisher's plot synopsis:
"Red Wolf was the strongest of the Nine Great Chiefdoms of the lycan clans, which had long suffered under the yoke of the blood-drinking sa'necari necromancers. Thirty years ago, the realm of the sa'necari, Waejontor, was conquered by the amazon nation, Shaurone. The Sharani brought the lycan people three decades of peace and freedom that is now threatened by the sudden rise to power of a young Waejontori Queen.
"Clan Redhand, the family that rules Red Wolf, is plunged into danger when a sa'necari bounty hunter and mercenary named Malthus Estrobian arrives in their valley, posing as a human refugee from the battles beyond their borders. Unknown to them, Malthus is the Butchering Serpent, the genocidal mastermind behind the hidden laboratories where hundreds of lycans perished in vicious experiments. He infilitrates Red Wolf with two goals in mind: find out what happened to his brother, Troyes, who disappeared in the valley several years ago; and destroy the Redhand family in order to subjugate Red Wolf for his queen.
The only person standing between Malthus and his objectives is a young guardsman with a concealed heritage: Kynyr Maguire. Trained by the greatest armsmaster the lycans have ever known, and educated well beyond the norm for his kind, Kynyr must find a way to defeat the dark arts of the Butchering Serpent or see his people destroyed, including the woman he loves."
What the synopsis does not convey, but that I strongly urge you to experience is the electric tension she builds between the events, the characters and the reader's expections.
There is only one problem I see with this novel, and it is that reading it made me want to improve my own writing.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
A Boyer Quote- But is He Lying Again?
One last thing on the Boyer matter:
Which one of you is the smartest at finding where a quote came from?
Here's what I'm trying to find out-
In a recent interview (pulled down almost immediately) posted on "KCBOOKS From Mom to Author & Everything in Between," David Boyer is quoted as saying the following:
"Stephen King once told me told me 'We create our own horrors in order to deal with the real ones."'
Really? I thought I read that in a Stephen King book. Maybe I'm wrong. Is it possible David lied again? Or is he telling the truth? Is any one of you well connected it enough to contact Mr. King to see if if he actually personally shared this moment with David? Or anybody clever enough to get the question to him? Does anyone really believe Stephen King shared this thought with Boyer personally? But until the great horror writer gets back to us, can anyone find where that quote is from please?
Because now that I'm pressing forward legally, my attorney- who is the best copyright attorney in Michigan- tells me its time to lay off of posting on David Boyer/David Byron/Iron Dave and let the firm do what I'm paying them to do.
We will be cooperating fully with the Indiana Attorney General and pressing forward legally along with all the rest who are demanding accountability for Boyer.
So I will be getting back to writing matters until my attorney instructs me otherwise.
This is the part I've been waiting for- the serious part.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
David Boyer Might Be Losing Weight
Pictures can be deceiving. Although stress can be hard on you.
But he's had plenty of energy to work at being an International Plagiarist. You see, he published my story in a South African online magazine called "Something Wicked." The editor there, when he learned of Boyer's trunchant treachery, acted like a true professional and both apologized to me and attributed my story correctly. Now there's a magazine editor! And of course, I'm contacting this editor asking that they file with the IC3 as well.
After I learned he'd plagiarized me on another continent, Stuart Yates (now living in Spain) was worried he couldn't do anything about the time Boyer plagiarized him. But he has now filed with the IC3 ("The Internet Crime Complaint Center). And since David Boyer and his entire family of aliases live in Indiana, the complaint and investigatory responsibility goes to the Attorney General of Indiana. You see that's where David Boyer does business.
So that's South Africa and Spain now.
Then there's Stephen Blundell who today filed with the IC3 all the way from Australia!
Wow. South Africa, Spain and Australia. Busy, busy, busy.Is there more coming? Of course!
In our next episode- how creepy plagiarists like David Boyer use false identities and aliases to cover their tracks and how to find them anyway so you don't get robbed of your creative work.
By the way, Stephen and Stuart don't take things lying down- they fight back.
Do you know how to fight back and not have to spend a fortune doing it?
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Plagiarists & Copyright Violaters
Began Working Overtime at
Began Working Overtime at
Making Money from Our Creative Work
They're Still Hard at It
They're Still Hard at It
Is this the season for plagiary and copyright violation or what? My copyright attorney, Patrick Sturdy, of CMDA told me that with the advent of the Internet, it's as bad as it was in the 1920's and 1930's. What is it about the Internet that brings plagiarists out of the woodwork?
What follows is a direct quote from Illadore's House o Crack - Copyright Infringement and Me. It's a wonderful example of how writers who are Bloggers can fight back! All Hail Bloggers!!
Good for you, Illadore!
And everyone go to Crooks Source to support the cause of Bloggers Against Copyright Violation and hopefully plagiarism will get its own page, too. Wait, it already did. It's called Plagiarism Watchfires!
"My 2005 Ice Dragon entry, called 'A Tale of Two Tarts' was apparently printed without my knowledge or permission in a magazine and I am apparently the victim of copyright infringement.
I was contacted early last week by a friend of mine who lives in the Northeast about my "As American as Apple Pie - Isn't!" article that was published in Cooks Source magazine, mostly to inquire how I had gotten published. This was news to me, as I hadn't ever heard of this magazine before.
However, some basic Google-fu lead me to find them online and on Facebook. In fact, after looking at the Cooks Source Facebook page, I found the article with my name on it on on "Page 10" of the Cooks Source Pumpkin fest issue. (No worries, I have screencaps.) The magazine is published on paper (the website says they have between 17,000 and 28,000 readers) as well as being published on Facebook as well.
So. I first phone the magazine then send a quick note to the "Contact Us" information page, asking them what happened and how they got my article. (I thought it could have been some sort of mix-up or that someone posted it to some sort of free article database.) Apparently, it was just copied straight off the Godecookery webpage. As you can see from the page, it is copyrighted and it is also on a Domain name that I own.
After the first couple of emails, the editor of Cooks Source asked me what I wanted -- I responded that I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.
What I got instead was this (I am just quoting a piece of it here:)
"Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.
But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!"
I got nothing.
Scratch that. I sure as heck do. Let's go over the major points:
At this point, I am mad as hell. It is now the principle of the thing -- and I also can not quite believe that my copyright was violated -- and then I was informed that I should *pay them* for editing it for me!
The web is NOT public domain! Don't believe me? Try the University of Maryland University College -- or just Google it.
I should be thankful because I wasn't flat out plagiarized? Don't college students get, oh, I dunno, tossed out for being caught for plagiarism? How is this a valid argument?
I have some ideas of where to go from here but I am more than willing to listen to other suggestions."
I want to see justice for Illadore, so I recommended the IC3 filing approach followed by notification of the Attorney General in her state re: Consumer Fraud Protection.
The way Illadore was treated is absolutely despicable. Sounds like "Cook's Source" has been taking lessons from David Boyer.
Why do you think seeing so much disregard for creative rights? Isn't it time to rally behind the National Writers Union?
Sunday, October 31, 2010
David Boyer, is that You?
Tyree Campbell (Publisher of Sam's Dot Publishing) has written a highly informative and thoughtful article on the plagiarist David Boyer (a.ka. David Byron, Iron Dave, and a long list of other aliases). It's worth reading and lends a lot of credence to what we're discussing in this post. Here's the link to Tyree's article: http://www.samsdotpublishing.com/atthedot.htm
Most writers, in their early days, are so desperate to be published that they never question who their publisher is. The idea that the person at the other end of their submission might be unscrupulous never seems to occur to them. Just the opportunity of being published in a print magazine is enough to make young writers shove their common sense in a drawer.
But writing is a business- shouldn't you know who you're doing business with? I've been fortunate enough to know my publishers personally. William Jones and Tyree Campbell are two of the finest men you would ever want to meet. But believe me, after learning what I have about the dark underside of Indie Publishing, before I go to another publisher with anything, I'll research them thoroughly before I submit my work.
For example, imagine all of the writers thrilled to be accepted by David Boyer (David Byron, etc.), not knowing that he is a plagiarst on a shocking scale. He makes money by stealing other writer and artist's work and selling them for profit. To promote his shaky self-image, he even gives work that he doesn't own away for free. Who would think that the little town of Vincennes, Indiana harbors such a con man? Without checking David Boyer (David Byron et al) out thoroughly, how would they know who they were really dealing with?
Did you know that our favorite plagiarist is still soliciting stories and interviews? All this while the deeper we dig, the more we find he's stolen and used.
Perhaps you think he is the only publisher out there like this? Think again.
Although the genre organizations- The Horror Writers Association, the SFWA and such- were quick to respond to the Boyer alert, is there no Indie Press Association to report this guy to? What exactly are the standards of the Indie Press industry? An email address and the phone number for a Print-On-Demand company? Is there no industry association to vet these small presses? If there is, can someone please let me know who they are, because I want to work with them.
How about this- how many of you have not been paid royalties by scam publishers? Did you know that you have legal recourse to report this to the Attorney General where their businesses are located? Earlier I wrote about the Caswell case in Indiana, which tipped me off to this avenue of redress. How about you? When you don't get paid promised royalties, do you let it drop so that other publishers don't think you're difficult, or do you stand up for yourself.
We're trying to find every instance of where David Boyer/ David Byron cheated writers out of their royalties so we can send this information to the Attorney General for the State of Indiana. They come down hard on scam publishers.
Remember, David Boyer/ David Byron had people sending manuscripts to him all the time. How many of them did he plagiarize?
Think about it. Writing is a business- what can we do to protect ourselves and each other from crooks like David Boyer/ David Byron?
Tin Foil Dave used multiple identities and freewebs to hide his activities under a myriad of personna. Next post we'll look at how easy it is to sort through that kind of smokescreen.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Let's Go Sherlock on these Clowns
So you've written a novel, a story or a poem, or created a graphic design. You were pretty confident that you owned it and no one could take it from you without your permission. Then, you read about David Boyer, who plagiarized my work, Lisa Morton's work, Jane Baxter's work and even seems to have stooped to grabbing Activision's copyrighted artwork. Suddenly you're not so confident anymore. You realize that you don't even know how to find out if your work has been stolen.
What can you do to find out? Finding the answer to that question is the first step to catching a plagiarist.
If you're an artist/graphic designer and are looking to see if your work has been plagiarized, I suggest going to the website Tin Eye to use their reverse image lookup. Take an image of your own work, upload it and watch as it goes through over a billion web images in mere seconds so you can see if someone else is using it. My lead researcher discovered this resource, and I suggest you use it.
If you're a writer, you've probably heard about sites like The Rusty Nail, or Preditors and Editors or Writer Beware. They keep you up to date with the latest information about who to watch out for. The HWA's Lisa Morton has written a powerful cautionary piece called "PIRATES! Or, How to Protect Your Intellectual Property on the High Seas of the Internet."
And now I'll share what my researchers learned along the way:
First, plagiarists, as they get more canny, will change the titles of your work so that you can't easily find what they do. But you should still look for your titles first. But remember, titles are not copyrightable so you will probably run into a few works using your title. Maybe you'll find some of your own stories under the title you gave them. That would be great, but don't stop there because, as I said, they can also change the titles on you.
What next? Take unique blocks of texts from your story and search the net for them with your favorite search engine. Sometimes that will yield the good result. Other times not, even if your story is actually out there. What to do? What can we do if they change the titles. I was at a loss.
But here's something interesting that my lead researcher discovered- a lot of the works plagarized are available through Google, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. with searchable contents. Take the books you suspect and use those searchable contents to your advantage by looking for your unique blocks of text within those windows. You'll even be able to see the Table of Contents- and maybe just see your title there.
And screenshot every violation you find- that way when the plagiarist goes back to delete the evidence, you'll still have what you need to prove your case.
Plagiarists want to use the Internet to steal our creative work, sell it or give it away as a free download like Boyer did to me.
Let's turn the tables and use the Internet against them. And we don't have to fight them alone. When we find we've been plagiarized- we can let our friends in the Blogosphere know. You'll be surpised how many good people willing to help.
Monday, October 25, 2010
David Boyer, alias David Byron and a host of other names, seems to be under the impression that there is nothing anyone can do to him and that no one can stop him.
Let's take him to school.
Friday of last week, myself and a group of writers and publishers filed complaints against Boyer with the IC3.
Who are they? Well, in their own words:
"The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) was established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to serve as a means to receive Internet related criminal complaints and to further research, develop, and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate. The IC3 was intended, and continues to emphasize, serving the broader law enforcement community to include federal, as well as state, local, and international agencies, which are combating Internet crime and, in many cases, participating in Cyber Crime Task Forces."
But is when someone Boyer or some other creep plagiarizes a story or art and sells it over the internet or gives it away for free as a download, is that really a CyberCrime? Yes it is. Here's what they say:
"Since its inception, the IC3 has received complaints crossing the spectrum of cyber crime matters, to include online fraud in its many forms including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) matters..."
So, we notified them. Plagiarism hits the big time crime issue (NET Act of 1997) when it hits the Internet. Even if it's not for profit.
Dig around a lit bit on these topics and as writers, editors, publishers and artists, you'll be pleasantly surprised. When plagiarists steal our work and distribute it around the Internet, guess what? They've got trouble coming their way if we use the system.
Oh, and did I forget to add that tomorrow I'm in contact with the Attorney General's office of Indiana? They've done such a great job nailing that scam publisher in Indiana, that I thought since David Boyer is a publisher, too that maybe they'd like to help those of us he's plagiarized. Maybe he hasn't paid royalties to his authors- maybe the could contact the AG, too.
Friday, October 22, 2010
This talented author counts six of her stories used, over and over, without her permission by David Boyer and at least five other stories she had nothing to do with where he attached her name to them.
In Her Own Words
Here's a direct link to the video: "Mad As Hell"
Victoria Strauss did a marvelous piece of work in her blog posting at WriterBewareBlogs! (I'd add the trademark symbol for the blog name, but I can't find it on my keyboard. Here's the link to their blog for the full story, where the Attorney General of Indiana (whose office we'll soon be contacting) slams the hammer down on a scam publisher: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2010/08/indiana-attorney-general-investigates.html
This case is of particular interest to me because it happened in the same state where the publisher/writer/plagiarist David Boyer/ David Byron, etc., etc. lives.
Here's two fascinating excerpts from the filed papers on the publisher David Caswell of New Century Publishing:
"The Plaintiff, State of Indiana, by Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Deputy Attorney General Thomas Irons, petitions the Court pursuant to the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Indiana Code § 24-5-0.5-1 et seq., for injunctive relief, consumer restitution, civil penalties, costs, and other relief.
1. The Plaintiff, State of Indiana, is authorized to bring this action and to seek injunctive and other statutory relief pursuant to hid. Code § 24-5-0.5-4(c).
2. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Defendant David W. Caswell (hereinafter "Caswell"), engaged in the solicitation and/or sale of book publishing and promotional services to consumers from a principal place of business located in Marion County, at 1040 East 86th Street, Suite 42A, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240. Caswell also resides in Marion County at 4425 Knollton Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46228."
"16. Among other things, Defendants represented that: (1) once the book was completed and sales by Defendants began, Baldwin would be entitled to royalty payments amounting to fifty percent (50%) of net sales, and that said royalties would be paid to him within six weeks from receipt of the sales proceeds by Defendants; and (2) various promotional services would be performed when Baldwin's book was published, including a press release and inclusion in a newsletter and catalog.
17. Despite sales of Baldwin's book on Defendants' website, royalties were not made in the amount or within the timeframes as represented by Defendants nor were all the promotional services performed as promised."
Since I've been contacted by writers already who claim that Boyer hasn't paid them what they're owed, I'm announcing this open request for anyone who's been stiffed by this plagiarist to send me the info on their complaint. I'm meeting with my lawyers next week re contacting the AG of Indiana re David Boyer/David Byron. And I won't be alone. A lot of people have been coming forward with more information.
Time to go legal.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
More on the saga of David Boyer (a.k.a Iron Dave, Doc Byron, David Byron, etc). Here's an excerpt from the HWA's Home Page, hot off the press:
"HWA has recently been informed of several acts of plagiarism regarding works on our 2008 and 2010 Stoker recommendations lists. The works in question are three recommendations received in 2008 for the short story "Electrocuting the Clowns", credited to "Doc Byron", and a recommendation for the 2010 anthology CRIMSON SCREAMS, edited by "David Byron". The publisher of CRIMSON SCREAMS, Sam's Dot, has pulled the anthology from release following allegations of plagiarized art; and the short story "Electrocuting the Clowns" is actually by Ferrel Moore. HWA has removed these recommendations from record.
HWA has also recently posted an article to our "Writer's Tips" page on how authors can protect themselves from plagiarism: http://horror.org/writetips-morton.htm. For more information on Mr. Byron's activities, please visit http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2010/10/cold-iron-david-boyer-plagiarist.html."
David, you always wanted to be front page on the horror scene, well, now you got your wish.
And none of this would have been possible without the support of the blogging community. There are too many of you to thank individually, so let me just say a loud THANK YOU to all of you. You have taught me the meaning of the word community. You have shown me that writers and artists can come together to protect our rights as a creative community, and for that I will remain in your debt.
The HWA organization has show their integrity in their actions today. They are truly an organization with honorable standards.
But this isn't over, not at all. Now comes the legal end of things.
And a word of advice for David Boyer (David Byron, Doc Byron, Iron Dave and who knows what other names he has)- it's always better to start taking down your websites to erase your tracks before our researchers have taken screen shots of them.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Time to Man Up or What?
Please read the following and tell me what you think the plagiarist David Boyer a.k.a. David Byron etc, can do to make things right with everyone he's wronged in the creative community. For an update of what's happening on this matter, go to the writer with the sharpest pen on the web- The Rusty Nail. And don't forget to vote using the poll to your right. Because if you don't, David Boyer will.
David Boyer/ David Byron etc, etc, wrote me an email today where he said he'd met my demands and can't understand why I keep up my "one-man terror tirade" against him. Aside from the fact that he plagiarized my story and those of other writers who have come forward as well as doing the same to graphic artists, he sounds upset that a victim of his bad behavior would get upset. Imagine that.
Originally I'd asked Dave to confess, apologize, and provide me with a complete list of his aliases so everyone could see if they'd been plagiarized by him. If he did this, I was willing to post all of that, and allow him his second chance.
He didn't do that. But today he said he did. Here's what I wrote him back:
"Unfortunately, your 'confession' was done under the name of an alias with all sorts of confidentiality boiler plate attached (which, by the way, isn't worth anything). And you didn't provide the complete listing of your aliases I demanded. So- no go.
"As for the rest of the input from your 'lawyer,' David, watch and learn.
"Or, maybe just send me a complete, real confession this time also listing all of your plagiaries, including an individual apology to each of those artists and writers you hurt. And a promise, with a solid timeline, for correcting all those volumes out there that incorrectly attribute our (all of us you've plagiarized) work to you. Of course, if you don't hold to it, that would be bad.
"It's not just me anymore. The volume of people sending me evidence is filling my Inbox. They want to go forward as a group. You've heard of class action, right? You've hurt a lot of people. And they want it very public.
"So you might want to try it one more time, this time with feeling, losing the capitalizations and underlines and providing a complete, real confession and apology.
"Confession and repentance will give you your life back and you could move forward into the light.
PS, I will, of course, if I don't hear back from you by tonight, be posting this letter on my blog for group input."
Okay, here I am encouraging him again to send me a confession- under his own name, with no confidentiality non-disclosure bs attached, an apology, and a complete list of his aliases and plagiaries against all of us.
I'm not so much interested in revenge- I'm interested in bringing this whole thing into the light so that each writer and/or artist can decide for themselves what sort of action we should pursue, together or singly.
David's self-focused pattern has been to talk down abusively to writers who question his actions and demand that they keep everything private. Too late for that now.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
And He's a Better Writer, too...
Remember Stuart? He wrote us all to warn everyone what a thief David Byron a.k.a. Iron Dave of Indiana was.
"I submitted my book to another publisher, they accepted it. Then, I heard some news. My book was on Amazon. But it wasn´t by me...WHAT? I checked it out...the SOB had put MY book onto amazon, but not under my name - under his! One of his many pseudonyms. But my name was on the cover! The idiot hadn't even changed that, nor the copyright page. My name, still emblazoned on the inside...What a moron he is. I had to get in touch with amazon to block all this, had to prove who I was, that I was the author, etc, etc. fortunately, I had all the documentation. I had to sign an affadavit that I would face prosecution if I had committed purgury. Well, I did all that and eventually the book was withdrawn. I had to change the title of my new book to The Well of CONSTANT Despair. This man is a total shark, a predator. I told P and E all about him, and they have posted a Not Recommended flag against NVH and all of its off-shoots. I've never seen my 500 dollars, I never will. So beware. Why the guy hasn't been shopped to the FBI is beyond me. Maybe some of you guys over in the USA should get him investigated. FBI are good at hunting down scams, con artists and the like. Iron Dave is all of those things and more."
Stuart did it right. Hats off to you, friend.
We're doing it right, too. Here's what's happened so far:
The editor of "Something Wicked" magazine, a true professional (unlike David Boyer a.k.a. David Byron, a.k.a. Leo Wolfe, a.k.a Iron Dave, a.k.a. etc, etc) straightened Dave out. He put the story under my name and kicked Dave out.
Tyree Campbell, the lion of Sam's Dot Publishing, posted on his magazine's forum decrying David's actions. I've spoken to Tyree Campbell. He's a straight up, strongly principled guy who has no use for plagiarism or plagiarists like David Boyer (I'd insert a few more of his aliases, but more on that in another posting- this man has some identity problems).
Ralan, the workhorse magazine listing on the web for writers of dark fiction, has booted rusted Iron Dave off their site. The people at Ralan were wonderfully professional about the whole thing.
My legal team is drawing up the first round of papers against this creep. And by the way, it's all of you that made this possible. So many people have written us exposing his shyster activities that we have all the ammunition we need.
Booksie has been whacking him down. More to come there.
Piker Press busted him. More to come there, too.
The mighty Duotrope has taken down his "Darkened Doorways" listing from its site.
The mighty Duotrope has taken down his "Darkened Doorways" listing from its site.
And Amazon is in the works. Serious trouble coming the plagiarist's way over there. Publish America and iUniverse are on Monday's list. Lulu is studying the case before they get into action.
Too big a list to to type out, so more to come!
Thanks so much to all of you in the blogosphere for all of your help with this. When writers come together, we can really take out the trash.
By the way, I gave David til last Friday to provide me with a list off his various aliases so that all of you could use them to see how many of your own stories he'd stolen. He wouldn't do it. Too bad, Iron Dave. I would have stopped if you'd confessed all your aliases and jumped in with a list of plagiaries so everyone else could get their stories back. He sent me a confession and apology, but wouldn't give me a complete list of his aliases. Bad move, Dave.
So what's happened to Stuart? How has he moved beyond David Boyer toward success as a writer? He deserves a full posting middle of this week and I'm going to give it to him.
This week, I'll fill you in on how easy it is for real writers to get ahead by shaking off leeches like David and working with honest publishers.
Stuart will always be a better man than you, David. He's a real writer.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
I'm sure that most of you will be familiar with the wonderful writer Lisa Morton.
You'd think with her resume and accomplishments, she'd be immune from plagiaristic theft. I won't go into the details now, but let me share with you how she stood up to the man as taken from the letter she wrote to him after reading this blog and finding out she'd had her story stolen, too!
I did not give you permission to use the story with YOUR NAME on it as author, nor did I give you permission to post it at online sites such as Booksie. Crediting the story to yourself is plagiarism, plain and clear. The story has now been removed from Booksie per my request, but I have a copy of the PDF, which I've attached here. The PDF clearly lists "Doc Byron" as the author; the story even generated compliments for you at Booksie, which you did nothing to dispel. You stole my story."
How's that for standing up for her rights? She's a great example for the rest of us. We don't have to tolerate plagiarism.
And all of you out here who have been supportive (and I can't believe how many of you there are!), it's your success, too.
I've asked him to come forward and confess, apologize, give us all a list of his various aliases and make a commitment to leave these bad practices behind. I'm still waiting. So we wait. What do you think? Will he come forward?
In the meantime, let's see how many of his other aliases we can identify.
Friday, October 01, 2010
He Can't Write So He Stole My Story
"Electrocuting the Clowns"
I wrote a short story titled "Electrocuting the Clowns." It was copyrighted in 2003 in an anthology called "Beyond the Porch Light." Check it out on Amazon and you'll see I wrote it and that the story is there and was copyrighted in 2003.
Here's one of many places this guy publishes my story under his name: http://www.booksie.com/horror/short_story/horrormaster/electrocuting-the-clowns. There's more and he's clumsy.
As a member of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, I am fortunate enough to be able to report this a plan for investigating this action. The first step was to research everything about him and his activities.
Here's his bio/lies at this link: http://authordavidboyer.webs.com/photos/My-book-covers/IndieFilmHandbookR2.pdf on page 233. To save you the work of having to click there, here's what this clown says about his work:
About The Author
David Byron is the founder/CEO of NVF Magazine, an online publication
that promotes Indie filmmakers, actors, actresses, FX artists, graphic artists,
and musicians. He is the author of five non-fiction books, including The
Queens of Scream, Film Prodigies & Legends, Cinemassacres, Hot & Horrifying:
The First Ladies of Horror, and The Indie Filmmakers Handbook.
His other credits now include fiction writer, poet, screenwriter, producer,
and editor. His short stories, Electrocuting The Clowns and The First Cut Is The
Deepest, were both nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in 2008. He lives in
Indiana with his cats, Toby and Buckwheat, who are both a constant inspiration
for another story or film. You may view his magazine at www.freewebs.
com/nvhmag1 or email him at his personal email, email@example.com.
I know I wrote "Electrocuting the Clowns" and am going after that, but does anyone know who wrote "The First Cut is the Deepest?" Did he steal that from someone else?
I've already notified the HWA about this guy. I can't find any record of either story being nominated. They cite this stuff on the web.
Oh, and his real name seems to be David Boyer. He uses a lot of names. Doc Byron, Iron Dave, David Boyer (real name), David Brookes, Leo Wolfe, Jerry Burkette.
Also, I'm notifying Lulu.com of the need to cease and desist making the story available to people and asking for what monies they paid out for the stolen property. Amazon is next and... well, you get the picture.
Including the South African magazine.
This loser even cites my story on his Mingle web site.
But will you help me find out as much as I can about this man and his plagiarist activities. This could happen to any of us. I'm sure most of you are more web savvy than I am, and I'd appreciate the benefit of your knowledge and skills. It's important that we stop this guy because there are other people on the web who say that he stole their work as well.
This plagiarst poses as an editor looking for submissions to his magazines, but is he really looking for stories to steal so he can claim he wrote them? Please look into this and see what you can find out about his activities. Check out how many places on the web where he sells my story:
He's selling it as a download on Lulu.com. He's published it in a South African magazine. He's got it in an anthology. Take a look at these three links as starting points:
Play detective. See how much you can find out about this creep.
This could happen to you, too. So I'd appreciate your help.
How would you stop this clown? What can we do as a community of honest writers to bust plagiarists?
Have you ever looked on the web to see what's been stolen from you?