Friday, October 01, 2010

Help Pin the Tail on this Plagiarist.

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:  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: 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,

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 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  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?

MySpace Tracker


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you. This is every writer's worst nightmare. I hope you get a favorable outcome in your lawsuit.

Rick said...

Thanks so much, Christine.

I'm so fortunate to have access to the resources of the National Writers Union. Every writer should join so we can take on these type of creeps. Their web address is and boy am I glad I'm a member.

LoveRundle said...

That is real horror right there. Where does this lazy man get the right to pass someone else's work off as his own and get some money on it too?

I need to join the group too. I would be beside myself if this happened. You're holding up really well.

I'll see what I can find, but I'm not as great with the computer as others. This happened to a friend of mine just this past week. What a lousy way to end the year out.

Rick said...

Would your friend be willing to write me about his/her experience Christine? I want to help. We need to shine a light on these bozos.

This guy is calling all over the web for submissions to his new "magazine." Would you trust your submission to him? How to let other know to not send this guy anything because he's a story stealer?

Charles Gramlich said...

Disgusting. This guy actually looks familiar. I've seen his pic somewhere. Sounds like he is a con through and through. I'm going to see what I can find about him.

Charles Gramlich said...

There appear to be about 500 David Byron's on facebook.

Charles Gramlich said...

He is on facebook under the name David Boyer. He is facebook friends with a few of the same people I'm friends with, including A. P. Fuchs and Jeremy Shipp. He shows several book covers on his page, although I'm not his friend and don't have full access. I don't see a mention of your story in particular.

Charles Gramlich said...!/profile.php?id=100000088645532&ref=search

Here's the link on Facebook.

Shauna Roberts said...

Rick, this is terrible! I hope the NWU points its big guns at this guy.

Have you contacted Ralan (, Duotrope (, Writer Beware (, and Preditors and Editors ( If those places know that this guy is a fraud, they can prevent many people from submitting to him.

ANNA-LYS said...

Ohhh Rick, I am so sorry to hear this real horror story. You will win in the end, as You did in the beginning. Only real good productions get plagiarised.

I can't understand why he didn't change the title at least, it would have taken a bit longer to find the idiot.

We have a blogfriend here at blogspot, her name is Leigh Russell @ CRIME FICTON, she wrote the book "Cut Short" an award winning book. I hope not he plagiarised that one and renamed it after Cat Stevens "The First Cut is The Deepest".

I guess one of the best development with e-productions and e-books is that there are soft-programs to run for comparing texts. At the same time as e-publications makes it easier for criminals to get access to stories.

*May the Force be with You*

(( Luv ))

ANNA-LYS said...

We will nail that CopyCat!!!

Angie said...

Okay, I exercised a bit of Google-fu and poked around. Takeaway: if you suspect you might be plagiarized at some time in the future, and that someone might have only your story title and be trying to figure out who wrote it, do not use an iconic lyric (poetry, saying, proverb, or any other quotation) as your title. Just sayin'.

Search string:

"The First Cut is the Deepest" story fiction review -song -lyrics -TV -concert -music -ringtone

Possibilities: -- this one's 45 pages long, but I don't know whether that's too much or not. It sounds like the target story isn't a novel, so I've been looking for shortish works.

This sounds like a collection of poems, but it's hard to tell. Sometimes anthos like this have both stories and poems -- look at Charles's books -- so this is probably worth looking into.

I looked through the first ten pages of results, and these were the only ones that looked vaguely possible.

Search string:

"The First Cut is the Deepest" anthology -rod -sheryl -song -lyrics -TV -album -concert -music -ringtone

Nothing useful in the first ten pages, despite all the additions to cut down on the music results. :P

Same as above but with "magazine" instead of "anthology" -- nothing. Well, except lots of pieces on circumcision, plus dissection and surgical stuff.

Same as above but with "zine" instead of magazine. Also -circumcision. [cough] Nothing.

Same as above but with "contents" -- nothing.

Same as above but with "author" -- nothing.

It's possible that any one of the above searches would've found more possibilities if I'd gone past ten pages. It's also possible there's no mention of the story online, if it's old enough to've been published in hardcopy without even an online mention.

I've never thought about it before, but after going through this, I have to repeat what I said above about stories with common quotes or phrases as their title are incredibly hard to track down if they're plagiarized. I have Google alerts set up for all my own fiction, but it's always a combination of the title and my name; otherwise I'd be buried in bogus hits. A plagiarist could take advantage of that.

Oh, if you decide to search further yourself, don't overlook fanfic. I got a few fanfic hits, but they were all either too long, or of a quality I judged not even a plagiarist would be interested in. Don't assume plagiarists wouldn't be interested in fanfic, though -- check this out.

I need to go fall into bed, but best of luck finding the author of the other story, if it is indeed also stolen.


Angie said...

I just spent quite a long time doing Google searches for that second story, and recording my results here. When I hit "Publish Your Comment," I got an error message, something about the URL being too long. [headdesk] I saw you have comment moderation on -- I'm really hoping it went through anyway. :(


Spy Scribbler said...

Creep is right. I'm so sorry this happened to you, Rick.

Hey, what's that website? Predators & Editors or something? You could report him and his "magazine" to them. They have a large following.

JR's Thumbprints said...

This clown needs to be electrocuted. You've increased my paranoia regarding submissions. What happens when you don't get a response? Mr. Jack-Ass resubmits under his name? I've read all the comment here and hope someone sniffs this guy out. He's a punk.

laughingwolf said...

goddamn mofos! GRRRRRRRR

hope they all burn in hell... after paying thru the nose for the theft... AND jail time!

there's an e-site out there [i forget the name] that solicits stories/poems in fantasy and modern fairytales... i submitted my poem to it [originally published on my blog], some three + years ago, and have yet to be paid... not like it'd cost em much, @5 cents/word, it'd be less than $8.00

i queried them numerous times, all to no avail! GRRRRRRRR

when i find the name, i'll post it!

will try to track down your creep, tho i'm no detective...

Middle Ditch said...

Happened to David after he left the university. His prof copied his essay and published it without even asking permission whilst giving David a C for it (or something like that, not familiar with universities)

Sorry to hear this Rick, I'm sure you won't be the last one. People like that enjoy the fame without working for it and in the end will be caught, like you caught this one in his vile act.

Not sure what I would do if I would find MD somewhere on the net though.

And sorry that I have not been here for such a long time. X

McKoala said...

What a terrible thing; you have my utmost sympathy. I can't understand why somebody would do something like this.

laughingwolf said...

you may want to post your beef here, too, rick;

Stacy said...

Yikes. That is awful.

I once worked for a woman who fabricated her entire resume. She got her comeuppance when she made the front page of the Dallas Morning News in a story that successfully disputed all of her "credentials" (this was about fifteen months after I left her, er, "company.") May the same fate await this guy.

sage said...

"How would you stop this clown?" Electrocution? Sorry to make fun of this, but your question seemed to me to be the perfect set up... I am sorry this has happened to you. I know I have had some stuff stolen in the past--with one funny incident in which I know my research was stolen because I had a date wrong and it was misquoted with the wrong date! Even though it was just research, not creative work, I felt they should have been honest and said where they got the quote (which, by the way, would be found if they went back in the newspapers for that date). Good luck catching the guy. I don't read much in this genre (I came here from Charles Gramlich's blog).

Randy Johnson said...

I can sympathize with you. It happened to me as well. Not nearly as big a deal as your story though. I was informed one day that someone had copied a post off my blog and was claiming it as their own.

By the time I went their this person's blog had been suspended. Apparently almost everything, maybe everything, she'd posted was stolen from somebody.

Naomi Johnson said...

I'm very sorry this has happened to you. What a nightmare. Like Charles Gramlich, that photo looks familiar to me, too. Wouldn't be surprised it that turned out to be a photo of a real author rather than a plagiarist.

G. B. Miller said...

Here's one suggestion that unfortunately a few of my friends and myself have used in order to handle stalkers in the chat rooms:

Do a public records search.

It's pretty easy to do and you have a couple of basic components to work with, namely his name and a general place of residence.

You should be able to come up with a few concrete tidbits about this schmuck.

Hope this little bit of info helps.

BTW: got here via Sandra Seaman's blog and Charles Gramlich's blog.

David Cranmer said...

Rick, I'm sorry this happened to you and best of luck in tracking him down. If I see anything I will pass it on.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fortunately I don't have any short stories published or online and my first book won't be out for several weeks. But this is a alarming situation for any writer. I hope you are successful in removing his plagiarized work and preventing him from doing to it others.

RK Sterling said...

So sorry and angry to hear this. I hope you get him nailed but good.

Steve Malley said...

I wonder what was passing through this thief's head: stealing is bad enough, but common enough too (with things besides stories). Stealing and advertising your theft, well, that kind of baffles me.

May he be successfully, and thoroughly, punished.

Angel Zapata said...

Damn, I just did a comparison to your story as prsented in "Beyond the Porch Light and other Tales"

AND this thief's re-submit found on Booksie:

Stolen word for word. You're doing the right thing, Mr. Moore. Expose him, rally with other writers, and continue to research this imposter until all his lies come to light.

I went through a similiar experience just a year ago. I did plenty of research on the guy.

Many fellow writers provided great advice and links. Feel free to stop by:

I wish you success in exposing this creep for what he is: a thief.

-Angel Zapata

Travis Cody said...

Damn! I'm so sorry this happened! A good friend of mine has had work from her blog hacked and plagiarized. It must be such a sick feeling to know the work you put into something is so easily stolen by some lazy opportunist.

Best of luck as you go after this clown.

Melissa Royer said...

I have alerted those on my facebook friends list that are mutually 'friends' with this guy.

I am sorry that this has happened to you and I hope that you get these issues resolved in a timely manner.

Rick said...

I was on the road most of yesterday, so just now getting back to this. Thank you everyone for all your support. This guy is all over with his magazines, especially his new one "Darkened Doorways," soliciting manuscripts. It's like a thief soliciting diamonds.


- Charles, thank you so much for all of your help and support. You make a good detective!

- I'm so glad you commented, Shauna. I'd forgotten Duotrope. And Predators and Editors. I'm on them today, though. Thanks.

- ANNA-LYS, I never thought about tagging Leigh with this information, but I'm going to drop her a line. She's having such a good time with her success. Good thinking to check with her!

- Angie, you are a born private eye and good person! Thank you for helping on this. For Christmas, I'm going to buy you a magnifying glass.

- Natasha, you wouldn't believe how much slimier this guy gets. The more we've researched, the more I feel like I'm dealing with the Bozo the Clown of the horror world.

- JR, I'm with you on this. This guy is in need of therapy. And yeah, I think you're right about the way the stealing process works. But I also think he acts as a slush reader under various names, then steals those works the publisher sends him.

- laughingwolf, buddy, if you send me the that info about who didn't pay you, I'm going to research them, too and I'll post it right here if that's okay with you.

Rick said...

- Hey, Monique (Middle Ditch)! That's horrible. A professor stealing a student's paper and then publishing it. This is what big sticks are made for. And thanks for your support here. Sorry I've been out of touch for so long, too.

- McKoala, can I send that teddy bear in your icon after him? And thanks!

- laughingwolf, I'd never heard of that site and thanks for the heads up on it.

- Stacy, that is so very weird. A totally fabricated resume. Sounds like the sister of this guy I'm after!

the walking man said...

"Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000."

Rick said...

- Sage, I really am glad you came by! Electrocution...hmmmm And I'm sorry about your research being stolen. I had a patent stolen from me and sold by a company with all the money and I didn't have the money to defend it, so I can identify with your loss.

- Randy, that person is a total klepto. This is why I'm still a member of the National Writers Union after all these years.

- Naomi, if he stole the story, why not the photo?? Good point.

- G, you're officially a member of the Clown Posse. You and Angie should form your own detective agency. You'd be dynamite.

-David, I'd appreciate anything you find. This guy is apparently hiding under the name Leo Wolfe and starting a new magazine since he got so much heat as David Byron. We're downloading websites so he can't change them to hide the connections.

-Alex, thanks, and what's your new book?

-Kate, I love your Avatar, by the way. Writers who blog are a tremendous community. People like you and the rest make me happy to be a writer.

Rick said...

Steve- You're right. First, steal it, then advertise that you have it. What a bozo.

Rick said...

-Angel, It's so offensive, isn't it? He steals it then sells it in public. Yeah, he's going down. Wait, he's already down.

-Travis, I'm so sorry for your friend. Would you mind writing to me about it? I'd be glad to add the person who did it to my list and publicize it.

-Melissa, I owe you one! Thanks.

Rick said...

Walking Man, I knew I liked you for a reason. PS, sorry to have been away for so long. I missed your poetry.

Anonymous said...

Rick, I found my way here via Cussedness. Just wanted to let you know I've featured your tangle with Iron Dave on my blog. It's not the first time Iron Dave's "Legion of Nitwit" antics have been highlighted there.

Rick said...

Hi Rusty Nail! Yep, Iron Dave (now masquerading as Leo Wolfe and soliciting for his new magazine "Darkened Doorways") is definitely a founding member of the Legion of Nitwits. And thank you so much for posting about this.

Mistress Rowan said...

OMG I am so sorry. I published this story in House of Horror. I will take it down right away though it was last year in one of the first issues. Again my apologies. I have only just come across this.

Rick said...

Horror House Madam, I'm so glad you told me this and took corrective action. I owe you one! And you're welcome here anytime.

Unknown said...

We are in your corner. I am very glad that you made me aware of what had happened.

laughingwolf said...

will do, bro... asap

Anonymous said...

Horror House Madam - I just wanted to say thank you for being such a responsible editor! House of Horror is a great venue. It hurts us as a community when con artists like this try and pull the wool over our eyes.

Lana Gramlich said...

OMG, hon..I'm completely disgusted & very sorry for you! BTW, if you google his e-mail address (in "quotation marks,") a bunch of stuff comes up. I'll see what I can find out. If you have a lawyer, a carefully worded cease & desist letter can work wonders.

Lana Gramlich said...

Found this while researching;

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: and click on "File a Complaint Online," call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580

If your complaint is against a company in another country, please file it at

Lana Gramlich said...

You can also report his illegal activity to (who hosts his freewebs site; ) Go here;

Here's a rundown;
Webs respects the intellectual property of others, and we ask that subscribers of our services do the same. In connection with our services, Webs has adopted and implemented a policy respecting copyright law that provides for the termination, in appropriate circumstances, of subscribers of Webs's online services who are repeat infringers of intellectual property rights, including copyrights.

If you believe that one of our Members is, through the use of our services, unlawfully infringing the copyright(s) in a work, and wish to have the allegedly infringing material removed from a Webs-supported web site, the following information in the form of a written notification (pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)) must be provided to Webs's designated Copyright Agent:

1.Identification of the copyrighted work(s) that you claim to have been infringed;
2.Identification of where the infringing material is located on a web site supported by Webs;
3.A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the objectionable material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or under the law;
4.A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and that under penalty of perjury, you are either the owner of the copyright that has allegedly been infringed or that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner;
5.Your address, telephone number, and e-mail address; and
6.Your physical or electronic signature.

Please note that pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), any misrepresentation of material fact (falsities) in a written notification automatically subjects the complaining party to liability for any damages, costs and attorney’s fees incurred by Webs (Freewebs, Inc.) in connection with the written notification and allegation of copyright infringement.

The designated Copyright Agent for Webs (Freewebs, Inc.) is:

Copyright Agent
c/o Webs Abuse Department
Freewebs, Inc.
1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 801
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Should the proper information and supporting documentation be in order, please fill out the following form to report the copyright violation.

Lana Gramlich said...

Here's some contact info for Lulu;

PR Hotline: 919.447.3290

Lana Gramlich said...

FYI, he has 3 more pages via you can report him for;

Lana Gramlich said...

He also has a gmail account;
I don't know if you can report him to them, as well.

Lana Gramlich said...

Found a blog post about his plagiarism here;

Lana Gramlich said...

Another blog post about him;

Lana Gramlich said...

I don't know if this is the same guy, but you might want to look into it;

Shauna Roberts said...

Rick, lucky you know Lana! Everyone needs an angry librarian in their corner.

Lana Gramlich said...

FYI, I've posted about this on a blog/social-networking site a belong to, asking for help/advice. I'll let you know what I get.

Janene Murphy said...

Ugh! I hate people like this. The internet makes it easy to find work to plagarize, too. So far, I only have one similar story. I write a blog for teens. Some guy with a porn site posted a link to an article I wrote on dating older guys and said he wrote it. Nothing feels quite like having your work connected to porn, especially when you have a young audience. sigh.

Anyway, I hope this guy gets nailed. Sorry to hear it happened.

Rick said...

Lana, I am so grateful for all of your help. For goodness sake, no wonder Charles married you!!

Rick said...

Janene, I'm sure before this is through, we'll uncover an even seamier side to this moron. And I can't believe the other guy put it on a porn site and claimed it was his. That is so, so tacky. He should go to virtual jail.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, Lana is a sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

I'm the person who wrote the worldcat review on Fup by Jim Dodge that Angie linked above. Jim Dodge has a poem called "The First Cut is the Deepest" in his collection called Rain on the River, but no short story. Good luck finding this criminal :(

Lana Gramlich said...

Got an error msg when I tried to post, so apologies in advance if this ends up double posted...

I send an e-mail to your wowway address this morning.

Sidney said...

Read about this first on Charles' blog. Sorry to hear that. We are in a brave new digital world.

Anonymous said...

they have been finding info on him as have others.

Rick said...

With a few digital cowards thrown in, Sidney. Unfortunately.

Rick said...

Boy, it just keeps rolling in, doesn't it, corpsegirl. Thanks so much for your help.

B said...

It appears that all of the sudden Boyer is having scheduling issues and is being replaced by another author on 10/10/10 at The Mockingbird Book Emporium.

ANNA-LYS said...

A tiny reflektion
isn't this guy keeping
up to date with this post?


1. He know Your movement before You activate them.

2. You got his IP - shall we start a war


Rick said...

Hello again, ANNA-LYS. David has contacted me and 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.

So we wait. What do you think, ANNA-LYS? Will he do this?

B said...

Where can I place my wager?

Rick said...

Just a note to tell all of you how much I appreciate everything you've done. You've made it possible to turn up the heat. The information you helped us find is both compelling and convincing. You've shown me the real meaning of "online community." I won't forget.

By the weekend I'll be posting more on this because so many people have come forward with their stories. Without your help and support, they wouldn't have spoken up.

Jodi Lee (Morrighan) said...

I've seen two stories posted by Byron that I am sure are not his (one is published on a writer's site, and the other I'm sure I've come across in my submissions reading somewhere, I recognize the story).

The Dead Wall seems to have been written by Michael Wolfe and posted to his site here:

I saw it at Dark Fire Fiction under Byron's name, here:

I'm sure Michael Wolfe and Byron in his many forms are not the same person only in that Byron never seems to register a real domain, only subs on Freewebs.

The story I'm concerned about, the one I'm sure I've read in a submissions queue is under Byron's works listed as "Wildflowers" and it's also at Dark Fire Fiction.

If anyone has any info on that story, I'd be very glad to hear it. It's been bugging me now.. :)

Lisa Morton said...

Nothing called "The First Cut is the Deepest" has ever received a Stoker recommendation. "Electrocuting the Clowns" did receive three recommendations on the 2008 Stoker Recommendations list.

Rick said...

Jodi, I'm going to ask Angie and Lana to add you to our list of Top Notch Detectives!

Anonymous said...

"The First Cut is the Deepest" may not be the title under which it was originally published. I've found the same story published by "'Doc' Byron" (our plagiarist again, I think) over here:

...under the title "The Sweet Spot".

So. He's been known to alter the titles. That will make it more difficult to trace down the original author, but not, I hope, impossible.

Joe Ponepinto said...

Rick, I read about this on Stewart's and Christine's blogs, and have logged complaints with Duotrope and Webs. If enough of us do that we can keep this thief on the run so that he has fewer and fewer outlets for his activities. Maybe he'll tire of the chase after a while. Best of luck corralling this outlaw.

Anonymous said...

What a scumbag. That these people think they can get away with it is beyond belief. After the Richard Ridyard episode last year, you would think that they would learn.

After a bit of digging, I found his myspace page if anyone feels the urge to drop by and leave a comment.

His Personal Site

His dodgy publishing site

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Wow..what a low life! I hope he gets what's coming to him. I'm glad you are a member of the NWU. This just stinks, Rick!

Mary Witzl said...

I'm really sorry this happened to you too. I've had my stories used without my permission, but by people who credit me as the author. I don't like it, but what can I do to stop it?

Someone thieving an entire story, title and all, is completely different and over-the-top unacceptable. It burns me up to think of all the time writers spend, crafting, rewriting, editing, polishing, going over and over the same pieces, then finally going through the whole submission process -- all so that a jackass like this guy can come along and steal the story.

Good luck with this, and I will keep my eye out. It's probably been mentioned in the comments here, but for what it's worth, The First Cut is the Deepest was one of the very first songs Cat Stevens wrote. I don't suppose swiping a title counts as theft.

Mary Witzl said...

(And he doesn't deserve to have cats.)

Rick said...

fgwss- With all of you out there working to help me, it makes it a lot easier. Thank you.

Angie said...

I don't suppose swiping a title counts as theft.

Mary -- no, it doesn't. You can't copyright titles, which is good because you can say exactly what song your character is listening to on the radio or whatever; it's only when you start quoting lyrics that you have a problem. And if you could copyright titles, Rick would've been guilty of that particular theft first. [wry smile]


Rick said...

Do you understand why they started that "can't copyright the title thing," Angie. I know it goes back a long way, but I never did get it.

Angie said...

Rick -- matterofact, I've never looked it up. I just Googled it and found this:

Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans are not protected by copyright law. Similarly, it is clear that copyright law does not protect simple product lettering or coloring, or the mere listing of product ingredients or contents. The exclusion of these types of materials is not an exception to copyright law, but merely an application of the requirements for copyright protection. To be protected by copyright, a work must contain at least a minimum amount of authorship in the form of original expression. Names, titles, and other short phrases are simply too minimal to meet these requirements. This is why you will often see books and movies sharing the same title.

Works Unprotected by Copyright Law

If you want to keep your title exclusive, you need to trademark it. So Copyright won't help George Lucas if someone else makes a movie called Star Wars, but he has it trademarked and can go after them that way. Of course, one can go a bit overboard; trying to trademark "Ark of the Covenant" had a few church officials clearing their legal throats. [eyeroll]

More seriously, there are titles which are significant works of authorship -- "The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World," and "'Repent Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" come immediately to mind as examples that aren't going to pop into just any writer's head. (Both by Harlan Ellison, in case you're not a fan. :) )

But in general, titles are shorter and much more generic. Making every person who bangs out a book or a short story or godhelpus a scrap of flash fiction (to say nothing of tossing songs and poems into the mix) think up a completely new title would bring production of fiction to a screeching halt, I think. :D


Lana Gramlich said...

Did you get my e-mail this morning?

Rick said...

Email from you? Heck no- I would have gotten back to you. But it might be on my home computer. I'll check and see in a bit. No Lana email will ever go unanswered by me!

Unknown said...

I wish I'd known all about this ages ago...Let me tell you the story, without taking up too much of your time.
April 2009. I´ve been writing and submitting forever, but hadn´t done very much until I moved to Spain. Inspired, I resurrected an old story, polished it up and began to search for a publisher. I went into Ralan and found...NVH...and Íron´Dave Byran. He liked my work, which I had submitted. Everything went ok. We went through the edits, then the cover, he sent me the final proof. Then, he told me that it was ready and would be put onto his web site, on Amazon, etc. Great. The book retailed at 14 dollars. I thought that was quite expensive, but I wasn´t too bothered - I was a published author!!! You had to scrape me off the ceiling I was so happy!
I asked if I could get some copies, to distribute to friends. No problem. I ordered 10. They arrived, looked pretty good. Those 10 soon went. I wrote and asked to order some more. Another 10? No, let´s go for 50. He allowed me a discount - nice touch. I could order 50, no problem. It would cost 500 dollars. I sent off the cheque.
Yep, I know what you're thinking. SAP. The thing is, he'd seemed so genuine, and he had sent me 10 copies...I was so keen to get these books, everyone wanted one.
The weeks went by. No books. I wrote, asked what the problem was. No reply. I kept on writing. Then, I received an email from Warren, his brother. Dave had gone into hospital, he´d had a mild stroke. Warren was trying to work through his brother´s backlog of work. I felt awful. Here I was worrying him about my books, and there he was close to death!
A few more weeks went by.
nothing. I started getting anxious, wrote to Warren, told him I was being pàtient, but I'd paid good money and wanted my books. Warren started getting angry, shouted a lot. Told me I was being unfair, that I had to be more patient. Well, I had been. Six weeks. The other books had come within a week! What was the problem? Printer codes, he said. Can´t you get them from Dave? Dave is ill. Then, I bit the bullet. No he isn't, I said, because you are Dave, aren't you?
No more replies. Nothing at all. I wrote and wrote and wrote. What was I supposed to do? He lived in the USA, I lived in Spain. I got in touch with another author from the site...and guess what...SAME STORY!!!
If this wasn´t bad enough...
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.

Rick said...

Joe Ponepinto- sorry to be so long getting back to you on this, but I was having a hard time keeping up!

Anyway, thank you so much for lodging those complaints. I owe you one.

Rick said...

graemereynolds- what's the Richard Ridyard incident? I hadn't heard of it. And thanks for bringing it up by the way.

Anonymous said...

Stuart - that's mail fraud! Someone should put this guy in jail.

Jerrrod Balzer said...

Stuart, do you mind if I re-post your story to the thread on this over at Shocklines? Or you can, of course. It may help others over there.

S.Blundell said...

Hey Rick,

Sorry to hear this, I had problems with this scum dog, and posted a topic over at Graveside Tales about this prick!,1600.0.html

I orginally did cover art and 16 interior art, before things got messy. See the link for the full story. He's a nasty bit of work. Also his facebook profile has a new book coming out with a Ben Templesmith image that he's swiped which I'll be forwarding onto the relevant parties. I'll send you any infor I have on him.

- Stephen

S.Blundell said...

Hey Rick,

Here's a link of my dealing with the #*$&#@* called David Byron (Iron Dave).,1600.0.html

I did cover art and interior art for an anthology called "Deadly Dolls", but after waiting and eventually saw through his BS, I ended up getting and plus a english printing company to pull down the book due to copyright breach. I'll look through my notes and send you any info that you may or may not have. Goodluck sorting this arsehole... also his facebook page has a book cover thats flogged off Ben Templesmith, sending an email to him now.

S.Blundell said...

Man this guy is a creep! I did cover art and interior art for an anthology called "Deadly Dolls" when he screwed me over because he failed to honour his own contract. My warning post can be found here ...,1600.0.html

Good luck, Rick! I've noted that Doc Byron, Iron Dave, Leo what-the-fuck, David Boyer flogged a new book with art that belongs to comic legend Ben Templesmith (40 Days Of Night fame), sent Ben an email to let him know, perhaps he'll send it to IDW his publisher.

- Stephen Blundell

S.Blundell said...

Hmmm email address

He once used but that put an end to him, when I sent them a breach of copyright for my art that he flogged on "Deadly Dolls". He also pulled the BS scheme of the printer was down, when I asked them the replied "Our Printers are never down".

He pulled the "sickness" BS on me too, just he was low enough to say that it was his mother. And that he couldn't leave her side for two months (what a BS). So I called him out.

If anyone would like to read some emails let me know and I'll post a huge post of about thirty nasty emails he sent me. If this doesn't show you what kind of idiot this guy is nothing will.

- Stephen

B said...


I just went over to your postings at Are those all your email exchanges?

I am interested in seeing them all because I am looking for patterns from him.

Actually, I would like to see everything anyone has received from Boyer/various other names he uses.

The more I have together, the more I will know about him and his patterns.

S.Blundell said...

Thats just the tip of the iceberg as far as emails. I will all of them soon!

- Stephen

S.Blundell said...

The blog from hell ... here's my email exchanges between him and I. Be warned take that much needed toilet break, coffee before reading it.

Joe Ponepinto said...

Some progress. I contacted Duotrope and they agreed to permanently remove his three listings. Rick, I will forward their email to you so you can see what they said.

Rick said...

Joe, you are a genius. Thanks!

Rick said...

By the way, I've had so many helpful responses, that I have a lot of catchup to do saying thanks to everyone, but that's the good news!

S.Blundell said...

Just posted over at deviantart to help me locate some of the artists he's flogged art from. Two of his books have commerical artists work on it. One being the creator of Invader Zim and the other being Ben Templesmith. Sadly he left his address out in the open too.

Nickolaus Pacione said...

Rick -- drop me an e-mail and give me all your notes about the story he plagiarized. I want to give you a copy of one of the other issues of the magazine to show you that I didn't know about this. I was just tipped off this morning about the plagiarized story. To make things right, I am re-editing the anthology. I took the anthology and the magazine down for now. This is my e-mail,, and I will see what I can do to clear this up. It's a clusterfuck and The Rusty Nail is an obsessed 40something bitch that needs to get a life.

Rick said...

Hey, Nickolaus. Definitely let's talk. I did 2,00 miles in three days so my eyes are still refocusing. And thank you.

CypherDeLorca said...

thank god.. I thought I was the only one that was calling this guy out on 'his' story "The Zoo". I read it in reading class in the mid-90s. Yeah.. not this guy. God I hope someone brings charges on this guy. I just went looking for who wrote it and his name popped up. I was happy until I found out its not him but he was taking credit for it. I know it was a female writer who made it and made many, many more stories like it. Wish I'd of payed more attention to my teacher when I was in his class... then I'd know who the author was.. to bad, I liked her work.

Martin said...

Your blog was one of the best reads we had in recent history.
Keep up the good fight against the demons

Martin & Elaine Stab