Anyone who has been following my Facebook fanpage is aware that I discovered a libelous and spurious review of my first book in the Godslayer Cycle, One, by Publisher’s Weekly posted on Booklife.com. I called for an immediate retraction of the offending content, but Publisher’s Weekly has refused to remove it. Consequently, I am exercising my legal right to sue for damages to my brand and intellectual property rights unless they do so without further delay.
I am providing the commentary here for two reasons: first, to make public my notice of intent to take legal measures to protect my intellectual property rights and brand; and second, to provide an example of what legal rights other independent authors have. Though you as an author have no right to control a genuine negative review (freedom of the press), you do have the legal right to demand a retraction of any incorrect or misleading information about the content of your intellectual property. If you write a book about the Bible, and someone posts a review saying you are writing about the Quran, you have the right to demand retraction of deliberately libelous content about your brand. If they do not respond or ignore your request, you have the right to sue to both enforce it as well as to seek damages to your goodwill, ie, defamation of character.
This being said, please see below for the precise language of my Libelous Defamation Cease and Desist Notice. Good luck, one and all!
RE: Libelous Defamation Cease and Desist Notice
August 18, 2014
To Whom It May Concern,
I am an author, and the owner of the copyright, trademark and patent relating to books referenced on your site, specifically“One” and “Godslayer Cycle”. I publish these titles in the United States and around the world. My intellectual property rights and brand recognition as an author have been in continuous use since August, 2011.
I have discovered that you are intentionally defaming my brand by soliciting spurious and deliberately false content about my work, and then criticizing the false content as a reflection of my brand’s credibility on your website (booklife.com). Your website prominently features a review of my intellectual property that is deliberately libelous and fraudulent, maligning my intellectual property and brand based thereon. You have been notified of this infringement, yet the site has remained active, receiving 127 referrals to other social media sites as of the date of this letter.
It is clear that your providing this alleged review of my work is intended to (and actually does) misinform and misdirect customers seeking my goods and services for sale, effectively maligning both my character and that of the brand I represent. This activity is actionable under federal law and causes you to be liable to me in every state and/or country in which I may have made sales. Your activities are unlawful and constitute intellectual property rights dilution and diminishment of marketable value, and as they are deliberately harmful, they also constitute malignant libel and defamation.
Federal trademark law provides numerous remedies for intellectual property dilution, including, but not limited to, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, money damages, a defendant’s profits), provisions for the destruction or confiscation of infringing products and promotional materials (in this case your website content), damages equal to the value of lost sales (in this instance actionable through any and all distribution of your reviews to other media sites and/or views of your website equal to the lost value of sale per consumer reached by this method), damages equal to any and all compensation received through your site through the period in which this offending material was posted, and where intentional infringing is shown, attorney’s fees and treble money damages.
I can file a lawsuit against you seeking: (i) preliminary and permanent injunction; (ii) treble money damages; (iii) compensation equal to your the loss of value to my brand; (iv) reimbursement of any attorney’s fees; and (v) a court order that you compensate me for damage to my goodwill.
I prefer to resolve this matter without taking legal action, but I am prepared to file a lawsuit if necessary to protect my rights and business. You may avoid legal action by having an authorized representative respond to this letter no later than August 21, 2014, together with an affirmation that you have ceased and desisted in the distribution of libelous content about my brand and/or intellectual property and that a retraction has been posted publicly and visibly upon your site renouncing the content of your review as libelous and maliciously false. Should this be accomplished, I will forego claims of damage including proceeds, endorsement compensation, damages to my brand and intellectual property, or any other form of income derived from such distribution received through the date of such cessation, including any revenue for which you have not yet received payment.
This letter is sent without prejudice to my rights and claims, all of which are expressly reserved. Please direct any communications in this regard to my attention.
/s/ Ron Glick