• Report: #958974

Complaint Review: booklocker.com

  • Submitted: Tue, October 23, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, October 24, 2012

  • Reported By: Ann — stamford New York U.S.A.
booklocker.com
134355 McCall Rd #394 Port Charlotte, Florida United States of America

booklocker.com publishing.booklocker.com Booklocker, a Self-Publish company , did a Rippoff of $1274.00 from this author Port Charlotte, Florida

*Consumer Comment: A most ethical vendor.

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Ann DeBois has thus far failed to provide us with proof that she has permission to use the images she took from the Internet to include in her book.

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I contracted with Booklocker , a self-publish company, to do my book. I bought their color-pod-program for $1274. Angela the owner reviewed my book and accepted it for a full inside color book.
My book is an agriculture/food history book with with over 45  inside  full color  pictures from many different sources, 23 recipes from various sources, story info and quotes.

During the second step of the process Angela picked out several of the pictures and demanded that I supply her with written releases for there use. I reminded her that the contract covered this issue and that it did not require I supply her with written permission. She went crazy, calling me a liar, thief and a jerk. At the same time that she is being verbally abusive she saying if I do as she says I can continue!. That would mean she would then be in charge of having my book printed and marketed. No one in their right mind would want to continue to work with her.

 First she canceled, saying I was a thief etc . I agreed to the cancelation. She wanted to sell me what had already been done. Stating I could use it with another publisher. A total lie. I told her I bought a package and she did not deliver. I should get a complete refund.

Summery: At some point Angela realized she had taken on a book that was over her head. She has no experience in my kind of book. She has published one inside color book, a childrens book. When she realized she would be loosing money , rather than admit she had made a mistake she went on the attack. Becomimg the champion of authors rights.
I just want my money back.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/23/2012 03:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/booklockercom/Port-Charlotte-Florida-33981/booklockercom-publishingbooklockercom-Booklocker-a-Self-Publish-company-did-a-Rippof-958974. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

A most ethical vendor.

AUTHOR: WexfordPress - ()

My experince over many years is that Booklocker.com is absolutely ehtical. They are also very careful about things like permissions for photos etc. And they reject more books than they accept. Their upront fees are lower than most subsidy presses. This is the only subsidy press I will ever do business with.

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Ann DeBois has thus far failed to provide us with proof that she has permission to use the images she took from the Internet to include in her book.

AUTHOR: Angela - (U.S.A.)

SUMMARY: WORK HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE BUT ANN DUBOIS (a.k.a. "Stat") HAS THUS FAR FAILED TO PROVIDE US WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM COPYRIGHT OWNERS OF IMAGES SHE INCLUDED IN HER BOOK. AS CREATIVES OURSELVES, WE RESPECT THE COPYRIGHTS OF OTHERS. WE DO NOT COMMIT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.


Seventy hours of design work and original cover design have already been completed on Ann DuBois' book, The Big Apples of New York. However, she has thus far failed to provide us with written permission from the copyright owners of images she included in her book. Using images without permission from the copyright owners is a violation of federal copyright law.  We do not commit copyright infringement and copyright and trademark infringement are a violation of Ann DuBois' contract. Per her contact, if there is a problem with a book (see details below), the book is put on hold until those problems are fixed. Ann DuBois' refusal to provide permissions has forced us to put the book on hold. 


We have repeatedly requested copies of these permissions that Ann DuBois allegedly has but she has refused to provide them. Therefore, we can only assume that the permissions do not exist. Otherwise, why refuse to provide copies? 


Ann DuBois further implied she didn't have permission by insisting she would be the only one legally liable because she would give us a "waiver." Of course, a "waiver" won't stop anyone from filing a lawsuit against us or the designer.


When we attempted to educate Ann DuBois about copyrights and the penalties that can be assessed for each violation, she got very upset and demanded we publish her book without the permissions, or refund all her money. The design work on the book (70 hours on the interior file alone) had already been completed. Had we known Ann DuBois did not have permission from the copyright owners of the images she used, we would have rejected her book. 


Ann DuBois' claims above about "liar" and "thief" are false. However, if someone claims they have something they don't, that is a lie and if someone uses another person's original artwork without permission, that person is a thief. 


I did use the work "jerk" (see below) because Ann DuBois was extremely rude and unprofessional to us and to the designer (see email quotes below). She demanded we do as she said (publish her book without proof of permissions) simply because she paid us. Again, copyright infringement is a violation of Ann DuBois' contract. She paid us to publish a book. She did not pay us to violate federal copyright law. Using someone else's work for profit without permission is not only illegal, it's just plain wrong. 


In my email to her, I wrote: "Our website clearly states 'we don't work with jerks' and you're being a jerk to Gwen and now also to me. You are unprofessional and rude and you have no respect for copyrights owned by others. How would you feel if somebody created copies of your book and sold them for profit without your permission and without remuneration to you?"


Dealing with Ann DuBois has been less than pleasant on many levels, which is why we offered her a partial refund (all of our fees but not the designers' fees because their work was already done) and her production files. Here are just two of the comments she has sent by email:


"Ange (sic) has been hired by me!"


and


"Have you forgotten that I hired you too (sic) work for me? You need to change your behavior to me.After all I'm paying you. Correct?"


So, yes, she was being a "jerk" to us. And, when someone puts us and our designers at potential risk of numerous lawsuits, with penalties ranging from $750 to $150,000 per infringement, I tell it like it is. This is a very serious matter.


Ann DuBois also lied above when she claimed we've only published one children's book. We have published more than 5,000 books in the past 15 years and several of them were color-interior books, including children's titles. If Ann DuBois will post blatant lies about us here, that further shows we made the right decision in not believing her claims about having the permissions. We certainly could not "take her word for it" after the odd, defensive and unprofessional emails she sent. 


DETAILS: Ann DuBois (a.k.a. "Stat") of Stamford, NY, the author of The Big Apples of New York, submitted a manuscript to our firm that contained images that we later discovered (only after 70 hours of formatting were complete) were taken directly from the Internet. She has refused to provide us with permissions for those images, potentially putting us, the designer, and even herself at risk of several copyright infringement lawsuits. Ann DuBois further implied she didn't have permission by insisting she would be the only one legally liable because she would give us a "waiver." Of course, a "waiver" won't stop anyone from filing a lawsuit against us or the designer. Implying such further shows Ann DuBois is not knowledgeable about copyright / trademark laws - or lawsuits in general.


Penalties for copyright infringement range from $750 to $150,000 per violation. This is a very serious matter.


One example - Ann DuBois claimed the Apple logo she used was not copyrighted. We explained to her that logos are indeed not copyrighted, they are trademarked, and Apple's logos are trademarked. Apple's website makes it clear that written permission from Apple is required for use of their logos in publications. Ann DuBois made assumptions about its usage, which led us to believe she's made assumptions about using other images as well. She has, thus far, failed to provide us with proof that she has permission to use the Apple logo even after we sent her the link to Apple's website where they provide instructions for requesting permission. I also sent her a link to an article about all the lawsuits Apple has filed against those who have violated their intellectual property rights. She didn't respond to those facts. 


Ann DuBois now claims she has permission to use all images but it appears she does not based on her many emails to us, and based on the fact that she has refused to send us copies of those permissions.


Including a "References" or "Credits" page in a book does not give one permission to publish another's artwork without their prior approval.


Ann DuBois' incorrect assumptions about copyrights and a statement she wanted the designer to include in her book (see below) made it clear to us that there were serious potential legal problems with her book. Her errors in statements about using intellectual property owned by others, as well as the statement in her book (below), along with her defensive comments during this time led us to believe she did not have written permission to use all the images she pulled from the Internet. If she did, why such anger and resistance? Why not just forward them to us?


This is the statement Ann DuBois sent to the designer to include in her book:


"Every effort has been made to honor any existing copyright holders of illustration (sic) that are reproduced. If any errors have occurred in this regard ,necessary (sic) corrections will be made in any future printing editions of this book."


(Yes, that would have edited that before it was added to her book!)


Again, Ann DuBois demonstrated a lack of knowledge about copyright and trademark law. That statement basically tells us that Ann DuBois did not, in fact, obtain written permission from all the copyright holders of images she used, and corrections in "future editions" of the book will not prevent a lawsuit. I explained this to her and she still did not provide proof that she has permission to use the images she included in her book.


Since Ann DuBois demonstrated in that statement and in emails to us that she does not understand copyright/trademark laws, we must, of course, review all permissions before we can proceed. While Ann DuBois may not be knowledgeable about copyright and trademark laws, ignorance is no excuse for violating the law. We, of course, can't allow ourselves to be put at risk based on a simple email from Ann DuBois stating she does have the permissions - especially after everything that has transpired.


In other words, we can't "take her word for it."


Per Ann DuBois' contract:


"The Author states that the Work is not currently in the public domain and that the Author is the sole owner and copyright holder of the work, with full power to enter into this contract. The Author states that if the Work has previously been published in whole or in part, that author currently holds all copyrights to the Work and that the author is legally permitted to enter into this agreement."


(NOTE: Ann DuBois has not provided proof that she owns all copyrights to the images in her book, nor that she has obtained permission to use them.)


"The Author hereby states that the Work does not infringe on the privacy of any third party; that he or she is owner of any trademarks and/or trade names associated with the Work; that the Work does not constitute obscenity, hate literature or ILLEGAL CONTENT and that the author has the right to enter into this Agreement."


(NOTE: Copyrighted/trademarked material published without permission is "illegal content.")


"The Company reserves the right to stop advertising and selling books and to freeze all unpaid commissions for any author whose book(s) are involved in a legal dispute or pending legal dispute."


(NOTE: Ann Dubois' use of images without providing permission puts our firm, the designer, and Ann DuBois herself at serious risk of a lawsuit.)


"The Company reserves the right to refuse to sell a book that contains errors or design issues that will result in harm to the Company's and/or the Author's reputation. If an Author submits a manuscript or cover that contains such errors, the Company will make the Author aware of the problems, and will request corrections. If the author refuses to make such changes, the Company will not put the book on the market, and will not refund the Author's fees because the Company will have already processed files, and invested time and money in the book."


(NOTE: Including an image when permission has not been obtained from the copyright owner is indeed an "error" and using images without permission can indeed harm the author's and the publisher's reputations. The book design has indeed been done. The interior designer spent 70 hours on the book and the cover designer finished long ago.)


Per the contract, the book is currently on hold. Ann DuBois can either submit the required permissions, request those images be removed from the book, or accept a refund of our fees only (not the designers' fees as their work has already been done) along with receipt of her production files for use elsewhere. She has refused all of the above. 


If Ann DuBois is willing to blatantly lie about us here, how are we to know she's not also lying about having written permission to use the images she placed in her book? We can't. We would be foolish to "take her word for it" when so much is at stake ($750 to $150,000 per violation).


We are advocates for writers', authors', artists' and photographers' rights and that includes fighting for those whose copyrights have been or may be violated. Our copyrights have been violated many times over the years and we know how it feels when someone uses your material for profit without permission. It hurts - a lot. We would never do anything to harm another creative individual in that fashion. 


We have published more than 5,000 books in the past 15 years and this is the first time an author has tried to coerce us into publishing images without providing permission. We respect the rights of other creatives and we will NOT violate federal copyright law. Period. 
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