Friday, 23 November 2012

A.P. Herbert's Misleading cases


The Mysterious Case of Alan Place v Alan Place

This week's story is not about ghosts, but about ghost writers as you will see as you read on.
It all began some months ago at a site called Bookrix, Alan Place wrote a story called The Word. Some of the people on the site tore it to shreds, because the could not grasp the different style of writing and the didn't like him at all-nothing he did was ever good for them.
After much debating he convinced himself to try and sell it on Amazon, so Alan put the short story on his profile. It stayed there doing nothing for months, so he took it off the sales feature, tutted to himself and said “It had to happen at some time. Every writer hits a genre that they don't clck, maybe Sci-Fi is mine.”
The story stayed inactive on his laptop for months until a friend suggested that he try to do it as an on line serial. Again, after mch debating he agreed, as he had nothing to lose and may even gain some readers. Slowly, the readers came to his blog. Not many at first, but a steady stream until he had over 200 a month.
After the second month Alan decided to put the story back in book form. The story now had enlarged to a small selection of several stories about a group of people called The Word who are trying to win the minds back from the Game Lords. In the stories we meet all different types of peoples, many of who have a mysterious background.
At this point things turned odd, as Amazon who had previously had records of the book even though no sales record challenged Alan's right to publish his book, because it had an on line presence and they thought he had copied somebody else's work and was passing it off as his. Despite the fact that all web links came back to Alan or his blog in some way, and his name was clearly visible to whoever looked at the work.
Here he stood having to prove that the work he was trying to put on line was his and was just an extension of another book that had't sold, Alan is hoping that with the popularity of the blog serial this may encourage a few sales.
In his weird mind, he had this scene where he went to court to sue himself for plagiarism, and the lawyers were totally confused as to who to defend or prosecute. It would have been a right case of Albert Haddock*.
You can see the trial as he has to pay himself court costs for losing the case and then has to pay back all the ill-gotten proceeds from the illegal sale of a work that was his to sell, but Amazon didn't believe it. The case was settled out-of-court and Alan Place was asked to pay Alan Place all the monies accrued, which to date ammount to zero LOL

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