Legit Ebook Lending Site Taken Down By An Angry Twitmob Of Writers [UPDATED]

from the pack-of-highly----got-it dept

[UPDATE: Word is filtering back that threats are being directed at some of the authors pictured or quoted in this post. I will reiterate my comment I posted below about the threats, mainly: DON'T DO IT.

THIS DOESN'T MAKE ANYTHING BETTER.

Techdirt's not that kind of site. I know that because I've been reading this site for a half-decade and contributing to it for well over a year.

If you really just want to make a statement to these writers about how they've lost a customer because of their actions, there are several places to find the names involved. I'm not going to compile a list and post it here as some sort of vindictive troll bait.

IF YOU WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING, SUPPORT THE BLOGGERS AND AUTHORS WHO DEFENDED LENDINK, AND PATRONIZE LENDINK IF DALE CAN GET IT BACK UP AND RUNNING.]

A bizarre thing happened late last week. A bunch of authors, playing Twitter telephone, managed to take down LendInk, a legitimate book lending site. (This “discussion” has spilled over to LendInk's Facebook page.) LendInk, a matchmaking site for Kindle and Nook users to “borrow” each other's titles, somehow found itself on the receiving end of an irate mob, who accused it of piracy and sent (at least according to the threats) several DMCA takedown notices its way.

As of last Friday, the site is down, presumably as a response to the heavy influx of angry traffic and DMCA notices. There has been no official word from the person running LendInk (listed here on an info page [via Google Cache] as Dale Porter, a disabled Army vet who seemed to be running LendInk as a hobby), but it pretty much seems to be how it looks: LendInk is down and may not be coming back.

Here's a bit of the “outrage,” which mostly seems to be people lining up for their turn at the “I spot a pirate” mic:

Update: At least one of these writers (Imran Siddiq) has since admitted to misunderstanding what LendInk does, and retracted his statement.
 

twits

 

 A variety of misconceptions appear frequently:

1. This is a pirating site

A small amount of investigation shows that LendInk is (was?) not a “pirating” site. No copies of ebooks were stored on its sites. All LendInk did was connect people wanting to lend books with borrowers.

Here's a brief explanation of the process from a review of LendInk by The Next Web:

 

Using LendInk is as simple as could possibly be. Just browse the new and notable section, or search for the book you want. After checking it’s being offered in the format of your choice you put in a request and the lender has 48 hours to respond.

If you’d prefer to offer a book for someone else to borrow, it’s just a case of entering the title, author, a description and the format you own the book in.

2. All your books are available for free.

All your books only appear to be available. Because LendInk is an Amazon affiliate, any book title searched would be listed at the site. Clicking through would tell you whether the book was actually available (meaning someone had offered it to borrow). If the author or publisher has not authorized lending, then the Borrow button would be grayed out.

The massive wave of overly-concerned authors all searched for their own books and, unsurprisingly, were able to find them listed. What they failed to do was continue any further with the process. Fortunately, someone did and attempted to talk a few people out of their torches and pitchforks.

For people who are wondering why their book is there if it isn't lendable, or was lendable but now isn't, the answer is simple – that site lists every book for sale at Amazon or B&N. Every. Book. Did you notice that they also have links to buy the books? They make money through an affiliate program, if people buy books through their links. So they list EVERY BOOK. In fact, their website might be dynamic in that it generates a page whenever someone searches for a certain book.

I signed up and posted a book to share. I then searched on that book, found it, and said I wanted to borrow it. The site wasn't smart enough to know that I was the same person…. So what happens is the site sent me an email saying someone wanted to borrow my book, with “yes” and “no” links back to the site. When I clicked the “yes, I'll lend it” link, I simply got a page that said here's the name and email address of the person who wants to borrow your book.

No mystery. Nothing illegal. It lists every possible book. Some aren't lendable. LendInk is hoping you'll buy the books using its links, if you can't borrow them. End of story.

In addition to helping more readers read more books, LendInk also (via its affiliate links) helped sell books. Sure, every sale put 6% into LendInk's pockets, but it's no different than affiliate links at any other site. LendInk wasn't taking advantage of authors. Every time it made money, the authors made money.

3. I did not give LendInk permission to lend out my book.

This is the most common complaint and, like the rest of this list, is completely wrong. The fact is that most of these authors did grant permission for lending via their royalties contract with Amazon.

If you publish through KDP (whether or not you are in Select) and are at the 70% royalty rate, then your ebooks are lendable. Period. End of discussion. If you're at the 35% royalty rate, then you can opt in to make them lendable.

This has NOTHING to do with the Kindle Owners Lending Library for Prime customers. This is not a “borrow” under KDP Select. This is merely lending a legitimately purchased Kindle copy.

Some Kindle books are lendable. When a purchaser buys a copy, they can choose to lend it to a friend. When they do this, the ebook temporarily disappears from their Kindle and appears on their friend's Kindle. After 2 weeks, it disappears from their friend's Kindle and reappears on theirs.

It is 100% legal, and it's what you agreed to in the terms of KDP.

A publisher even weighed in on the subject and declared LendInk legitimate:

Here’s how it works: if you buy an ebook on your Kindle or Nook, you have the ability to lend it out to anyone else with a Kindle or Nook (Kindles lend to Kindles, Nooks to Nooks, etc.). This website connects ebook owners with others who want to borrow ebooks. So, instead of just borrowing from a friend, you can borrow even though you don’t know the person. All they do is match lenders and borrowers together. (They’re like a dating service.) The actual lending happens through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever the ebook was originally purchased, and that’s completely legit.

Basically, LendInk offered a legitimate service much like Lendle, but for whatever reason, a certain percentage of the writing community decided LendInk was offering pirated copies to everyone. Once a good witch hunt gets going, no one's going to stop until a witch is found… or created. Shawn Lamb of Allon Books crafts up a singular “witch” in an update to her gloaticle (Achievement Unlocked: Portmanteau'd!) “Pirate Site Sunk By United Broadside!“:

IMPORTANT AMENDMENT: For those of you jumping on me and other authors from the take down of a site – know this – it was a copycat site! The subtle difference is found in the title “Lendink” with a small “i” not “Lendlnk” with an “l”. They hijacked the name under the pretense of getting author's permission for pirating e-books. Collateral damage is regrettable, but we were only protecting our books, as giving permission to an unauthorized Lendink site would result in our books being removed from Amazon.

Lamb's bizarre theory of small “i” vs. big “I” site-jacking is just sad. There's simply no factual basis for this statement. Searches are not case sensitive and as for the URL, it's always going to be lowercase no matter how the site owner chooses to spell it. Attempting to justify your zealous overreaction by just making shit up isn't going to make your overreaction look any better.

The most popular piece of witch hunting equipment was this response many irate authors obtained from Amazon after informing it about LendInk's “piracy:”

Hello,

We have not authorized lendink.com to loan your book and have not provided your file to them.

If you've found your work available on an unauthorized website such as lendink.com, we suggest contacting that website to confirm your rights and request removal of your work. If you distribute your book through other sales channels, you might contact them to inquire as to whether they have authorized the inclusion of your book on lendink.com.

Our lending program allows a purchaser to lend a title once and does not allow the recipient to re-loan that book. For more information about Kindle book lending, check out this page:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200549320&#loan

I hope this helps. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

This was (and still is) held aloft by many authors as evidence of wrongdoing. But it really isn't. It's nothing more than boilerplate. Here's author Amanda Brice (again), breaking this letter down

This is a standard response from the customer service department, who is NOT the Legal deaprtment incidentally.

No, they did not authorize LendINK to lend books. HOWEVER, what LendINK is doing is the same as Lendle eBookFling or een the lending subforum right here on Kindleboards. It's no different than simply lending your book to your mom (which is 100% authorized through Amazon, btw). This is just doing it on a bigger scale.

Amazon did not provide your file to LendINK because nobody has provided any files to LendINK. LendINK doesn't actually have any files. They are simply the clearninghouse for people to meet up with others who want to borrow legitimate copies that they ahve purchased.

Amazon touts the fact that many of their Kindle books are lendable. Not able to be borrowed through the Prime library, but that customers can lend their copy ONCE to someone for up to 14 days. During the time the book has been lent, it becomes unavilable on the owner's Kindle and can only be read on the borrower's Lindle. At the end of 14 days, it disappears from the borrower's Kindle and reappears on the owner's Kindle.

This is not rocket science…

The Amazon Customer Service department is giving a stock response. It would be a different response if you actually spoke to someone in Legal, as Legal understands that this type of set-up is, in fact, tactitly authorized by the fact that they have created a system to allow for lending. (And from a policy standpoint, this type of system would discourage piracy.)

Before the site was taken/knocked offline, any one of these authors could have drawn the same conclusions as these helpful forum contributors, but most seemed to be caught up in the excitement of the hunt. An in-depth post by April Hamilton of the Indie Author blog points out everywhere these authors went wrong and how easily it could have been prevented. Fortunately, she also saved the pertinent parts of the LendInk FAQ, which cannot be reached by Google Cache or the Internet Archive: 

Is the loaning of eBooks really legal? Isn't this the same as file sharing?

Yes, loaning of certain eBooks is legal and No, it is not the same as file sharing. The key difference between the two is that the loan status of an eBook is directly dictated by the publisher and file sharing is usually done without the publishers consent. Working with Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, the publisher's make their eBooks available for loan under very strict rules. The actual book loaning process is handled by Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, not by LendInk.

I am a Publisher or Author of a book on LendInk, how did you get a copy of my book?

First, let us explain up front, we do not have a copy of your book. This is actually a common misunderstanding of how LendInk functions. No book has or will be stored on any LendInk server, ever. The title of the book is entered by our members and the book information is fed to us by an automated link between LendInk and Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Our servers only store our member contact information and the basic book information such as the author, ASIN and book description. We do not even store the book cover artwork.

It's all said and done at this point. LendInk is dead, at least for the time being. It's bandwidth is burnt and if it ever gets back online, it's very likely going to be facing down DMCA takedown notices for content it never had. And for what? Meanwhile you've got authors patting themselves on the back for knocking the site offline, all because some authors just don't like the fact that someone enjoyed their work without paying for it. Here's a couple of lovely quotes:

From the Kindle Boards:

Am I proud they have been shut down? Am I proud to have stood up for my legal rights as author? You betcha! If they were a legitimate site and had written consent from each and every author to display their work for free (forfeiting their royalty income as a result) then I doubt very much that the site would have suddenly disappeared overnight. I am tired of plagiarism, book piracy and cheap-*ss scum bags who won't part with a measly $2.99 or $4.99 to support authors and show respect for their hard work, not to mention the graphic artists, editors, photographers who also contributed to the birth of an author's ebook.

From the Amazon support board, an attack on the right of first sale:

Up until now I was just getting fed up with folks listing my books on ebay, amazon and third party sites selling the createspace paperback version at highly inflated prices!

If you can't read your own Terms and Conditions and can't parse a website well enough to determine whether it's simply performing an affiliate search or offering up pirated goods, maybe you shouldn't be in the ebook business. And if you can't deal with a few unpaid readings, go shout at your local library or something else as equally alienating and useless. Because no matter how much you yell at people for sharing, you can't have all the money.

 

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Companies: amazon, lendink

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Comments on “Legit Ebook Lending Site Taken Down By An Angry Twitmob Of Writers [UPDATED]”

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372 Comments
Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Indeed. I like how these authors were kind enough to put large glowing flashing neon signs on themselves with the words “I’m stupid and most likely so is my book.” Thanks. Sometimes its hard finding the good books out of all the crap that gets published. This only makes it easier to know which authors to not even bother looking into.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

would just like to say how *important* the seemingly small point of a suddenly invalid/’seized’ email eddress can be…
*IF* a person is being rolled over in an execute-now-trial-later situation, *of course* their email is going to be important in many ways that they are now unable to access to *possibly* clear their name…
when the web korporadoes and the gummint hold the keys to the inertnet kingdom, we serfs are at their mercy…
(and they have no mercy…)
hee hee hee
ho ho ho
ha ha ha
ak ak ak
art guerrilla
aka ann archy
eof

Milton Freewater says:

Re: Re:

“You know it’s crap like this that makes me want to go out and pirate their works just to piss them off.”

Screw that. I’d rather eat glass then read or promote books by people who would do this.

The punishment should fit the crime. They don’t want me to access their work? I won’t access their work. Case closed.

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I was kind of thinking the same thing… The stupidity that drove this farce basically eliminates any possibility that these “authors” could write anything worth reading… much less actually paying money for. I am grateful that they provided me this insight into their ability and character to keep me from wasting any time with their drivel.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You know it’s crap like this that makes me want to go out and pirate their works just to piss them off.

Rather than do that and give these writers some sort of “moral” victory, instead try to support these authors, who went out of their way to inform others of LendInk’s legitimacy.

SUPPORT THESE AUTHORS

Philip Catshill, who did his own investigation and defended LendInk on its Facebook page.

Michele Brenton, from the Digital Reader comment threads.

Eltanin Publishing, who made numerous appearances on the Kindle Boards quoted above.

Amanda Brice (also quoted above) who made several posts in the Kindle Boards as well.

April Hamilton, whose extensive blog post on the subject is quoted in this piece but is definitely worth reading all the way through.

That’s just a few of the authors worth pointing out. There were others on Twitter, but the search function seems to be hitting a brick wall at the moment.

These writers took the time and effort to research the claims flying all over Twitter instead of simply grabbing a pitchfork and hitting “retweet.” Then they went out and tried to prevent any further damage by educating those still on the fence and even converting a few of the pitchfork-bearers. If nothing else, send them an email or follow them on Twitter or just pass this list around. Add to it if you find more Lendink defenders.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I sent one. The silly troll had a twitter link in her own feed to a self righteous butt hurt blog post where she threatens anyone emailing her “hate” mail with the police and FBI, and claims that she’s not responsible for the outcome of her actions.

The fact that none of this would had happened if she had followed the law and sent a DMCA, that she instead responded with an apparently text book example of defamation, and now wants to add her self generated e-drama to the police and FBI’s workload is sickening.

What a childish, reckless, self entitled, airhead.

Vog (profile) says:

Lamb’s bizarre theory of small “i” vs. big “I” site-jacking is just sad. There’s simply no factual basis for this statement. Searches are not case sensitive and as for the URL, it’s always going to be lowercase no matter how the site owner chooses to spell it.

I’m not debating or suggesting anything about this point, I just want to point out that what you quoted directly above this is actually typed with a lowercase L.

Tunnen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Simple whois check showed that lendink.com is registered, lendlnk.com is not currently registered and can currently be bought.

===
LendInk.com

Registrant:
LendInk
10822 Allen Dr
Garden Grove, California 92840
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: LENDINK.COM
Created on: 01-Jan-11
Expires on: 01-Jan-13
Last Updated on: 02-Jun-11

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What I want to know is, is she lying about LendInk not being authorized (since there is no Lendlnk), or lying about which service was attacked (since LendInk was)? Maybe it’s a moot point, but I’d like to know exactly what she (mistakenly) thinks is (un)authorized.
Mike would’ve probably covered it, but the alleged “lowercase l/uppercase I” bit tripped him up IRL. Happens to the best of us sometimes, I guess…

ld says:

Re: Re: Re:

Their webhost was overloaded with these idiot authors’ spewage and shut down the site, therefore there is no site to find. All URL’s are all lowercase letters, doesn’t matter if you put caps lock on and type it in it will simply change everything to lowercase because that is what the DNS standard requires.

Tunnen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

But as far as I can tell, there was never a LENDLNK.COM. It’s currently available to be registered. Also, if it had just expired, most hosting companies will still reserve the domain name for a year or so before releasing it back to the wild. So if it did exist, it hasn’t been around for a long time.

So again this raises the issue of “What the hell is she talking about” or the more likely idea that she’s trying to make shit up to try to get out of the hole she dug.

Tunnen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Also, just double checked. There isn’t a LENDLNK .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ, .US, or .CA. LENDINK only has a .COM and .CO registered.

LENDINK.COM is the site we are all discussing.
LENDINK.CO is a basic domain parking page. Registered to a person in China.

So unless the LENDINK.CO was a pirate site that then changed back to a domain parking page, which I think is unlikely, then I have no clue what she is claiming about a copycat domain.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If I had to guess, I’d say she’s claiming that there was a fake site meant to trick people with a similar-looking URL. A phishing scam, like “ADMlN0168” asking for your password.
Thing is, the tweets all link to “lendink.com”, with an easily discernable lowercase ‘i’, and I can’t find any trace of a fake “lendlnk” anywhere. (One mention of a Lendlnk Funeral Home, but that’s it.)

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s stuff like this that makes not feel any bad about piracy at all.

If you don’t play by the rules, you lose.
If you play by the rules, you lose.

The difference is that the likelihood that I’ll go to jail for pirating the latest film or song is next to nill, whereas, if I play by the rules, it is almost guaranteed that some loony will come by and pull something idiotic out of his ass that I won’t have the resources or the energy to fight against.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:

Is it me or has all the ranting about how terrible it is and whether it’s in accordance with amazon’s Ts&Cs somewhat glossed over the fact that the whole limit of only being able to “lend” something you “bought” to a total of 1 person for a whole 2 weeks is a stupid idea in the first place? Most of my physical books have been read by anything between 2 and 12 people and a (legitimate) e-book is less functional? How dumb is that?

Anonymous Coward says:

just as a rough guess, some thick fucker, possibly even a publisher, has seen what is going on, realised that even though there is nothing illegal, they aren’t getting any money. their next step has been to wind up a few equally thick fucking authors who, as stated, haven’t bothered to check exactly what is happening, that there are no books, but have immediately spat out their dummies and demanded removal of their works (that weren’t there in the first place, idiots!). the down side, yet again, is another website closed, another service ended before it really got going and everyone loses. oh, the power of stupidity, especially when teamed up with greed, is unbelievable!

Tunnen (profile) says:

I was thinking of actually writing a letter and sending it to many of the authors and publishers that participated in this. I would point out some of their flawed logic. I’d also point out how they have turned me against them and their brand and that I’d no longer consider purchasing any of their books/products. Also, I’d encourage my friends and family to do the same.

Unfortunately, they’d likely just toss the letter out and think to themselves, “He was a pirate, so he doesn’t matter anyways.”

Dale Porter (profile) says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

Good Morning,

My name is Dale Porter and I am the owner of Lendink (or what’s left of it). I can say without hesitation that Lendink was not a pirate site, we did not store, transfer, lend or publish any ebooks, period! All we did was attempt to provide a means for people that enjoy their ebooks to meet other like minded people and share their “lend” enabled ebooks. The lending process was completely handled on the Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.

Lendink was operated solely by myself and operated the last couple of years with absolutely no income.

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet claiming that we hosted ebooks illegally, that Amazon did not allow us to lend ebooks, etc. Let me try to address some of those here.

Amazon did not allow us to lend ebooks. This is a 100% true statement and the fact of the matter is, Lendink did not nor did it ever attempt to lend ebooks. All we did was put person A in touch with person B and redirected A and B back to Amazon or Barnes and Nobles where the actual lending took place.

Lendink was hosting ebooks illegally. This statement is 100% false. We never hosted any ebooks on our servers. We attempted to dispell this rumor on our FAQ page and for those that actually read the page, it usually cleared up the misunderstanding. For those that did not read the page, all I can assume is that is simply doesn’t matter at this point. No amount of explaination would have satisfied the vultures looming over head.

The Lendink website is down, this is proof they were pirating ebooks. Really, this is proof that we were pirating ebooks? The fact of the matter is that our host company was so overwhelmed with hate mail and threats of lawsuits that they felt they had no choice but to suspend the site. These hatefull people did nothing but harass and threaten Lendink and our host company to the point that it just didn’t make sense to keep the site online.

Amazon dropped Lendink as an Affiliate due to digital rights violations or new digital rights laws in California. This is 100% false. Lendink is a California based company and as such, was cut off from earning money from sales when Amazon and the State of California disagreed over the collection of State Sales Tax. Amazon cut off all of their California affiliates from earning money via their affiliate program. It was not just Lendink. This only prevented us from earning money via Amazon. It did not however stop use from matching people for book lending.

I am simply a hard working guy that was trying to provide a legit service. Let me ask you all this, if I truley intended to use Lendink as a pirate site would I keep my contact information clearly associated with the site? Would I form an LLC and run the site as a business? Would I actually take the time to file for and receive a Federal Trademark for the site? These are not the actions of a person bent on stealing other persons intellectual property. The site had been negelected the past year or so and this was due to health issues related to my service connected injuries. Working a fulltime job to pay the bills and helath issues just took their toll on me and unfortunately the site suffered. My plan was to ride out the Amazon vs. California Sales Tax dispute and then pick up when I was able to make some income from the sale of books. Sadly, it appears that my American Dream has been left as road kill at the hands of misguided individuals.

Dale

John Doe says:

Re: Lendink was not a pirate site

Sorry to hear about your site being taken down. I hope you can get it back soon. It is a shame that people went on a witch hunt and burned you at the stake when they didn’t even understand what was happening here.

I myself am new to the ebook world and the first thing I do is break the DRM so I can loan books without this sort of hassle. Sure it limits my reach for lending books but it also allows me to lend books for more than an artificial 2 weeks. I can do it the old fashioned way over sneaker net and thus fly under the radar. This is exactly the behavior these authors are encouraging which I would guess they would prefer a lot less than a legitimate lending site like yours where there is a also a chance to make a sale.

RyanNerd (profile) says:

Re: Lendink was not a pirate site

First. I am so sorry that this happened to you. It is actually my hope that you make peace with these authors (particularly those that realized their mistake and tried to set others straight). These authors if they are any good at their craft will have a following. If you make peace with them then they will twitter and blog, etc. about your site and this mess can be turned into a positive thing. I know you have been hurt by this mob mentality, but I hope you will take the high road on this instead of making a bunch of undeserving lawyers more rich than they already are.

If you have a friend outside of California that is an Amazon affiliate you could set up a subsidiary company with them and perhaps use their affiliate code to get around the California sales tax nonsense.

I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you back online soon!

Jeremy Kane (profile) says:

Re: Lendink was not a pirate site

I feel for you, because a similar thing happened to me a few years ago. I was running a site that was similar to ones run by Google, Yahoo, etc., and used APIs from those sites to build content around certain subjects, and linked DIRECTLY to the source sites, using the summary blurbs provided by the APIs to describe the article. This wasn’t a site that trapped you like some do, all links were directly to the source site.

My goal, at the time, was simply to have an easy way to keep tabs on certain subject matter (such as my alma mater’s football team, or new projects by my favorite Architect), but soon I was accosted by site owners who accused me of stealing their content as my own. Never mind that the links went to their site, and it was attributed very plainly all over the page, and never mind that if I found ANY “copyright” text on the page, I would include text that said “The site’s content is protected by copyright, please click the link to visit the site to view this article.” (Even though my understanding of Fair Use is that I could have not done that.)

There were some site owners who, once I explained all that to them, were very reasonable, and acknowledged that they were wrong in their initial assessment. But the number of those that complained to my hosting company grew, and apparently enough complained to Google, that I got blacklisted. Eventually, not wanting a fight for something that I started for fun, I bailed on it.

So I feel for you. That mob mentality takes over, and it wins too often. I wish I’d have done a better job of fighting for my rights, but I didn’t. I’m sorry it’s ruining (ruined?) your site the same way.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Lendink was not a pirate site

Dale, thanks for stepping in and commenting on this post. If any of these authors had bothered to read the FAQ you had set up or visit the Kindle forum (which has its own lend/borrow thread), this might have been prevented.

Also, and I’m putting some of this in ALL CAPS:

I agree with Dale’s comment below:

This is really getting out of hand very quickly. I am deeply concerned that threats are being send to those that took part in the Lendink.com suspension.

THIS DOESN’T MAKE ANYTHING BETTER.

Techdirt’s not that kind of site. I know that because I’ve been reading this site for a half-decade and contributing to it for well over a year.

If you really just want to make a statement to these writers about how they’ve lost a customer because of their actions, there are several places to find the names involved. I’m not going to compile a list and post it here as some sort of vindictive troll bait.

IF YOU WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING, SUPPORT THE BLOGGERS AND AUTHORS WHO DEFENDED LENDINK, AND PATRONIZE LENDINK IF DALE CAN GET IT BACK UP AND RUNNING.

I will compile a list for this reason and post it here as soon as possible.

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lendink was not a pirate site

let me be clear, i do want the list of those who caused this, not to attack them or threaten them, I have sent a few messages to authors on FB and via email, no threats just thanking them for marking themselves off my list of people whos work I may want to give a chance.

I want this list so I can setup a “DO NOT SUPPORT” list so that people can choose not to support authors whos reading comprehension is clearly below that of a elementary school student…

authors who just rushed in to attack….

I doubt anybody from TD sent threats, but this hit slashdot and some other sites where…..im sure there are those kind of people……

these authors made their own bead, I would like them to actually be forced to lay in it for a bit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: DMCA notices?

ALL DMCA takedown notices are sent ?under penalty of perjury? (and signed as such) and thus all of those that sent fraudulent DMCA takedown notices can be sued back and the site’s operator might even get some useful money out of this either through settlements or court decisions. (fraudulent DMCA = perjury, + damages too).

RyanNerd (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He could sue but why would he want to act like the lawyermongering copyright mobsters? His best move would be to make peace with the authors (it was all a big misunderstanding anyway), get the take down crap resolved and then enjoy the publicity and affiliate income his site would receive from this mess. He comes out smelling like a rose and better for it for taking the high road.

Basil R. Lee says:

Re: Re:

There are provisions in the DMCA about false copyright claims. He SHOULD get all of these people fined plus sue for damages for income lost from being a legal Amazon and B&N affiliate. People need to stop making false and frivolous copyright claims, and about the only way to make them is to cost them money.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

After all, there’s no way copyright related legislation could ever be abused to do anything other than enforce copyright!

Certainly not by those who don’t use or understand the Internet, and are entirely motivated by “helping the artists”.

Watch your congress; today nothing is more trustworthy than a public show of ignorance, and pride in the same.

1Maenad says:

Embrace the insanity

“WooHoo! We’ve beaten that SOB disabled army vet who was running a legal website. Next, it’s the entire US library system; those bastards been getting away with it for far too long!”

Did these authors stop to even think where these would be borrowers are going to go, now that they can’t obtain these books legally?

Anonymous Coward says:

For a good laugh, check out the Amazon profile from one of the authors, Tania Hershman:

“After making a living for 13 years as a science journalist, writing for publications such as WIRED and NewScientist, I gave it all up to write fiction.”

Is there anyway that could more perfectly summarize the actions of the firestorm she helped stir?

dennis deems says:

Re: Tania Hershman

In defense of Hershman, after her first misguided tweents, she did actually visit Lendink, read the FAQ, and attempted to set others straight. View her twitter history and you’ll see that she repeatedly attempted to correct her mistake. I view her in a rather different light than people like Elle Amberley and Stuart J. Whitmore, who seem to have no regret in taking part in the angry mob.

Divide by Zero (profile) says:

As near as I can tell half if them seem to write vampire porn. Perhaps they’re taking out the fact that they’ve just realised they’re completely unoriginal hacks on the nearest “soft” target they could find. Seriously, some of the quotes of their work make Twilight look inspired and masterful, and Twilight isn’t even good enough to wipe my bum with.

SujaOfJauhnral (profile) says:

Re: Permission

why do these entitled asshats believe they’re somehow special?

Welcome to Copyright/IP/Permission Culture, these pretentious little cockwaffles are taught to act this way and are supported even encouraged by most of the world to do so.

They are the equivalent of an incredibly spoiled brat throwing a tantrum on the floor because they didn’t get their toy or whatever, people are so desperate to make them shut up they will buy them the toy, hence reinforcing their kindergarten level behavior.

The solution? Stop caving into their whining, treat them exactly how you’d treat a child pitching a fit. Make sites dedicated to blacklisting them so that can be boycotted. PUNISH them for their behaviour.

Milton Freewater says:

Two additions to the list of misconceptions

4. Copyright and/or patents make me legally and morally part owner of my customers’ property

So I have every right to tell customers what to do with their copies. And because of this, if I don’t like any single thing being done with my work, I am intrinsically in the right in taking any means necessary to stop what I dislike. They must ask my permission.

5.Loss of potential profit is the moral equivalent of stealing

So I have every right to fight back, using any legal or illegal means (including fraud), when anyone – a customer, a competitor, a boycotter – does something I believe competes with me. If you can shoot a burglar, you can lie about a contract on the Internet if said lie eliminates a potential competitor.

anon says:

Re: Two additions to the list of misconceptions

The EU has just taken those rights away from you, do you realize this, now whatever software you sell is not yours anymore, the person having bought it can sell it on for a profit if they want, or just give it away.

Imagine when the time comes where Amazon informs all customers that they can sell there copies of your writing to someone else and provide the functionality for that, will not bother me as i am not interested in jumping through hoop after hoop to get what i want, i get my books from sites that do not rip me off. And as many sites are trying to stay under the radar in case they get falsely accused of copyright infringement i am possibly getting yours, although your name does not sound familiar in any way.

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re: Re: Rofl "Porches & Bitchforks".

feel free to join my forums over at http://ashentech.com and start helping compile lists, im trying to get help pulling one togather for this, and i would love to see more lists pop up (could even make a section just for that!!!)

please, anybody here who isnt a mafiaa shill is welcome to join and post, and if you let me know(via pm or in your first post) i will bump your post count so you can avoid the capcha we have setup to stop bot spam.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That’s great! I mean, hey you’re only one of those people who completely misunderstood the situation (and obviously the fact that you granted the ability to lend books in the first place) and then got a perfectly legitimate website and service shut down. But as long as you apologized… everything’s perfectly alright.

What this says to me, and perhaps a few others here, is that rather than start foaming at the mouth the minute you find out someone can lend a book to another person, perhaps you should calmly make sure that there is nothing illicit/illegal going on. You know, rather than going off half cocked and handing out the torches and pitchforks and getting useful services shut down.

On principle alone, I would NEVER buy anything from yourself or any of the other authors involved, in what is largely a website being shut down because of THEIR (the authors) stupidity and misunderstanding of a situation.

But I digress, alls well since you said “sorry”. I’d post a link to that whole South Park episode regarding the BP oil spill apology, but at least they tried to clean up their mess.

Flickimp says:

Re: Re: Re:

I totally understand your points.
But all I did is one hugely misinformed tweet.

I have had a few malicious comments emailed over to me and threats made against my home due to this. My wife has also received a message from 2 people.

One tweet should not equate to that.

I did apologise and I did it on twitter telling others to disregard my comment on 1st August.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If I decided to accuse a teacher that they abused a child, that teacher would likely be suspended and on the receiving end of hate mail and threats of violence. Even if after the fact I apologize and say it was all a misunderstanding, that teacher’s life is now ruined. Even though the accusation is gone, there would still be doubt lingering over them. Some people would continue to harass that person or have second thoughts of allowing their kid near them.

As the saying goes, you can’t unring the bell once the bell has been rung.

The lesson here, is make sure you know what you are saying before you proclaim it, especially over the Internet. The Internet never forgets, and will never allow you to forget either.

nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Totally understand your point but mindlessly passing on hearsay via Twitter (the 2012 equivalent of forwarding a circa 1997 ‘Bill Gates is sharing his wealth’ email) has ruined an innocent mans business.

Neither you nor your family deserve death threats, but just holding your hands up and saying all I did is tweet is a little obnoxious to say the least.

Do you think you deserve some award for not pursuing legal action? As though that makes your hands clean? I didn’t tweet and I didn’t threaten to sue either! Where’s my medal?

No you don’t deserve death threats, no-one does, but I wouldn’t shed a tear if your primary method of income was suddenly, maliciously shut down by a bunch of morons.

Or maybe you should find a way to assist the website owner in getting it back up and running, perhaps a small financial contribution? That would speak louder than words and certainly speak louder than a ‘misguided’ tweet.

RyanNerd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

We need to give Flickimp some credit here. He made a mistake, he apologized for it and is trying to make things right.

I hope that things can be worked out over this misunderstanding where both sides end up winning. If the writers make up for their mistake, and as I have said before if they are any good at their craft they will have a following which can be directed to lendink site so that fans of their work and their friends can get a two week sample of their writing. Seems to me that paying customers would be born from this with lendink getting an affiliate commission for the service provided and the authors getting new paying customers. In a perfect world (one without lawyers) this would be a great outcome.

I wish the best for Flickimp and other authors that made a mistake and make efforts to fix this situation as well as for lendink who I hope will get his service back on line soon.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“One tweet should not equate to that.”

But it can, and anybody familiar with Twitter and other social media should know that. Perhaps you’ll put more than a few seconds of thought into your future attempts to skewer people you think are doing you wrong.

Now that you’ve realised your mistake and apologised, what are you actively doing to undo the damage you’ve contributed to?

anon says:

Re: Re:

If you are one of those that took part in the downfall of a legal site and tweeted even once about how it was supposed to be illegal then you do not deserve any type of sympathy and yes I have visited your Facebook page and was going to comment but you know what i am not a hateful person who wishes to destroy a person just trying to make some money from there content. I do suggest you apologies on your Facebook page before people start posting there themselves, and maybe make an apologetic comment on your blog.
Sad that this has happened and destroyed what was probably a great hobby for a vet, probably even something that helped him cope with what he has gone through to fight for his country. All we can hope for is that people realize how valuable his service to the authors was and maybe , just maybe get this corrected some time in the near future.

Nigel (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“If the site shut down, that was NOT MINE CHOICE – I don’t have that authority. Only the owner and host have such authority.”

I think she meant “MEIN Choice” She still doesn’t get it either.

“Nasty and threatening emails or comments will be forward to the police and FBI as HATE mail to face full enforcement of the law!!!”

How about you blow out your ass and learn how to spell.

Nigel

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“As with many …my opinion was incorrect and I did apologise.”

While I certainly appreciate the fact that you apologized, this is what happens in today’s copyright/patent/trademark driven permission culture. I am an author as well, but your apologized-for overreaction is a bit like the American apology for accidentally bombing the shit out of an Islamic funeral; the damage has been done and the apology accomplishes nothing for those hurt….

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Understood, but how does attacking me on other sites and twitter correct a mistake.”

It doesn’t. Not at all. The people attacking you, since you obviously and sincerely backed down from your one bad tweet, are idiots. More importantly, anyone threatening you or your wife should perhaps face serious consequences for that. I wouldn’t condone any threats or undue attacks in any way.

But the point is that this is what ignorance and an overly aggressive permission culture creates: anger and conflict….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I expect your wife is quite safe, but if you have any fears for your or her safety then you should contact your local law enforcement with your concerns.

No one should send threatening messages to you or anyone else. But it is fine for us to campaign and advocate on the internet when we have our facts straight. If only you’d held yourself to the same standard…

It’s not just our right, it’s our obligation in capitalist societys to remove bad actors from the marketplace through our buying decisions, and hence there is a duty to share information about bad play in the marketplace.

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I suggest you grow a pair….accept that people are going to “fuck with you” because you did something really really really stupid……and evil.

the information they found, honestly isnt that hard to get if you know where to look, and they did it just to cause you to react as you have.

the worst thats likely to happen is you may get some nasty phone calls and emails, maybe a few dozen pizza’s if your really unlucky…..

Anonymous Coward says:

Sad as hell

Here’s the result of years of propaganda from the big media. Authors buying into it, feeling insecure to lost sales and drifting out of a reality they were born with. What is it with those people obsessed with money making! Fuck it! In the endless incestuous commerce vs. culture union, it feels like all the debate is entirly monopolized by “who’s making money” of it.
I would argue it’s mainly idiots and unworthy “content providers” falling. Saying “artists” just doesn’t feel right in this instance. Being able to live off of ones work is a favor, always has been for a happy few and never was a right.
It’s time to restore balance between commerce and art.

Lendink (profile) says:

Please, stop the unnecessary threats and attacks

This is really getting out of hand very quickly. I am deeply concerned that threats are being send to those that took part in the Lendink.com suspension.

I wish no ill will towards any of these people, no matter how misguided they are. They stood up and fought for their rights as the copyright owner and I respect that. I don’t agree with what they did to me but I respect the fact that they thought they were protecting their property, just as I must now fight for my property. This should not however result in threats to persons.

Please, stop the threats of harm.

Thank you,

Dale Porter
lendink.com Owner

Much Respect says:

Re: Please, stop the unnecessary threats and attacks

Thanks Dale. Much respect to these words.
Those people making the threats should stop and think twice.

What happened to you is aking to a digital lynching on baseless hearsay, and I’m really glad you weren’t physically caught up by a mob screaming “pirate!” beating you up and burning your shop down.

I hope the strenght of caracter you’re showing will be rewarded in the future.

Flickimp says:

Re: Please, stop the unnecessary threats and attacks

I did remove my twitter post last week as I was grossly misinformed…

I was confused
But I never sent or pursued any action other than one tweet.

I am sorry for what happened to your business, and appreciate your comment. People are now targeting me..and in some places my address has been posted up.

I am not looking for sympathy but my wife suffered a miscarriage last week for our first child. She does not need emails threatening her at her location of work.

We made a mistake. I apologised.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Please, stop the unnecessary threats and attacks

Hi, you must be new to the internets…

ProTip – IT NEVER FORGETS.

You can delete your ignorant tweet, but it will live on far beyond your desire to have it do so.

I would pillory you like everyone else has, throwing your hands up trying to minimize your participation in the witch hunt but your not worth it.

Your “single” action lead to
– screwing a hard working guy over
– getting a mob attacking him as a pirate (see protip above)
– showing how flipping stupid some authors are
– and fed the entire ZOMG I’M LOSING IMAGINARY DOLLARS! fever.

So now, you will have to deal with people who are going to say they do not support you, do not want the product you offer, and will tell others your a moron.

But you said your sorry… you have not YET begun to feel sorry. As your sales crash and burn around you, you might begin to understand what 1 ignorant tweet can do to someones life.

While you helped destroy his site and his good name, you managed to screw yours twice as badly.

Did you hear the one about a group of entitled assholes who can’t read, yeah they call themselves authors…

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re: Re: Please, stop the unnecessary threats and attacks

welcome to the internet, where you pay for your mistakes, and when your mistakes are as bad as yours have been, you really really endup paying….

you could look up the story of “the biting beaver” or “jessie slaugher” to find out what happens when people piss off the internet……

no physical harm came to them, but, their lives where turned upside down for a time due to their own stupid actions….

you did something horrible, you need to pay, karma and the internet demand it.

if you really feel bad, you should consider donating to this fellow to help him get hosting from something better then godaddy…coolhandle is a better host for example……

sorry, i have zero sympathy for you or what you brought down on yourself…..also, if your wife wants to blame anybody, she should blame you…..

its not right that your getting threats of violance….they are just threats tho nothing more…..

what you really need to prepare for is if 4chan latches onto this and turns anons collective head in your direction….your online life will become….quite entertaining for the rest of us…..(thanks in advance for the show)

Anonymous Coward says:

Okay, well no one here is threatening anyone. In fact, most of us here are slightly discouraged with what went on and the overreaction on the part of the authors involved. Now, it’s great that you’re apologizing, but that doesn’t solve/fix what happened, which was in a legitimate website being shut down because of YOUR actions. A tweet, a Facebook post, etc. That you only posted one tweet does not lessen the blame/responsibility.

As for those threatening you, it happens. Sorry to say. But think of it like this, how would you prefer it if it was a bunch of lawyers and authors and a plethora of others insulting you, calling you a thief and a pirate and threatening to sue you and basically doing everything they can to ruin your life? I guess as long as no one threatens you with physical harm then that’s okay, right?

You can report those making actual threats against you to the proper authorities. That’s what you’re supposed to do. As for your wife and miscarriage and whatnot, my condolences, but still save the story for someone else. I for one don’t care. I got problems I’m dealing with, as I’m sure others on here do as well, you don’t see us bringing them to the forefront when we screw up and cause harm of one sort or another to others. “Guys, I’m sorry. It’s just that…” Doesn’t work. I will say this, you manned up and admitted your mistake. Great. That’s a great first step. Now how are you going to help fix something you are responsible for? And saying, well only he and this person could have the site shut down, so I’ve got no blood on my hands is a real cop out. What are you going to do to rectify this?

You want to earn some respect, do something to answer that question. And tweeting, “My bad. We cool?” is most definitely not a proper response/answer to that question.

Flickimp says:

Re: Re:

My wife received an email stating her work location… And that they know what she looks like.
You wouldn’t be worried?

I didn’t bring the issue to the table as an excuse… It’s a point I’m making that turning this into a malicious attempt to threaten is beyond reasonable. As you can’t be certain that the person making the threats are not from here. This site lists my id…

I’m not asking you to care, what I’m trying to get across is that I only made a single tweet. There may be others out there the pursused greater action that caused the effect.

I apologised to lendlink
I apologised on twitter
And I corrected others that made the same mistake last week.

What else do you want me to do?
Because it feels like no matter what I do, it won’t be good enough.

Some out there makes tweets about something where they may be incorrect or voicing an opinion. I am on the receiving end of a witch hunt now, and all I want is for people to leave me alone for something I apologised for within 24 hours of my tweet.

Robert (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Consult authorities. They should be able to catch the threatening persons. If they are stupid enough to threaten then they are stupid enough to not use more than 5 hops to mask their IP/location/MAC/whatever law enforcement has the ability to trace.

I would also suggest you post a tweet/blog post about the threats. Leave out of it your personal issues, so it can’t be seen as an excuse.

You made a mistake, you apologized, you said “this isn’t true” regarding LendInk, you’ve done all you can.

Now consult with authorities, threats are against the law. Forward all emails/phone messages/SMS/letters/whatever they sent, and inform security at your wife’s place of business to be on the look out for her safety.

Likely it is people babbling bullshit, like they do with presidents and corporate executives and lawyers, but better safe than sorry.

Your actions do NOT in any way deserve the reaction you’ve been given and that is truly unfair.

Encouragement of boycott is one thing, violence is not how things are done.

Again, contact the authorities and inform security at your wife’s place of business.

Steerpike (profile) says:

I think the initial debacle shows the dangers of acting without thinking (or knowing) when using social media.

That said, personal attacks and threats against these writers, no matter that they were in the wrong, are way out of bounds. I’m glad the owner of LendInk said as much as well. As Dark Helmet notes, people making these threats are idiots. But it is a reality of social media today that if you step in it you’re going to be the focus of a bunch of idiots until they find the next thing to attract their attention. Doesn’t make it right, but people need to realize it happens and be smart.

Flickimp says:

Understood

I don’t deserve to be followed, have books purchased or receive any good comments from anyone.

I get that.

But I also don’t want my name to be passed on as a means for revenge or conflict.

I hope lendlink find a way to rise again.
And I’m not just saying that.

I didn’t have to come on here… But I did, to make clear my regret, and to seek resolve from you all.

I’m just me.
I fucked up.

RyanNerd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Like Steerpike said this will blow over. I think you deserve some credit here. It took tremendous courage to admit that you were in the wrong and to come to a public forum here and post about it.

I have posted over and over again that if writers do all in their power to make up for this misunderstanding things can actually be made to become a win win situation for them and for lendink.

The problem with mob mentality is that the stupidity can flow in both directions. This will pass. The posters in the forum are sick of Big Media and of insane copyright attacks on people who have no criminal intent (Kim Dotcom), and I as well are very ANGRY about the astonishing stupidity of it all.

Unfortunately for you this mistake has many well meaning but misguided individuals angry at you, and they are mistakenly taking their anger out on you and your family.

So you DipShits out there that are threatening this man and his wife you are not making things better. You’re making them much worse! Cease and desist in the name of sanity!

Nigel (profile) says:

“My wife received an email stating her work location… And that they know what she looks like.
You wouldn’t be worried?”

Conventional wisdom would dictate that you should be but, in reality, meh, not really…

Anyone dumb enough to do that completely misses the point of our vitriol in the first place and its likely some zit faced kid in mom’s basement thinking he is part of something important.

As for what you should do it about, well, you were party to jacking up someone’s business.

Perhaps collectively, with the others, come up with a way to compensate the guy and help to get his site back up.

Nigel

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Flickimp is an opportunity

I appreciate Flickimp’s comments here, and it’s terrible that he and his family are suffering actual threats. None of them are coming from here, but I think that some of the comments here are clearly very antagonistic to him nonetheless.

It’s understandable. This sort of thing is a long-standing sore spot and it’s easing to get the pot to boil over. Although I think it’s obvious that the response to a lynch mob should not be another lynch mob, it feels important to point that out at this time.

But there’s a larger point: we have an opportunity here. Flickimp has discovered that the “obvious” truth is not always the truth, and that things aren’t always so black and white as our emotions may lead us to believe.

He could become one of us. By “one of us” I mean a content producer who recognizes that many content producers are irrational on this subject and believe things that just aren’t true. For instance, it’s not true that we want to steal content. It’s not true that all unpaid use is unfair. It’s not true that we somehow hate artists. It’s not true that copyright enforcement trumps all other considerations. It’s not true that only pirates have something to lose in this battle.

Just thinking out loud here…

Flickimp says:

Re: Flickimp is an opportunity

I appreciate your comment and agree.
I don’t want to be one of the bad guys
I’m always looking to help the underdog

Again … This is not an excuse, but last week due to personal matters re: my wife, I was in a bad place and I made a mistake in understanding Lendink’s FAQ.

I have no issue with Content Producers… I just got it totally wrong.

I am an indie writer, who creates indie art for free (no charge) to some sites. I’m all about good sharing.

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re: Re:

the thing is, your comment snowballed, he got threats and he was attacked, slandered and is still being attacked by some of the people your comment recruited. (check the lendink facebook page for example…there are still people there insisting your orignal post is fact)

it sucks, you made a mistake, a horrible mistake, take it as a life lesson…..pissing off the internet is bad…..

thankfully for myself, I have been around since the net was very young and I know better then to do things this stupid that will draw the ire of a wide swath of the net……

fear not the threats, they are just being dont to “fuck with the noob” as it where…..

what you could look at doing, and im not joking here, is start a donation drive to help Lendink get some better hosting…..that would show your remorse and would help this fellow out…..it may also cool some of the ire directed at you and direct it at those who did directly attack and threaten him.

the ONLY way your going to come out of this in better shape then your in now is to do something impressive to turn things around…..sorry but thats a fact…..you made a huge horrible mistake and screwed up somebodies life…

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re: Re:

the thing is, your comment snowballed, he got threats and he was attacked, slandered and is still being attacked by some of the people your comment recruited. (check the lendink facebook page for example…there are still people there insisting your orignal post is fact)

it sucks, you made a mistake, a horrible mistake, take it as a life lesson…..pissing off the internet is bad…..

thankfully for myself, I have been around since the net was very young and I know better then to do things this stupid that will draw the ire of a wide swath of the net……

fear not the threats, they are just being dont to “fuck with the noob” as it where…..

what you could look at doing, and im not joking here, is start a donation drive to help Lendink get some better hosting…..that would show your remorse and would help this fellow out…..it may also cool some of the ire directed at you and direct it at those who did directly attack and threaten him.

the ONLY way your going to come out of this in better shape then your in now is to do something impressive to turn things around…..sorry but thats a fact…..you made a huge horrible mistake and screwed up somebodies life…

drowgirl (profile) says:

I would like a list of all the authors who participated in the witchhunt, so I can make damned sure I never buy a single one of their books. I’m one of those people who if I read one of your books and like it, I’ll buy all of them. Period. Generally that first book? I get it lended to me, either in hardcopy form or via an eReader. I read, I like, I buy hard copies of every single book you have or will put out.

Authors who go on witchhunts like this are not worth my time or shelfspace.

Anonymous Coward says:

I note Shawn Lamb deleted the entry (Achievement Unlocked: Portmanteau’d!) “Pirate Site Sunk By United Broadside!” and has posted…
“Nasty and threatening emails or comments will be forward to the police and FBI as HATE mail to face full enforcement of the law!!!
If the site shut down, that was NOT MINE CHOICE – I don’t have that authority. Only the owner and host have such authority.”

First the bitch takes credit, now she denies it and runs and hides like the cur she is.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

I really hope Dale takes these people to court, each and every single one of them and the publishers who sent DMCA notices and threatened lawsuits.

Baseless legal threats are frowned upon and if they managed to get a lawyer to do it for them its gonna be funny.

This highlights why people mock the entire DMCA system, you can use it to destroy a site for no good reason. And even though there are supposed to be punishments for its misuse, when is the last time anyone anywhere managed to get that to happen? This could be the first time, and it should be Epic.

I’d love to see copies of each and every notice, just to compile the names of people to never purchase from again. I wouldn’t want them to see me reading one of their books on my tablet and decide I stole it and attack me in public.

Douglas R. Cobb says:

Not An Angry Mob/Concerned Authors

None of the comments you posted from Twitter show anyone that seems to me to be all that angry or speaking in a threatening mannner, though it sounds as if, by some of the comments to oyur post, some authors did use such language. The ones you posted here, however, just show concern that their books are potentially being pirated, and they have every right to do so. The letter Amazon sent to me, and that you have posted here. says not one word about Lendink being an affiliate. By “unauthorized,” it seems as if they’re denying knowing anything at all about them.

Also, my ebooks are in the KDP Select Program, which you mentioned. Why is there an Amazon Prime Members designation at all, if those members could just borrow an ebook from a site like LendInk rather than pay to join the Prime program? Authors in the Select program get money from borrows by Prime members, but if someone else tries to borrow one of their books from any other site, I am not sure it would be allowed by Amazon, as supposedly only Prime members are able to get them through Amazon’s Lending Library.

I doubt if anyone set out to take LendInk down–at least, I did not. I definitely had concerns, though, and still do, at the very least because I think that what is in print at Amazon in their legalese about loaning Kindle books is not really the same where KDP Select books are concerned, for the reasons I mentioned. Why have the Prime program at all, or the KDP Select one, if ebooks can be “borrowed,” elsewhere other than through the Lending Library by Amazon Prime members?

Also, though I am not accusing anyone at LendInk of this, but one post at an Amazon forum mentioned that there’s a possibility the people who operated the site were engaged in phishing. This may/may not turn out to be the truth, but either way, raiing the possibility or other concerns authors have, legitimate or not, does not mean that they’re some angry mob with pitchforks, as you suggest.

Anyone who tries to illegally shut down a site, as it appears some people did, should be dealt with like any hackers might be–but, as far as authors shutting down the site, the ones with legitimate concerns, whatever you or April has written–I know you both have written quite a bit about this, as I’ve emailed April as well–I feel you are both writing in very hyperbolic terms in your characterizations of authors and their intents, and should have perhaps just said, if anything, “a handful of authors may have carried their concerns too far.”

LendInk’s site seems to be up today, or at least partially. I havne’t checked yet to see if they have removed my ebooks from their site, as I requested that they do. And, Amazon also suggested, if a different email, to ask Lendink to have your ebooks withdrawn from their site, if you don’t want them to be there.

Lendink (profile) says:

Re: Not An Angry Mob/Concerned Authors

Douglas,

What you and every single person that has sent me emails and called my phone making threats fails to understand is that Lendink DOES NOT lend your property to anyone. We are not taking business away from you or any other person or entity.

All of the lending took place on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. All Lendink did was provide the two parties interested IN YOUR BOOK a link back to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. NO TRANSACTIONS OCCURED ON LENDINK.

If you receive money from book lends from the Amazon Prime Service then you get the money from books shown on Lendink. If we are guilty of anything, it is the promotion of your book.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not An Angry Mob/Concerned Authors

Why is there an Amazon Prime Members designation at all, if those members could just borrow an ebook from a site like LendInk rather than pay to join the Prime program?

Wow…you STILL haven’t figured out that LendInk did not lend ANYTHING? Everything took place on Amazon… Incredible.

I doubt if anyone set out to take LendInk down–at least, I did not.

I can’t speak to you, but your “anyone” doesnt really pass the sniff test. Follow the links in the article to the various thread were people were encouraging others to report this site and spread the news. Clearly they wanted this pirate scourge gone.

Now that it’s clear it was legal and people were ignorant of the facts people seem to be backtracking and saying I didnt take it down. Puh-lease….

Anyone who tries to illegally shut down a site

Again you miss the point of what happened here. They tried to LEGALLY take down the site. As they believed it was a pirate. The fact that they could accomplish this goal when it was obvious to most dis-interested parties that it was a BS situation is a big deal. You can’t have the angry mob be judge jury and executioner.

LendInk’s site seems to be up today, or at least partially. I havne’t checked yet to see if they have removed my ebooks from their site, as I requested that they do.

Wow..just wow. Your books aren’t on the site. No one’s books are on the site.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Not An Angry Mob/Concerned Authors

“Also, though I am not accusing anyone at LendInk of this, but one post at an Amazon forum mentioned that there’s a possibility the people who operated the site were engaged in phishing.”

Then why mention it, other than to try and add another justification to the rabid attacks on his site.

ZOMG TECHNOLOGIES WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND AND REFUSE TO LOOK AT, IT MUST BE WITCHCRAFT BURN IT!

The site is up because after the merry band of moronic writers were done, people actually looked at that the site did and saw, oh hey these entitled asses didn’t look or understand the system they called out as stealing from them.

YOUR BOOKS ARE NOT “ON” HIS SITE THEY NEVER WERE, even after the explanations your still an idiot.

IF YOU WANT HIM TO STOP PROMOTING YOUR WORK TELL AMAZON AND YOUR PUBLISHER TO BLOCK LENDING OF YOUR TITLES. LOCK YOUR WORKS DOWN, AND DECLARE WAR ON POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.
Sit back and relax in the smugness of maintaining complete control over your works and sink into obscurity.

You spend much time minimizing your involvement, and downplaying the torches and pitchfork attack on a perfectly legal site, and still go out of your way to make it look like it had to be nefarious in some way so you can justify what was done.

All the site did was allow people stupid enough to purchase your work, loan their copy of it via the established lending program to people who were dumb enough to think you were worth reading. Lending works better when you can connect the people who have, with the people who want. The site filled that role. The horrible “crime” of lending out a book.

Everyone else – forgive my use of caps, but I’m pretty sure I had to yell so this moron could hear me over how “awesome” he is.

Michael says:

Douglas,

You really should take the time to understand the difference between Kindle Lending and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Kindle Lending: A customer who has purchased an ebook with Lending enabled can loan the book to one other person for 14 days. During this time, the book is no longer available on the original customer’s Kindle or Kindle apps. After 14 days, the book is returned to its owner’s library and the person it was loaned to no longer has access to it. All KDP books on the 70% royalty plan are available for lending. Authors at the 35% rate can opt out if they choose. All of this stuff is presented clearly in the Terms authors agree to when signing up to publish through KDP. Authors do not receive any money from these book loans. Any Amazon customer can loan a loanable ebook they’ve bought, regardless of whether they are a Prime subscriber. Anyone else can also receive a loan, again regardless of Prime subsription. Websites like LendInk never needed to be authorized by Amazon for loaning privileges, because they never were doing the loaning. They were simply acting as a social network for people wanting to do legitimate loans to find one another.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: Once a month, any Prime customer who also owns a Kindle device may borrow one eligible title. They cannot loan this book to anyone else, and they can keep it until they borrow another book, or forever if they never borrow again. Authors receive some small portion of a shared fund in exchange for being Amazon-exclusive for 90 days and letting Amazon loan their book out.

With the first program, true customers of yours who have actually spent money on your book (unless your book was free to begin with), are loaning your book out. With the second, Amazon is loaning your book out whether anyone has ever actually bought it or not.

I’d rather have those paying customers myself, people who liked my cover and blurb and sample and reviews enough to put their own money up for it. And if they all loan it out? I’m totally fine with that. That they still even have the book to loan means they didn’t avail themselves of Amazon’s generous return policy, so they probably found my book worth owning… or at least not so horrible that they’d demand their money back.

Another thing to keep in mind with KDP Select: Since Select authors can (and many do) make their books free for up to 5 out of 90 days, many readers are content to simply add these books to a watch list and wait for the free days. Authors participating in KDP Select are basically telling everyone, Prime and non-Prime customers alike, that their books aren’t worth paying for. As well as telling Nook and other ereader owners, “I don’t care about you enough to make my book available to you right now.” It’s a horrible, horrible program. Most authors I’ve known who’ve done it have sworn off ever doing it again. If it works for you, more power to you, but good luck succeeding long-term with a program that does everything it can to reduce your chance of selling any books.

ebilrawkscientist (profile) says:

Re: This is My Bitchfork, there are many like it but this one is mine.

Bah screw this I’m not going to buy an eReader or ebooks after all. Dead Tree Editions ONLY.
Meanwhiles… your self serving “Authors Guild” pissants are on my DO NOT BUY FROM EVER list.
You just suicided your sales. Major FU!
My books, I own them.
No Bookstore/vendor nor the author can take them away from me.
I can loan them to whomever I wish for however long I wish and the author can go pound sand.!..

Christine Sutton (profile) says:

Some authors understand

I am an author, and I have known about Lendink for a while. I do not know what the deal is with others that cannot understand that Lendink functions just like a dating site,connecting people.. not a prostitution ring, sending out actual people. Most of my titles are not lendable, because they only cost 99 cents, but I would be thrilled for the ones that are lendable to be featured there. I see it as a great tool to basically get my name out there even more. So, if Lendink comes back, (hopefully), I will be more than happy to have my lendable titles available to borrow. And I will be happy to have my non-lendable titles available for purchase. Good luck getting the site back up, I for one as an author will support it.

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re: Some authors understand

you know, you may want to consider trying to setup some kind of promotion IF his site comes back up, give away your titles for a day or even a week, Yes it would cost you some sales, BUT it would also get alot of word of mouth….

word of mouth, as anybody in business can tell you, is the best advertising.

just an idea, also the guy who started all this may want to consider the same idea……if he reads this, he could at least try and earn some good will to counter the bad.

🙂

AzureSky (profile) says:

Re:

its just an offer, better then posting a list in the comments on td.

you dont want to join or help out, thats fine.

yeah i noticed it multi posted….meh, shit happens…..if it was forum software i would just edit the posts to remove the duplicates…..buts not so i cant.

and i read the whole page and responded as i went down…..again dont like it…..not my problem…..hell your even more then welcome to not like me…..its not like the opinion of one asshole on the internets going to destroy my self worth…

Anonymous Coward says:

Flame on

Total Bitch. She instigated riot and DDOS, then denies it. I saw some of her posts on Dale’s facebook page and some of her denial tweets. I totally can’t give a fuck and spend any more time on it. She is a criminal and owes Dale BIG time. I think he should sue her. If that is her real name.

I think the crowd should write bad reviews on Amazon and take away her stars! How about that, Electa?

http://twitter.com/electagraham

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0082ZQF8Q/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_ybGWpb0APWJK9

By the way the Amazon page says, “Prime Members: $0.00 (borrow for free from your Kindle) “. In case you don’t know it costs a lot of money to become a Prime Member, $79!

http://electagraham.blogspot.ca/

FWIW Shawn Lamb blog too.. these people are the pits. Trying to sneak away from the corpse too, they are so good at mealy words and revising history in their little hissy blogs.
http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.blogspot.jp/2012/08/enough.html

Sheila Eskew (user link) says:

Pirate?

On the grounds of what I have just read, it would seem you are not a pirate. However, as an author who did not send a take down notice, mainly because I had not been on your site – yet- and wasn’t sure. I do resent the authors can’t read remarks. I will say this. We worked HARD to write these books. They are extentions of our creativity – WHY would we lend them? That takes away from the money we support ourselves with. Yes we do, on ocassion give a copy or two away. You must understand, an e-book isn’t like a hardcopy/paperback book. IF you lend an e-book you can’t give it back when you are finished reading it. However you can give it to someone else and they can then give it to others. This ‘lending’ can go on forever, so why would a reader then buy our work when they can get it for free. NO you aren’t making money so – no are intentionally pirating – but there are those who are. And from one lend from you they can pirate thousands of copies. Look at this from our side. You motives seem pure but others aren’t. By lending that cuts into our profit. No you didn’t profit but we produced our stories for nothing if you ‘lend’ them.
Personally I look to the day a ‘lock’ can be put on them where they can only be lent one or two times and the copy can no longer be transfered.
Lending may not be piracy but its a fine line and either way the author, editors and publishers are the losers.
It isn’t right. Nor is it right to lend songs or music. Same principle.

Anonymous Coward says:

Pirate?

so why would a reader then buy our work when they can get it for free

It’s exactly this attitude that constantly gets in the way when creators try to attract the audience. Don’t put me into that category, I do buy what I like even if I already have it for free. Yet the creators don’t differentiate between people. Like it’s been pointed out repeatedly on this blog – if the creators automatically consider everyone a pirate anyway, why bother proving them wrong?

Brenna Lyons (profile) says:

Please don't judge us all by a vocal set!

It’s not all authors that are responsible for this. Please do be aware of it. I’ve lost count of how many times, in how many different forums, I’ve had to explain it to someone. Even when I’d painstakingly explained why it wasn’t illegal (just people we’d already given limited sharing to in contract finding a more expedient way to find people to share with), I had most that would nod and move on and some that would STILL complain it should be illegal. What’s illegal? If you willingly donated a copy of a paper book to a library, would you be upset that someone posted on a blog or site, “Hey! Her book is in the local library. Go borrow it.”? I should hope not. Lendlink was not alone in what they were doing, and nothing about it is illegal. Whether you agree to lending just to get the 70% at Amazon (and personally, I think Amazon are idiots to make book price and lending part of that…no other distribution channel plays those sorts of games with royalties) or whether you knowingly agreed to it (hoping all the while that most people wouldn’t use it…which is silly, since this CAN help build an audience, when it’s very limited lending) or even if you didn’t read it at all, the point stands that you did agree to it in contract (or your publisher did) so buck up and let people use it! If you feel so strongly that Amazon shouldn’t allow lending at all, make a stink about them tying it to 70% and pull your books from there. Then have the readers complain about it. That’s the way to attack the monopoly.

Brenna

Brenna Lyons (profile) says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

Dale, I am heartily sorry this happened to you. If it makes you feel any better, there were plenty of authors like me out there (and publishers), trying to put out the fires as it was going down. A lot of us took one look at the site and knew what you were doing, recognized it from other incarnations of the same idea.

Personally, I sign up with lending on Amazon, even when my price is low enough I don’t have to; though I do believe no one should be coerced into the lending by Amazon as they currently are, but that is a different subject entirely and no reflection on you or what you were doing.

Sites like yours perform the same function inter-library loan on my print books does. I don’t know why this is so difficult for some authors to understand, but please do be aware that some authors and publishers actually appreciated what you were trying to do.

Niall (profile) says:

Ebook sites spreading the word

Just found an interesting site listing ‘pirate’ book sites, where it specifically calls out lendink.com as NOT a pirate site, complete with listing Dale Porter’s explanation, and a detailed explanation of the relevant bits of, for instance, Amazon’s lending rules.

http://www.romancenovelcenter.com/forum/po.php?forumID=17&ID=484&page=1

Ninja (profile) says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

Mr Dale, file sharing is not stealing. Please don’t make this kind of association. Downloading something from any ‘pirate’ site is no different than going to the Library and getting the content available. Sometimes you buy what you get from the library, sometimes you don’t.

Other than that misconception I agree with you and I hope Lendink can come back.

Brenna Lyons (profile) says:

Re:

Thank goodness for Dark Helmet! I was beginning to worry that everyone on this thread was completely brain damaged.

For what it’s worth, I have chosen my side of issues carefully and with a lot of thought. I’m anti-DRM and pro access to what you have legally purchased, whether that is text to speech or using the same ebook on several types of tech you own. I’m pro lending (but ONLY the ones we sanction or incidental sharing of friend to friend…I will NEVER support illegal reselling of ebooks…burning multiple copies of the same ebook and selling them or posting them on mass sharing venues).

I recognized Dale’s site for what it was and spent time on Yahoo groups of authors and in private email, trying to put out the flames. To be honest, the only reason I didn’t do a comment about it on Facebook (I don’t tweet…if you check my Twitter, you’ll see I get on there maybe every 6 months) was that so many other people already had. Sometimes adding more to the cacophony seems like screaming into the wind. I wish now that I had, but it seems to me that those who were going to listen to what I was trying to say had already asked before they jumped, and those that didn’t…well they weren’t going to, no matter how many times I said it.

But to hear some people on here tell it, I’m to be vilified because I send out LEGITIMATE DMCA notices to mass sharing sites and to eBay or iOffer (when someone is selling thousands of copies of my works illegally and claiming to sell resale rights they don’t own…claiming my work is in the public domain, which it isn’t). That’s blatantly wrong, IMO. There is NOTHING wrong with what I’m doing. I don’t even send a DMCA notice to a sale site I’m unsure about until I contact them and ask them nicely where they get their content. Often, they are affiliates of Fictionwise or LSI. In that case, I highly recommend to them that they post the information about it, so they don’t have people going off half cocked and doing what was done to Dale. Again, no excuse for what was done to Dale. I don’t want legitimate sales outlets or legitimate lending outlets stifled any more than most of the people on here do.

In fact, I TEACH other authors to be businesslike in sending take-downs, to make sure it’s a pirate first, and not to engage in the petty back and forth some pirates shoot back. If the pirate isn’t responding to the take-down, just go to the site or ISP or whoever is next up the line to make the same simple complaint. No embellishment. Just the take-down.

I’d counter the argument that this is all the fault of the “permission culture” with the solid fact that it’s more than the copyright laws causing this. It’s also authors overreacting, because they are stressed and worn down and leery, due to the rampant piracy they do deal with on a daily basis. No, there is no excuse for what happened to Dale, but you seem to think the copyright laws act in a bubble, unaffected by other factors, and that’s not so. If you want reasonable authors, HELP them take down the real pirates. I’m not talking about downloaders here, because chasing downloaders is a ridiculous venture. I’m talking about the ones selling thousands of copies of illegal burns of the same ebooks (some of which were created by scans and some not), the ones uploading hundreds or more copies of clearly copyright protected ebooks onto mass sharing sites, the sites that ignore DMCA take-down notices or don’t even provide a way to send them, forcing authors to go to the ISP to get any help at all.

All this talk about you’ll (not you, Dark Helmet, but I’ve seen a lot of this on Techdirt) just go pirate the authors to teach them a lesson is counterproductive. It won’t “teach” them crap. All it will do is make them more reactive to any perceived piracy and escalate the problem further. You push them, they push back. You throw threats and insults at them, they do the same in return. It’s not the laws causing that. It’s people on both sides running their mouths instead of trying to work toward a common goal they can agree on. Try meeting on common ground instead.

If you want to help matters, then join the fight of teaching readers to access what they have purchased but to limit themselves to incidental sharing and NEVER to play the games eBay pirates do. That would go a long way toward meeting on a middle ground and helping with the problem instead of escalating it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Most people do understand that the authors get so tired of piracy that they can attack any site that they think has links to their works without investigating first. But this is why those same people don’t want stricter IP laws – not because they won’t be able to pirate, but because misusing them leads to loads of collateral damage.

Niall (profile) says:

Two additions to the list of misconceptions

That is twaddle. If someone gets made redundant from a job, can they sue their ex-employer for their wages for the rest of their employable years? If a Costa opens near a Starbucks, can Starbuck sue Costa for ‘lost’ profit? Don’t be daft!

Next you’ll be arguing that when you’re made redundant, the government has the moral right to all the taxes it would have gained if you’d kept earning.

Potential profits are just that: Potential. It’s not up to the universe (or anyone else) to make them up to you.

Niall (profile) says:

Two additions to the list of misconceptions

4. That is so not true. You can restrict certain activities legally, but not others. You cannot stop someone lending out a copy of a book that they have bought. You cannot stop them making fair use of it. You cannot stop them throwing it on the compost heap or using it as toilet paper and posting the pictures to the internet.

You don’t own their property. You only ‘own’ your own ‘imaginary property’. How well you can control it, since it’s imaginary, is a whole different matter.

So please, have you written anything that can be used for compost? Worst case, I can just use this (copyright) posting of yours… 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Sad that I went through all the twitter feeds and made 2 lists. 1 of the torch bearers and 1 of the voices of reason. 4 typed pages for torchers and the informed list fits on a post-it note.

Took my post-it and went out and bought hard copies of every book, those not stocked I bought where available online.

Every book for every author on my torch list got the lowest review score possible where it was an option.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re:

Brenna, thanks for commenting here. While we obviously disagree on some of the finer points regaring copyright and IP law generally, we can obviously agree that the overzealous takedown of Lendink was wrong, as are any stupid and childish threats that are being made against the authors who screwed up.

The problem with what I call Permission Culture is that authors (which I also am, though likely not nearly as accomplished as most in this story) receive only one side of the story from their agents, publishers, and most other authors. They are told that copyright is the most important thing in their industry, all piracy is bad, and that’s how all this starts. Authors wouldn’t HAVE to freak out and overreact because they are so “worn out from piracy” as you say, if only they would understand how they can combat infringement socially rather than legally.

But, in any case, disagree though we might, thanks for being one of the good ones….

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Pirate?

Sheila:

I’m an author as well, but I also work in the technology field and write for Techdirt, so trust me when I tell you how ridiculously wrong you are about how lending eBooks works. eBooks CAN be returned through Amazon’s lending DRM, and in fact that is exactly what occurs after 14 days. Libraries are also beginning to lend out eBooks under a similar platform.

Your comment smacks of someone who would think that libraries are a detriment to your income. They are NOT. They facilitate purchases through borrowing and expanding reach, culture, and interest.

You’re wrong. Really wrong, on this one, in fact, and thinking like yours got a legitimate business shut down. Please stop doubling down on incorrectness and learn about the things you’re choosing to speak of before you help harm anyone else…

Brian Ford (user link) says:

Author Confusion / LendInk

As the co-founder of another popular lending site — Lendle — I thought I’d chime in here.

We started getting angry emails from confused authors a few days ago and I eventually tracked it to the pile-on on the LendInk Facebook page and some of Amazon’s forum pages.

Out of the 5 authors who sent DMCA notices, we only heard back from two or three when we responded to set the record straight. One wouldn’t back down while the other two engaged in a nice dialogue about lending, lending rights, Amazon and our role in all of this as a lending site.

What I’ve learned is that there is a ton of confusion. I think this is partly Amazon’s fault, partly the fault of authors who don’t understand the contracts they’re signing and, of course, partly the fault of sites like ours.

My take is that authors didn’t understand something, they over-reacted, and that was compounded by the fact that the site that was the at the center of the storm was largely unresponsive to DMCA notices and concerns. I appreciate that the owner of LendInk hadn’t been actively working on the site for some time prior to the controversy, but it can’t be comforting (as an author) to have concerns go unanswered.

Calming the situation down (for us) really was as easy as a detailed response laying out what our site offers and explaining to authors that they need to look closely at the agreement that they signed with Amazon.

It’s worth noting that blaming LendInk’s host for caving is a bit unfair: If the site owner wasn’t able to respond to complaints and legal takedown notices, the host has little choice but to act.

Of course, there will always be authors who feel that the lending license is limited to “one lend, to a personal friend” but we don’t think that’s a reasonable restriction on a license that a customer paid for. Authors who don’t like the idea that their fans can lend a book to anyone, if it comes with a lending license, should turn lending off. It’s as simple as that. Leaving the option on but having unrealistic expectations about how it’ll be used (legally) seems an awful lot like an author wanting to sell a book with an added perk with the expectation that their customers will never get any actual use out of that perk.

With that said, we at Lendle have always been eager to talk with authors about lending, about the future of the industry, and about how lending sites (like ours, and like LendInk) can actually be a great help to indie authors. We’ve never really found a great forum for opening that dialogue despite our best efforts, but anyone who wants to get in touch should feel free to do so.

Still, I sure hope that the authors involved in this dust-up have learned something, will use a little more common sense and restraint, and avoid letting others do their thinking for them in the future. I’m glad to see that a few are here expressing regret about the way things went down and hopefully we can avoid any further efforts at intimidation which isn’t any better than the original reaction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Stolen from slashdot

Thankfully a list manifested from an anonymous coward on Slashdot.

To save all of you the trouble, here’s the moblist so far on the facebook link:

Robin Helm, OG Tomes, Buck Stienke, Ken Farmer, Dawn Sinclair, Joyce Godwin Grubbs, Tony Riches, Rebecca Treadway, Lisa Kz, Mari Passananti, Melody Peugh, Stephen Dafoe, Karen Kennedy Samoranos, Gerry Huntman, Rhea Rhodan, Kai Starr (Kaichi Satake), Anne Barnhill, Vicki Batman, James F. Ross, Scarlet Hunter, Alisha Paige, Merris Hawk, Cathie Dunn, Roscoe James, Trish Marie Dawson, Mark Patton, Sandra Peddle, Bill Wilbur, Rachel Lyndhurst, Melinda Hammond, Chrystalla Thoma, David Naughton-Shires, Electa Scott Graham, Kate McCormick, Seumas Gallacher, Juliet Cardin, Benita Brown, Julie Parker, Jenny Woodall, Pam Mangol Bitner, Liz Ringrose, Anne Polhill Walton, Lesley Cookman, M.m. Bennetts, Gerry Huntman, Prue Batten, Chrystalla Thoma, Karl Jones, Anna Jacobs, Deborah Gafford, Nely Cab, Tessa Berkley, Nan O’Berry, Sharon Cathcart, Lauren Gilbert, Naty Matos, Tory Michaels, Cerian Williams Hebert, Karen Cino, LaVerne Clark, Erin Dameron-Hill, Kissa Starling, Emily Harvale, Rosalind Smith-Nazilli, Seumas Gallacher, Paula Martin, Melanie Pearce, Jeanette Baird Vaughan, Trace Rybarczyk Broyles, Trevor Belshaw, Pam Howes, Deb Harris, Gayl Taylor, Nanette Del Valle Bradford, Ella James, Raven McAllan, Linda Gillard, Jenny Woodall, Virginia McKevitt, Morticia Knight, Judith Arnopp Novelist, Heather Nelson, Ruth Watson-Morris, Rebecca Rynecki, Victoria Pearson Writer, Maxi Shelton, David J Howe …. and a whole lot more I’m sure but Facebook refused to load the messages any further.

Special mentions go to :

Aim?e Reinhart Avery (belittling posters), Renaissance Romance Publishing (yes, a publishing house that cannot be bothered to investigate), Shawn Lamb (unremorseful), Danielle Yockman (abusing/belittling posters esp. with comments like “Doubt you would’ve bought a copy anyway. *shrugs*”)

Authors who apologised:

Jennifer Hanning

Authors who actually took the time to investigate and found no wrongdoing:

Michele Poet, Philip Catshill, Shanon Nowell

DannyB (profile) says:

Pirate?

> I do resent the authors can’t read remarks.

Let me just say this: YOU CAN’T READ !!!

Proof:

You say:

> IF you lend an e-book you can’t give it back
> when you are finished reading it. However you
> can give it to someone else and they can then
> give it to others. This ‘lending’ can go on forever

If you actually could read, even at a very basic level of reading skill, you would know this is not true about Amazon’s ebooks.

So either (1) YOU CAN’T READ, or (2) you don’t tell the truth.

Sorry to be so blunt.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m the AC asking Flickimp what he planned to do to rectify the situation, I never got back with my idea for him, and it appears some have beat me to it.

The apology is great.

But a good idea Flickimp for you to try out is perhaps going and actively contacting other authors who took part in the hate against the site and explaining to those who still think incorrectly about what the site actually does what it actually does. Then, getting together with those who like you realized their mistake and each of you issuing a very public apology. Not just saying, “Sorry.” But saying something like, “I overreacted and misinterpreted based on false assumptions on my part what the site actually does. In doing so, I actively aided in the shutting down of a legitimate and useful website. I would like to hereby apologize to users of the site, and most especially to Dave for any and all harm caused by this. And I actively would like to encourage those who do purchase my books to try out the LendMe feature and share my book with other users on this site using said feature.” Something like that. Then perhaps going a step further and, again, with other remorseful authors, seeing what Dave needs to get the site up and running again. If he needs a few bucks, send them his way. If he says I’d like you and all the other authors to write a post for my site endorsing it, and also stating quite clearly what this site does (so that other authors with misconceptions can see that we DO NOT host “pirated” copies of any of their books), as well as pointing out that any “sharing”/”lending” is being done WITH YOUR EXPRESS CONSENT, per your agreement with Amazon. Then you go ahead and do that too.

That would go a long way towards making amends.

Also, again, I’m sorry about any threats you received. That is most unfortunate. Report them to the proper authorities, but I’d just blow them off for the most part. I’m almost certain it’s just people talking out of their a$$ for the most part.

If I was a bit rude yesterday or seemed like I was trying to make your apology seem like nothing at all I apologize. But I mean it’s common sense that our words do have very real consequences. A simple tweet can get around the world in minutes and can cause very real harm and damage. Sometimes, it helps to take a step back and think before you hit submit or enter or whatever. You don’t seem like a bad guy though.

As for the other authors posting, Brenna I like. She approached the situation correctly. The one idiot still thinking the site host copies of his work… sigh. There’s no hope for that guy and it’s quite sad to see that an author, who is someone who should be able to read (as you know, their occupation requires it), still cannot get it through their head, despite all the information on this, that there are no copies at all on the site. You sir are an idiot, just wanted to put that out there. As for the other author, Sheila, thinking lending is wrong and costing her money. Sigh again. Lending is inherently a good thing. In this case, people are lending with your permission. No copies are being made at all. So like the other author, I say to you that you’re an idiot.

Just my two cents.

Robert (profile) says:

Pirate?

Rather than be rude, I will simply invite you to read this link

It explains how lending works and how the lender does NOT have the book when they lend it (just like a physical book being lent).

As for why would you lend them? So others read them and maybe like them and maybe buy your next book or other books. That’s how a lot of sales of books happen, word of mouth and lending (libraries included).

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120807/21080519958/legit-ebook-lending-site-taken-down-angry-twitmob-writers.shtml#c2399

Jon Hanna (user link) says:

Rabble are easily roused.

It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the people making threats against the authors for their scumbaggery were among those making threats against Dale.

The sort of people who go so far as to make physical threats whether over a demonstrably untrue allegation (that LendInk was engaging in piracy) or over a demonstrably true allegation (that people were falsely alleging that LendInk was engaging in piracy) tend to be pretty much the same rabble. Whether the grievance is justifiable or not isn’t really important, they just get off on making the threats.

Dreddsnik says:

Please, stop the unnecessary threats and attacks

” We made a mistake. I apologised. “

Yes you did, good on you.
It’s not enough.

All of you were able to band together in a very short time to collapse a LEGAL site. In order to fix this ( in my eyes, at any rate ) you need to band together, ALL of you, just as quickly to fix it, get his site back online. Not you, individually, I know you can’t do it yourself, but it’s very clear that as an organized group your were able to cause an amount of damage that on single person could not. Use that same principle to repair the damage. THAT would be the right thing to do.

Apology not accepted. Fix what you broke.

albieg (profile) says:

Please, stop the unnecessary threats and attacks

I perfectly agree. When Matthew Inman offended female players he wrote:

“Lastly, apologies on the internet mean about as much as farts do in outer space. So I went ahead and donated $1,000 to the Women Against Abuse foundation.”

It’s past time to repair the damage done. Moreover, here’s the self-proclaimed main culprit:

“This offending site claimed to be linked to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Not! Armed with Twitter, FB, and any online social media site available to me, I shot the word out and it went viral.”

This liar subsequently deleted her post (but the shame is still present in Google Cache, just do your search) but has posted more nonsense while denying her role in this failure. Lie, delete, deny, lie again. What a nice human being.

wtfamidoinghere says:

Not An Angry Mob/Concerned Authors

You know what? You people simply don’t understand! What about if someone starts going thru a list of these authors, makes a blog/site/whatever, listing all your books with very nasty opinions about them, and vehemently advising people NOT to buy, lend, whatever said authors/books? What now? Will you email the website owner demanding mentions of your work be taken down?
It really really amazes me that, in this day and age, so many authors still think they have the right to dictate whatever they wish, based on some wrongly perceived “intellectual property”. You want to have absolute control over your “creation”? Fine: don’t ever release it, EVER! Keep it locked in the attic! But if you instead want to make business with it, then at least LEARN the rules (which are horrendously tilted in author’s favor, but well…)

Deirdre (profile) says:

Re:

The christian genre probably explains why I didn’t recognize many of the names. This isn’t Shawn Lamb’s first rodeo though. Most of her craziness has been kept to Amazon forums. She had a fit over a two star review of one of her books and also wrote something about how some christian reviewers were “downright nasty” in their reviews. I think by this she meant that some christian reviewer did not love her book. She has a history of trying to rewrite internet history. Total waste as anyone who has been around a while could tell her.

JR Tomlin (user link) says:

Embrace the insanity

This entire issue has both exhausted and infuriated me. As an indie author I WANT people to loan my books. PLEASE anyone who has my books, feel free (if you didn’t already)!

I have lost count of the posts I have made on various writer forums telling people that there was NOTHING wrong with this site or the practice of loaning. It is how we gain new readers, for heaven’s sake.

The paranoia about pirating has gotten WAY out of hand.

JR Tomlin (user link) says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

Dale, I am so sorry for this happening to you. That the people who did this apparently (in spite of having been told it was not true NUMEROUS times) really believed it was piracy. That doesn’t excuse what happened though.

There were some of us who were trying to stamp out the flames but once an accusation like that goes viral, stopping it seems to be impossible. I wish there were something more helpful than telling you this whole episode makes me truly ill.

All the best,
JR

JR Tomlin (user link) says:

Please don't judge us all by a vocal set!

Very true. I posted on several forums such as KindleBoards and Critique Circle TRYING to tell fellow authors that this was not piracy and explaining that Amazon authorizes lending. I wasn’t the only one. I know that Victorine Leiske, amongst others, was also trying to stamp out some fires. I don’t follow the Twitter chatter enough to realize how hot this had gotten there.

Those of us trying to talk sense were ignored. The damage is done, but I can only imagine how I would feel if what was done to Dale had been done to me. It truly makes me ill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

Actually, Kitty, it DOES NOT make them a thief. Don’t be one of those people who can’t read what is already available for reading, namely that downloading a copy of a work is equivalent to stealing it off a bookstore shelf. IT IS NOT. Someone who downloads a copy of a copyrighted work is a copyright infringer. Nothing more, nothing less.

And again, you can’t steal a copy. (Well, you can.) But you can’t take a copy as it’s on the the internet or one of these sites. The “original” is still intact, what you have merely done is duplicated it. As such, nothing is stolen because nothing has been deprived, which again just shoots down your “thief” bit. Because if you haven’t stolen (deprived someone of something) then you can’t be a thief.

JR Tomlin (user link) says:

If I have one complaint about the article

In fact, I do have one complaint about the article and let me say this is NO defense of what was done to Dale.

The article quotes a post on Kindle Boards. (The in-story link doesn’t work, and here is the correct one: http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,122064.0.html ) I agree that the quote was an ugly and unprofessional one. What the article seems to imply is that the post was what ALL of the posts on Kindle Boards was like. Since I post there and posted on the thread in question, I can tell you that is not the case.

Yes, this is self-serving because I don’t like being tarred with the same brush as those who went after the site. But there were authors out there trying to talk sense. Author Amanda Brice almost immediately after the thread was posted there commented: “It is NOT piracy. They are simply acting as a go-between…” I made the brief comment (before later getting pretty snarky on the topic): “I permit lending of my books. The site also links to Amazon to buy it. Most people find new authors by borrowing their books either from a friend or from a library. I consider this nothing more than an extension of that.”

Please understand that not all authors believe in lynch mobs or took part in the twitter assault. I still see some authors defending their actions in this. I have withdrawn from one authors forum where I was a longstanding member over it. But… seriously, not all of us were guilty.

Lynne Connolly (user link) says:

Author says no

When the link to Lendink went up, and people called “pirate”! I joined the site, listed a book I had on my Kindle and tried to borrow a book I knew wasn’t available (because if I could get it, that would put up a red flag).
Everything went as it should.
It listed my book, then told me the book I wanted wasn’t available. At no time did it ask me to upload anything. I was satisfied that the site was on the up and up, but people wouldn’t listen when I said so.
I posted all over the place on author loops, but it was like trying to push back the tide. Publishers posted “Leave the site alone” messages, but they weren’t heeded either.
Ignorance isn’t an excuse, it never was. I didn’t know either, but I went and found out. It wasn’t hard.

SirThoreth says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

@Greg

>>If you borrow from a legitimate library, you are borrowing a copy IT bought legitimately

Correct so far.

This is why you fail:

>>Lendink was properly notified by rights holders that they did not consent to having their books on the site. Therefore those books were indeed pirated.

The books weren’t on LendInk’s site. People were on LendInk’s site, stating they had a book available to lend. The site then puts the person wanting to borrow that book in touch with the person wanting to lend that book.

From there, the lender goes to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and uses the already-existing tools each retailer has to lend the book.

At no time does a copy of the ebook exist on LendInk’s site. No copy of the book is pirated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

Greg, again, you are an idiot if you cannot understand that Lendlink is NOT lending books AND DOES NOT have any books on the site.

Here, let’s put it very simply for you.

Some books purchased on Amazon and Barnes & Noble have “LendMe” features incorporated.

These features mean the authors of said books have agreed that the books can be lent out. (Usually one time only, and while it is “lent out”, the person who purchased the book is unable to access it.)

A person loans a book to a friend. After a duration of time (two weeks) the book is “returned” to the original person. (Who can now access it again, while the friend no longer can).

End of story.

What Lendlink did, was let people who had certain books which ALL had the LendMe ability/feature do was connect with others who wanted to borrow said books. And they’d lend each other their own purchased copies. Nothing more, nothing less.

Those rights holders who started notifying Lendlink to take down their books were people who were wasting their time. Why? Because there was nothing to take down. And, all the books being lent were being done so with the authors consent (as originally part of whatever deals they negotiated with Amazon) AND more importantly were being lent out legally.

Therefore, you’re an idiot. It’s that simple.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lendink was not a pirate site

Technically, they have only stolen the profits from your work if they originally intended to purchase your work in the first place. But as has been pointed out, one download does not necessarily equal one lost sale. Which means it’s purely theoretical that anything was ever stolen to begin with.

But it’s actually better said that they have not stolen any profits from your work, because put in those terms would mean that they actually went to your bank or wallet and stole actual funds from you from your work. What I believe you mean to say is that they have not provided you with potential profits for your work. Which is what actually happens if they do pirate it. Because it’s purely potential money you could have made, but not money you did make beforehand.

And as you pointed out, it does not apply to the site in question.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

If I have one complaint about the article

What the article seems to imply is that the post was what ALL of the posts on Kindle Boards was like.

The article does nothing of the sort. Many of the other quotes used in this article are taken from the Kindle Boards, where writers and publishers were stepping in as a voice of reason. Scan the post a little closer and you’ll see I even called out Amanda Brice by name.

I’ve also posted a list of writers who were actively trying to stop the witch hunt: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120807/21080519958/legit-ebook-lending-site-taken-down-angry-twitmob-writers.shtml#c1880

ebilrawkscientist (profile) says:

-BitchForks!-

Now good luck tryna convince me to buy an eReader, any eReader I think I’ve been totally burnt on the concept.
Sticking to dead trees seems to make the most sense; since those are MINE and I can loan them lend them, rip them up reorganize them or whatever I choose to do with them, as I so wish and all your publishing houses and authors guilds and whaterver can go pound sand. Nyah Nyah..!.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re:

> News we won’t see: Electra Graham to be
> extradited to the United States under
> cybersecurity laws for incitement and
> coordination of a DDOS attack.

If merely urging others to complain is ever held to be the equivalent of a criminal DDoS attack, I can’t wait for Congress to latch onto that and try and jail anyone who tells the public to write/call their congress rep.

Several times in the last few years Congress has been swamped with calls and emails over issues of controversy (Obamacare, SOPA, immigration, etc.) and they hate it when the public interferes with their ability to do whatever the fuck they want. So look for them to try anything to strike back at those troublesome voters who dare to stir people up to speak their mind to their elected representatives.

JR Tomlin (user link) says:

If I have one complaint about the article

Further to my first reply, perhaps my reaction was totally wrong and everyone else knew those comments came from the Kindle Boards. Since we’re on the same side in this thing, I don’t particularly want to argue, and I’m upset enough about what happened without further disputes. For the most part, I think you did a good job of showing what happened.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

If I have one complaint about the article

Sorry. I didn’t mean to come off as hostile. I’ve been dealing with other pissed off writers who ACTUALLY DID contribute to the downfall of Lendink, but somehow feel I’ve portrayed them wrongly.

I actually found the Kindle Boards discussion to be one of the most level-headed. Shame about a couple of writers in there, but I really felt I needed to highlight that particular negative comment as indicative of how self-righteous some of the writers were in their “triumph.”

Twitter’s where everything was pretty much one-sided, but what works better at 140 characters? Broad accusations or nuanced dialog? So it was what it was.

Once again, I’m sorry if I came off as hostile. At the point I wrote that, I probably was, but it certainly wasn’t your fault.

Nina Pierce (user link) says:

But Can't You See How it Happened

Authors have a difficult job these days. Not only do we have to write a damn good book, but we also have to market it and protect it. In this digital age both of the latter parts have become time consuming. There is nothing more discouraging than finding your hard work at a pirate site.

When I first became aware of lending sites listing my books, they immediately raised my Spidey antennae. But then I took time and educated myself. I even tried to get the word out on my own blog as to how lending sites are not pirate sites. (http://ninapierce.com/blog/lending-your-way-to-sales/) But the fact is, author’s books are stolen every day. Right or wrong, authors are leary of any site (that’s not an etailer) where their books are available. Frustration at losing income can make even the most diligent author react before reading the fine print.

I’m not defending actions, I’m just saying, I completely understand how all of this has come about. I understand the frustrations of readers who were legitimately lending/borrowing books and authors who are discouraged at the loss of royalties from sites that are pirating their work.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Author Confusion / LendInk

Well I hope those authors who sent DMCA notices understand the penalties for perjury.
You see cause they LIED in a legal document.
Misguided or not, they violated the law.
How would one respond to a DMCA notice demanding you remove content that is not actually there to be removed? How does one prove a negative?

They want special rights not actually in their contracts, and the right to demand people who are acting legally but in a manner they dislike be silenced.
If they wanted the right to control who can lend to whom they need better contracts, barring that they need to politely STFU.

If you scroll back in this thread you can find authors still claiming special rights and piracy even after it has been explained over and over to them. One went so far as to repeat accusations of bad behavior and ill intent on the part of the website, he tries to couch it in I’m not saying this but I heard. I’m not sure if its slander or liable, but he is repeating an untruth designed to damage the reputation of a business that he dislikes, all the while clinging to the the idea that the site is still somehow illegal.

I think you should take the list of the authors who went torches and pitchforks and remove them from your site, instead leave a message telling people who might have been interested that this author thinks that customers who want to borrow or lend books are thieves and you refuse to support them.
They got really angry over the “loss” of imaginary dollars, maybe they will get really humble over being publicly shamed and hey they get their way, no one will lend or borrow their books which means their sales will slump because people will be unable to see if its writing they would enjoy reading. They can be content fading into obscurity with a tight grip on their masterpiece.

They can’t read their own contracts, they can’t read the terms clearly spelled out on a website, and ruined someones good name all on the basis of them being to stupid to read… if they fail at basic reading and comprehension why would you suspect they can write anything you’d want to read?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

But Can't You See How it Happened

It is nice that you did research, and one can believe the fear authors have. But it is fear of the unknown.
To spend anytime on TechDirt one can learn that free isn’t a dirty word, that people sharing can be amazing your your bottom line, and how you respond is reflected by your fans.

The torch and pitchfork set are going to have a wave of very bad reviews hitting them, and people might actually post the books to be pirated just to screw with them.

Authors are now hitting what hit the music industry in the 80-90s, where they were told they were losing huge chunks of cash to pirates and there were “studies” to back this up. The studies have been debunked time and time again, and while someone might download a track and not pay for that one track, if they like the artist they will acquire more over time legally.

I give you the case of Dan Bull, HipHop artist. He released a series of tracks on various sites and asked people to buy them. He also posted those tracks and more in a torrent on The Pirate Bay at the same time. A young independent artist with no label backing him charted quite highly… all while people could go to The Pirate Bay and download it all for free.

This is not to say that model will work for you, or another author. But the part that will work, is having a connection with your fans and treating them as people and not just parasites waiting to pounce and steal from you.

If your mindset is that if someone reads your book without having paid you in full is a horrible crime to humanity and they needs to be beaten… your not helping how you appear.

If your mindset is that well I’m not thrilled I didn’t get paid, but hopefully they will buy my next book if they found my work good… the fans will respond. Did you know that some people who “pirate” ebooks often go back and legally purchase the books they enjoyed so they can keep the author writing? That some people who pirate ebooks sometimes find that content so annoying they just delete it, can you still think of them as a lost sale? Should you?

There is a sense of entitlement for people who “create” intellectual property, and they go on and on about the “entitlement” of the consumers… they seem to miss we are entitled, we pay them. If you treat us poorly we’ll find someone else.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lendlink

I was on the Kindle Boards writers cafe this afternoon on a thread related to Lendink, they closed the thread down after about six pages. Many writers were trying in vain to explain that lendink was not a pirate site. Many went into great detail, but about a half dozen writers were just brain dead. They were like children that would not listen to reason. I was actually embarrassed for them How do you publish a book and not know what is in your own contract. I will remember who these half dozen writers are and will never buy a book of theirs. You can go to the writers cafe and see the words for yourself. I will never go back there myself.