I joined forces with another party who also had problems with the content of the book.
Ignoring for the moment the various untrue statements within the book, our problems were:
- The book contained scanned images of letters that each of us had written. We had not given permission for these letters to be used - we had not even been asked for permission, even though we were both easily contactable up to, and after, the book's publication.
- The book contained a number of photographs that I had taken, some of my fellow complainant. Apparently, the author had contacted my fellow complainant, who refused permission for the images to appear in the book. The person who should have been contacted in each case was the person who took the photographs, as the copyright owner of an image is the image creator - in the case of photographs, it is the person who took the photograph. In these cases, it was me.
Some of the images were of the author, taken from such an angle that it was extremely unlikely that the author took them, yet there were no image credits for any content in the whole book.
By publishing the book in this manner, Chipmunka were representing all content in the book as being the copyright of the author.
While I can perhaps understand that finding the copyright holder for an image might be hard, I still fail to see how something that has been written by someone else, and is clearly presented in context as being written by someone else, could be published by anybody with any understanding of copyright law without first obtaining permission for publication. That a company in the business of publishing books could do this is beyond belief.
Perhaps not so much beyond belief after I received this:
"Please find attached a very amended ebook. The names of all butChipmunka's solution to the copyright problem was to offer to change names in the book. This was staggering. Their solution to publishing a letter written by me was to claim that the letter was written by another, fictional person.
one person - the author. There is a disclaimer on page two
Once you have read it I hope your approve it for publication"
I had suggested earlier that if all material that I owned the copyright to was removed from the book, and the book was published under a pseudonym, that I would most likely be happy for the book to be published, as I would not be identifiable, and therefore the question of libel would not need to be brought up.
It seemed as though Chipmunka were hoping that I would feel that I could no longer be identified, because my name had been changed (even though the author's had not - and being mentioned as the author's relative in numerous places made the changing of my name a moot point), and that I would therefore not be concerned about either the representation of me in the book, or the use of my copyrighted material. This made me feel that I was dealing with a company who were not particularly used to dealing with issues of copyright, or libel, and it was going to be an uphill struggle to even make them understand what the problem was with what they were doing.
I was right.