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(Entertainment Weekly)   Stephen King responds to author whose 2006 book keeps getting ordered by mistake on Amazon because it shares a title with his 2013 release. "I'm delighted for her, and I'm going to order her book"   (shelf-life.ew.com) divider line 59
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5940 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 20 Jun 2014 at 2:52 PM (9 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-20 12:59:53 PM
Idiot consumers who can't pay attention to the fact that the Stephen King book didn't have an ebook release.
 
2014-06-20 01:03:56 PM
I'm shocked these people actually read books. You didn't notice the author's name was wrong?
 
2014-06-20 01:06:51 PM
"I'm delighted for her, and I'm going to order her book," King told EW.

He could pulled a total Lars Ulrich and walked around like Mr. Penis Head talking about stolen royalties, but, hey. Good move on Mr. King's part.
 
2014-06-20 01:07:37 PM

whidbey: "I'm delighted for her, and I'm going to order her book," King told EW.

He could pulled a total Lars Ulrich and walked around like Mr. Penis Head talking about stolen royalties, but, hey. Good move on Mr. King's part.


It would be hard given that her book came our years prior.  But still, well played and good move.
 
2014-06-20 01:07:45 PM

BizarreMan: Idiot consumers who can't pay attention to the fact that the Stephen King book didn't have an ebook release.


Or look at the author before clicking "Buy now".


Amusing story, I like that she's posting how she is spending the "Steven King Money".
 
2014-06-20 01:16:24 PM

whidbey: "I'm delighted for her, and I'm going to order her book," King told EW.

He could pulled a total Lars Ulrich and walked around like Mr. Penis Head talking about stolen royalties, but, hey. Good move on Mr. King's part.


If he doesn't sell it online, how is he losing royalties?

/good on Mr. King
//she legitimately earned the money as IIRC you can request a refund in a short period of time after purchase, so good for her
 
2014-06-20 01:20:08 PM
What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?
 
2014-06-20 01:22:53 PM
And also, both of them have pretty cool covers.
 
2014-06-20 01:25:55 PM

Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?


I don't think you can copyright titles. But that wouldn't prevent someone from calling you out for using a well-known, distinctive title that way.
 
2014-06-20 01:28:30 PM
She wrote it first so...yah...good for her.
 
2014-06-20 01:31:21 PM

Secret Agent X23: Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?

I don't think you can copyright titles. But that wouldn't prevent someone from calling you out for using a well-known, distinctive title that way.


Well given there has long been an entire movie industry based on thinly-veiled knockoffs of popular films, you'd think there'd be a shady book group that would do exactly what happened to this author by accident. Plenty of popular novelists have books with generic names. Type up some crap, slap a cover on it that looks similar in tone to what the idiot consumer expects, put the author's name in small type somewhere while making the title HUGE, and watch the suckers' dollars roll in.

Hey I just got an idea.
 
2014-06-20 01:34:40 PM
I hope you all will enjoy my new novel "The Stand" arriving in your favorite online bookstore in 2015!
 
2014-06-20 01:42:28 PM

Secret Agent X23: Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?

I don't think you can copyright titles. But that wouldn't prevent someone from calling you out for using a well-known, distinctive title that way.


I would bet if you tried to put "Amazon" "Starbucks" or yes even "Montana" into your book title, you would be contacted.
 
2014-06-20 02:14:08 PM

whidbey: Secret Agent X23: Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?

I don't think you can copyright titles. But that wouldn't prevent someone from calling you out for using a well-known, distinctive title that way.

I would bet if you tried to put "Amazon" "Starbucks" or yes even "Montana" into your book title, you would be contacted.


My guess is that it would depend on how you do it. You'd probably want to avoid implying that it's an "official" publication from the company. But inasmuch as there's a book being sold on Amazon titled "Selling On Amazon: How You Can Make A Full-Time Income Selling on Amazon" from a publisher called Grassroot Books, I would be inclined to think it's not an automatic thing.
 
2014-06-20 02:28:18 PM
ts2.mm.bing.net

farm3.staticflickr.com

dailypicksandflicks.com

dailypicksandflicks.com

ts1.mm.bing.net
 
2014-06-20 02:33:36 PM

whidbey: Secret Agent X23: Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?

I don't think you can copyright titles. But that wouldn't prevent someone from calling you out for using a well-known, distinctive title that way.

I would bet if you tried to put "Amazon" "Starbucks" or yes even "Montana" into your book title, you would be contacted.


As long as your title is clear that it is unauthorized, it's permissible. That would be like McDonalds suing the New York Times if they ran a negative story about them on Page 1.
 
2014-06-20 02:57:22 PM

BizarreMan: Idiot consumers who can't pay attention to the fact that the Stephen King book didn't have an ebook release.


I think the worst part is how people will give her book poor reviews as a result of their mistake.
 
2014-06-20 03:08:46 PM
Maybe she'll get offered a movie deal.
 
2014-06-20 03:13:58 PM
People who write negative reviews unrelated to the product suck.

"I bought the wrong thing!  1 star"
"UPS broke it in shipping!  1 star"
"Amazon treats its warehouse workers poorly!  1 star"
 
2014-06-20 03:14:14 PM
This bodes well for my exposé novella "Under the Dome", documenting the dangers of using off-brand condoms.
 
2014-06-20 03:16:00 PM

Confabulat: I hope you all will enjoy my new novel "The Stand" arriving in your favorite online bookstore in 2015!


I'm almost finished with my book "IT" about the life of an information technology cube monkey
 
2014-06-20 03:18:19 PM
I'm also working on a book about real estate and the trouble selling a house during the housing crisis. I'm going to call it "Salem's Lot"
 
2014-06-20 03:18:24 PM
This kind of thing never happens to the author of "Doctor Ykabodslag's Miracle Cures Made of Home-Spun Pubic Yarn".
 
2014-06-20 03:19:36 PM

whidbey: "I'm delighted for her, and I'm going to order her book," King told EW.

He could pulled a total Lars Ulrich and walked around like Mr. Penis Head talking about stolen royalties, but, hey. Good move on Mr. King's part.


Which is funny since Lars stole the name "Metallica" from a friend of his who wanted to start a metal magazine
 
2014-06-20 03:22:24 PM

BizarreMan: Idiot consumers who can't pay attention to the fact that the Stephen King book didn't have an ebook release.


Then what did I read a few weeks ago? Pretty sure it had the yadda-yadda at the beginning for an e-book release. The online freebies of King stories usually have a publisher in England credited for the ebook publishing.

And here's an ebook version right here...

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/joyland-stephen-king/1113011696?ean= 97 81781168493&itm=1&usri=joyland
 
2014-06-20 03:23:29 PM
Then there's this douchebag who actually  is trying to capitalize from using Stephen King's name.

ecx.images-amazon.com

$4.99 for a 25 page "book", and it's garnered 42 one-star reviews out of a total of 67 for the dishonesty.
 
2014-06-20 03:24:21 PM
Interdasting... This phenomebob may also help sales of my new book about people who have unfairly criticized Coach Lasorda over the years, "The Tommyknockers".
 
2014-06-20 03:29:10 PM
Maybe this is why no one is buying Hillary's book... Probably not, but it at least gives her an excuse.

nation.foxnews.com
 
2014-06-20 03:37:36 PM
A classy move, Mr King.
I may have to start respecting you.

/ So many dozens of other King titles piled up do not touch the perfection that is _The Shining_
 
2014-06-20 03:43:58 PM
Have you ordered a copy of my newsletter "The Bible" yet?


You should!
 
2014-06-20 03:46:22 PM

Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?


You generally cannot trademark a title of a book or film.*  But you can get a trademark of a series of such books/films.  You have to show secondary meaning (i.e. that the series title is well known as a signifier of source), which generally means that it needs to be a rather popular series name.  As an example - HARRY POTTER is a protectable mark, because it is the mark for the Harry Potter series of books, movies, merch, etc.

However, both the Lanham act and the various state "little FTC acts," make deceptive advertising actionable.  Thus, you could be liable for intentionally titling a book so as to mislead customers into buying it, but it would be much harder to prove than mere trademark infringement.

/*Federally.  I dont know all the 50 state laws on the matter, but as far as i know the ones i know say the same thing.
 
2014-06-20 03:46:33 PM
My book The Stand is about a nerdy teenage clarinetist and his bizarre relationship with a haunted musical stand. I'll tell you how it ends when I get to the end of Christine.
 
2014-06-20 03:52:20 PM

spman: As long as your title is clear that it is unauthorized, it's permissible. That would be like McDonalds suing the New York Times if they ran a negative story about them on Page 1.


Different doctrines actually. 

If your book was not about Amazon, or McDonalds, then you are likley ok for two reasons: it is not a use of a mark in commerce because titles aren't marks, and even if they were, you would likley be fine because the use was associated with a totally different product.  You only get marks in association with a specific commercial activity.  STARBUCKS, for example is likely only a mark in the food service; clothing; and cutlery fields i would imagine.  STARBUCKS plumbing would thus be fine.

If your book was about Amazon or McDonalds, then it is akin to the newspaper and is safe under the doctrine of nominative fair use - i.e. you can use a mark to describe the product the mark is used on.  Tide cannot sue you if you say "TIDE is great."  They cannot even sue you if you say "Our product is cheaper but just as good as TIDE!"* In those instances you are using TIDE not as a mark for your own goods, but as a mark for Tide's goods.  Thus no consumer confusion.

/*of course you could be hit with false ad claims if this isn't true . . . .
 
2014-06-20 03:59:08 PM
Whelllp, time to fire up the ol' word cruncher and get started on a little book I'm calling The Shining.

Chapter One:

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.   All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
 
2014-06-20 04:00:11 PM

Dr Dreidel: This kind of thing never happens to the author of "Doctor Ykabodslag's Miracle Cures Made of Home-Spun Pubic Yarn".


Don't even bring up that book! I spelled it Ykadobslag, and oh the pr0n ads I got...
 
2014-06-20 04:03:32 PM
1derful: Have you ordered a copy of my newsletter "The Bible" yet?


You should!


i did.  didn't like the ending.
 
2014-06-20 04:22:22 PM

Fish in a Barrel: People who write negative reviews unrelated to the product suck.

"I bought the wrong thing!  1 star"
"UPS broke it in shipping!  1 star"
"Amazon treats its warehouse workers poorly!  1 star"


At least that's better than people who clearly state they haven't bought the product but are going to rate it anyway. "I'm thinking about buying one! 3 stars"
 
2014-06-20 05:08:18 PM

Secret Agent X23: Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?

I don't think you can copyright titles. But that wouldn't prevent someone from calling you out for using a well-known, distinctive title that way.


There's a Donald E. Westlake book that has a list of ALSO BY AUTHOR books that includes titles like David Copperfield.

Pick a good title and give it your best.
 
2014-06-20 05:10:15 PM

whidbey: "I'm delighted for her, and I'm going to order her book," King told EW.

He could pulled a total Lars Ulrich and walked around like Mr. Penis Head talking about stolen royalties, but, hey. Good move on Mr. King's part.


He tried the Bachman thing.  That didn't go so well.  He released them some years later under the name Stephen King.  Guess what happened?  He knows how lucky he is, to his credit.
 
2014-06-20 05:27:05 PM

Precision Boobery: whidbey: "I'm delighted for her, and I'm going to order her book," King told EW.

He could pulled a total Lars Ulrich and walked around like Mr. Penis Head talking about stolen royalties, but, hey. Good move on Mr. King's part.

He tried the Bachman thing.  That didn't go so well.  He released them some years later under the name Stephen King.  Guess what happened?  He knows how lucky he is, to his credit.


That's not really how it happened. When he published Thinner under the name Richard Bachman, someone figured out it was him and did some sleuthing and blew his cover. I don't think he was ever trying to make the Bachman books big sellers. Ironically, some of those stories are now King fan favorites.

Joe Hill, on the other hand, he actually did seem to break through without ever trading on his dad's name.
 
2014-06-20 05:34:29 PM

Brick-House: Maybe this is why no one is buying Hillary's book... Probably not, but it at least gives her an excuse.

[nation.foxnews.com image 624x300]


i58.tinypic.com

That's a lot of no ones.
 
2014-06-20 05:41:04 PM
They can form an angry-consumer alliance with the folks that bought the German version without realizing it.

Amazon Link
 
2014-06-20 05:45:38 PM
In fairness, those who bought the book believing it to be a Stephen King novel may end up pleasantly surprised with a well written book.
 
2014-06-20 05:47:22 PM

fusillade762: Brick-House: Maybe this is why no one is buying Hillary's book... Probably not, but it at least gives her an excuse.

[nation.foxnews.com image 624x300]

[i58.tinypic.com image 419x169]

That's a lot of no ones.


Fox News viewers have never been interested in reality.
 
2014-06-20 06:24:32 PM

Gig103: BizarreMan: Idiot consumers who can't pay attention to the fact that the Stephen King book didn't have an ebook release.

Or look at the author before clicking "Buy now".


Amusing story, I like that she's posting how she is spending the "Steven King Money".


I buy a couple books a week. If you use the mobile interface it's constipated shiat on white bread without a complimentary mint.  If you're not paying attention, or generally retarded enough to WANT to buy a King novel in the first place, it's easy enough to flub.
 
2014-06-20 07:24:50 PM
img.fark.net

still cracks me up.
 
2014-06-20 07:30:41 PM

Confabulat: That's not really how it happened. When he published Thinner under the name Richard Bachman, someone figured out it was him and did some sleuthing and blew his cover. I don't think he was ever trying to make the Bachman books big sellers. Ironically, some of those stories are now King fan favorites.

Joe Hill, on the other hand, he actually did seem to break through without ever trading on his dad's name.


img.fark.net

Thinner was the last of five Bachman books published.  Yeah, he didn't try to market them, but he still had five chances to make it big with them.  I'm not saying Joe isn't a talented writer (I haven't read him), and I don't think he tried to trade on his dad's name, but it seems unlikely that no one in the publishing industry knew who we was.
 
2014-06-20 08:10:16 PM

Precision Boobery: I'm not saying Joe isn't a talented writer (I haven't read him), and I don't think he tried to trade on his dad's name, but it seems unlikely that no one in the publishing industry knew who we was.


This, I don't know of course. But he has done plenty of interviews about the years of rejection letters he got, including his first novel that he spent three years writing. He couldn't even get published in the sci-fi magazines at first.

He could be lying, and I'm sure his dad could have pulled some strings, but he does seem very earnest about not using his dad's name to succeed.

And he really is very good. I like Stephen King but he's got nearly 2 decades on me. His fears skew older than mine these days. Nothing wrong with that of course. But Joe Hill is much more my contemporary. His frame of reference feels closer to mine than his father's.

And really, think about the Bachman books and how they've grown in statute over the years. The Long Walk? The Running Man? You'd be hard pressed to find a King fan that doesn't love those stories.
 
2014-06-20 08:33:58 PM

Confabulat: What are the rules on book titles anyway? Can I type 300 pages of crap and call it "To Kill A Mockingbird?" What if it was a hunting guide?


Its like everything in law- its fairly liquid.  King could have sued her, but he'd have to prove that she intentionally was trying to run a scam with the title.

But there's nothing legally stopping me from recording and selling a song titled "Yesterday"  I'm sure there are a bunch out there that aren't covers of the famed Beatles track.
 
2014-06-20 10:01:23 PM

Torgo_of_Manos: [img.fark.net image 366x172]

still cracks me up.


Without context, I'm gonna assume the kid had just finished The Dark Tower.
 
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