June 19 – June 26, 2008 Edition

Author Sues
Bookstores, Too

NEW YORK, NY/6/18/08–An interesting copyright infringement law suit has been filed by author Larry Townsend against 40 booksellers and his distributor. According to an item this week in Publishers Weekly (6/16/08), Nazca Plains Corporation, Townsend’s book distributor, allegedly owes Townsend money. So, Townsend is suing the Oklahoma-based distributor, owned by Herbert R. Moseley, for illegally distributing his books. But it doesn’t stop there. He has also named 40 booksellers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in the suit as well.

According to his attorney, Valerie F. Horn, all who are involved in the chain of distribution are liable, regardless of whether they knew or didn’t know they were selling books distributed without the author’s permission. Townsend is the author of the cult S&M guide, The Leatherman’s Handbook, and its follow-up, The Leatherman’s Handbook II, both self-published and distributed until Nazca was signed on as the distributor.

Paul Glickman, an attorney for Calamus Books in Boston, one of the stores named in the suit, questioned why the booksellers had been named and said the case is nothing more than “a dispute over money” between Nazca and Townsend.