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LendInk EBook Lending Service Returns, Receives Fishy DMCA Notice

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the thou-shalt-not-share-with-strangers dept.

Books 43

Ian Lamont writes "Remember LendInk, the legitimate ebook lending community that got knocked offline at the beginning of August by a mob of misguided authors? The site's owner, Dale Porter, received a lot of support after the story went viral and last week was able to reactivate the site and his affiliate accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble." The owner reportedly received a DMCA notice immediately, but a few folks dug and it appears that the "lawyer" who issued it is no lawyer at all, and probably an Internet troll (evidence includes not being listed as a lawyer in PA, using a home address, and sending the takedown from gmail). Or just a really bad lawyer.

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Test ad (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147183)

This Crisp Test ad that is being displayed on the bottom of the main page is unbelievably annoying. Can't Slashdot just use the tag like everyone else?

Re:Test ad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147235)

This is 2012, learn to adblock for god's sake!

Re:Test ad (3, Informative)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147949)

Or better yet, stop posting as AC and get enough karma on slashdot to turn off ads.

Facebook posts are news now? (4, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147191)

Come on, don't be another network-relinking farm.

Re:Facebook posts are news now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147487)

I would prefer that the news posts are judged on their merits rather than the location they are hosted - if this was on the lendink site, you would not be complaining.

Re:Facebook posts are news now? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41153957)

Come on, don't be another network-relinking farm.

that's slashdot!

slashdots forte was never the original content, half the article blurbs are shit too. the point was always to be just a link farm, with comments.

He's "For Hire" (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147197)

probably an Internet troll (evidence includes not being listed as a lawyer in PA, using a home address, and sending the takedown from gmail)

I guess it's possible that this is the lawyer we're talking about [] who has changed his name to something more official sounding like "Hank St. James" or uses that version in litigation to avoid repercussions. It's also possible that Hank James is just a really common name but Wilkes Barre and Pottsville are pretty close to each other.

Anyway, I dug up a few other things. Here's an article sort of heralding his efforts [] as a "piracy exterminator for hire." Here he is leaving comments on a complaint board [] against infiniread.

I'm pretty sure this is his MO to generate revenue: 1) find registered copyrighted books on small websites. 2) make sure the site's owners don't have any money. 3) send take down notice. 4) upon failure to remove material, THEN contact the copyright holder and offer them your services for a price. 5) pretend nothing happened if site did, indeed, have the rights to host or sell copyrighted material.

Isn't that all indicated by his phrase "I have a good faith belief that..."?

Re:He's "For Hire" (2)

Fwipp (1473271) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147855)

From the ereads link:
"Like anyone else in the law enforcement field, St. James’s job is fraught with danger. “I have been threatened by one clown in Holland connected with [an underground website] when we had a five day running battle to get one of my authors works removed from his site. I’ve picked up viruses from some sites which my software has caught. Fifteen of those viruses are in quarantine, however, as there apparently is no antidote for the strains that infected my computer. So, the virus software simply isolated the virus.”"

Such a dangerous job!

Re:He's "For Hire" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41156665)

That's nothing compared to what MyCleanPC users supposedly had to go through before finding said software!

Re:He's "For Hire" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41172923)

So he's sending fraudulent DMCA notices and claiming (wrongly) to represent the copyright holder?

That is NOT "good faith". Sounds like he's set for dis-barring and getting hit with punitive measures - it's a crime to abuse the DMCA to send bad-faith takedown notices. He doesn't represent the copyright holders and he knows it; it's a clear case of bad faith.

So, Americans, why your republicans total idiots? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147245)

It is as if all the stupid people become republicans. Am I right or is it only when on film that these people become suddenly stupid.

Re:So, Americans, why your republicans total idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147791)

Well, if you're not a republican then you just disproved your own theory.

On the facebook page (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147247)

On the facebook page there's a link to this: []

So it appears the guy is likely not a kid trolling and is presenting himself as an attorney. Whether or not he's licensed to practice as one is another question.

You can check attorney's registered to practice in PA on the state Supreme Court's website: []

It's possible that he's admitted to the bar somewhere else though. Of course the guy who owns the site could email and ask for details of his bar admission(s).

Re:On the facebook page (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 2 years ago | (#41150915)

Who says you have to be an attorney to send a legal notice? Now, impersonating an attorney is another matter, as well as misrepresentation of any kind, but you do not need to be an attorney to send a DMCA notice. It's a good idea to have an attorney look at it to make sure it's not missing something or is just poorly written, but unless it goes to court there's no attorney necessary. In the U.S. you have the right to represent yourself. There's no law saying you have to have an attorney act for you in any matter, civil or criminal.

Re:On the facebook page (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41151133)

You dont have to be an attorney, especially for something simple as a DMCA notice. But you cannot claim to be an attorney (he claims to be), when you are not registered as one (all states have laws governing unauthorized practice of law)

Re:On the facebook page (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 2 years ago | (#41155393)

I believe I said in my second sentence that you cannot impersonate (i.e. claim to be when not) an attorney, but thanks for stopping by!

I guess he needs a DCMA procedure page saying (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147253)

1) Briefly what Amazon's terms are and why his site is ok
2) The Email address to send DCMA takedowns to.
3) That he will formally complain to the state bar of any attorney who sends a takedown disregarding #1 above.

falsification? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147257)

So is there any consequence for falsification of a DCMA notice? Like 5 years in Federal Hotel...

Re:falsification? (2, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147301)

Do you think the purchasers of this law would of allowed that? Really?? Who do you think is in control?

Re:falsification? (5, Insightful)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147697)

Yes. Section 512 [] , subsection (e) of the DMCA provides that

Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section--

(1) that material or activity is infringing, or

(2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification

shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys' fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner's authorized licensee, or by the service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

No prison time, obviously, to answer your direct question.

Re:falsification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147889)

So one should simply hire the most expensive team of lawyers one can thus exacting a higher cost on the accuser? What a fine legal system.

Re:falsification? (2)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#41148019)

You misunderstand, AC. "[I]ncluding...attorneys' fees" is certainly part of of it, but the law says "any damages." Let's say you're an independent songwriter/musician whose livelihood is to sell mp3s of your work online. Bad Media Company hands your ISP a knowingly-false DMCA takedown notice. Because your site was taken down, you lose your income until you provide a counter-notice to your ISP. Because you don't have money coming in for those days, you can't pay your rent, or your utilities, or whatever, and you incur penalties or even eviction. You can then sue—which you, incidentally, hire a lawyer for—to recover any and all of the costs you incurred (including lost sales), to make you whole: as though, financially at least, the whole incident never happened. (Whether you were granted relief of course relies on the specific situation, I am not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice, do not fold, spindle, or mutilate.)

Re:falsification? (1)

Spamalope (91802) | more than 2 years ago | (#41149451)

So one should simply hire the most expensive

I wouldn't do that. Unfortunately 'knowingly' is a legally tough standard to meet. You must prove that they knew the take down notice was materially false and issued it anyway. Proving it was false and that they should have known isn't enough. Even if they were recklessly careless they're ok.

That condition was put in there to make the law 'look' more balanced, while in fact providing no practical redress at all.

Re:falsification? (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#41148429)

Unfortunately this shows one of the big problems with our legal system. Someone has a low/no cost method of harassing people, but you can not go to the police and the DA will not help you, your only option is to sue at your own cost.

While people like to comment how 'sue happy' our culture is, this is a fine example of this not really being the case. Many of our laws are written in such a way that the only way to enforce the law is a private lawsuit rather then the DoJ actually doing its job. So the only way to get us out of being a 'sue' culture would be to make it so these laws are enforced by law enforcement rather then private dollars.

Re:falsification? (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#41148761)

Why would the DoJ be in charge of policing and arresting matters which are of an entirely civil concern between entities? It's not as if anything criminal is going on in a majority of these cases. Law enforcement should only enter a civil dispute if one of the parties requests assistance - otherwise they'll focus on crimes like theft and not civil affairs like basic infringement.

Would you really want the police stopping by every time you had a disagreement with your neighbor?

Re:falsification? (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#41149457)

Well, they are 'civil matters' because that is what they have been defined to be. What is 'civil' and what is 'criminal' is pretty much 'what requires lawsuit' vs 'what the government will enforce', thus anything can be moved from one category to another.

Oh the whole, I really would prefer police be involved when there is a conflict, rather then have to decide 'can I afford to enforce my legal rights? can I afford to defend my legal rights? or should I sit and accept these crimes against me because I do not have the spare resources'. The civil system strongly favors those who have the extra time, money, or experience to utilize it... when in many ways, if there is a law, law enforcement should be actually enforcing it.

Re:falsification? (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41152307)

Theoretically, filing a false DMCA notice is perjury, but I don't think it has ever been enforced.

Re:falsification? (1)

kaws (2589929) | more than 2 years ago | (#41156689)

The reason it has pretty much never been enforced is because it's difficult to impossible to prove that someone knowingly did wrong in this case.

Why so suspicious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147299)

it appears that the "lawyer" who issued it is no lawyer at all, and probably an Internet troll

Plenty of internet trolls are also lawyers.

One man's opinion (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147325)

We should've known. The first one didn't come by gmail but did have an auto-inserted corporate disclaimer:

This email should considered the employee's personal opinion and should not be construed as the opinion of McDonald's corporation or its subsidiaries or affiliates.

Identy of Lawyer (2)

Draasti (318770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147371)

It must be Saul Goodman XD

Re:Identy of Lawyer (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#41160075)

Nah, Saul seems to know his shit. I think it was the guy filling the safe deposit box for Mike grandaughter.

Not Lendable by the Publisher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147627)

After putting in 10 titles of my e-book collection the only response I've received is: "not lendable by the publisher"

Guess I really don't own these books after all.

Re:Not Lendable by the Publisher (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#41148067)

Of course you don't. Reading the terms of things when you buy them is a good idea. I know pretty much all of Slashdot opposes this, and frankly I agree with them, but if you're on this site at all you most likely already know this is how ebooks on these DRMed platforms work.

I love the idea of ebooks. I love my safari subscription. I also love the couple thousand books that line my living room walls because no one will ever take them away from me, they will never expire, and I can let anyone and everyone read them any time I care to. Add to that the fact that some ebooks cost darn near what the real book does, and I have very little use for many ebooks. When they are at a significant discount to the dead tree version, I'll read it and consider it a disposable purchase.

Re:Not Lendable by the Publisher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41158155)


E-Books are for convenience; dead tree books are for posterity.

authors not worth reading (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147641)

LendInk's most valuable contribution to society may be the outing of a bunch of authors as at best woefully confused fools vainly fighting the march of technology. I find it hard to believe in the perceptiveness, insight, and progressiveness of these authors-- traits we find make for the best story telling-- when they make a blunder like this. Did they ever admit they got it very wrong, and apologize? I don't know but I guess some slunk away silently in embarrassment, and the rest are still on the warpath, still convinced of the moral inferiority of the balance of society. By their lights we are all cheap, greedy jerks who will read without paying if we can. Perhaps so, but that is an unnecessarily negative way of viewing the situation, as it is based on wrong thinking. Those authors who feel this way are not worth reading. What this really says, again, to anyone who will listen, is that the copyright system is broken. Piracy should not be vilified. Copies of data are simply not a scarce resource, and no amount of legislation can reverse this fact of nature. Most of all, we shouldn't fight copying, we should embrace it as the huge public good it is. We are all more knowledgeable for copying being easy.

Interesting that the latest salvo from the copyright extremists against LendInk is from a doubtful lawyer with a dubious and unsavory reputation. Once again we're looking at an age old question: does the end justify the means? Is it okay to get in bed with the slimiest lawyers on the planet to save copyright? Shouldn't our wiser folks, including authors, already know the answer to such questions? If this DMCA takedown is an unsanctioned, independent act, not done at the behest of the authors, they ought to be quick to say so, and quick to publicly support LendInk.

a well know truism (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147651)

probably an Internet troll (evidence includes not being listed as a lawyer in PA, using a home address, and sending the takedown from gmail). Or just a really bad lawyer.

Here, I'll simplimafy it for ya:
bad lawyer == troll.

SCO vs everybody
Jack Thompson vs reality
Astrolabe vs the timezone database

Bad Lawyers vs. Santas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41147677)

When we are children we only have to worry bad Santas. When we grow up we have worry bad lawyers as well. They eat too much sushi at the office.

Standard template (1)

omni123 (1622083) | more than 2 years ago | (#41147853)

A quick Google reveals that this is (verbatim) a standard Internet template for takedowns. []

I'm guessing any practising attorney probably wouldn't have taken the first Google result and copy pasted it... That being said the consequences of falsification are non-trivial [] .

"or just a really bad lawyer." redundant, -1 (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41151043)

there's a reason they call becoming a practicing lawyer "admittance to the bar."

Site Unavailable (1)

Captain_Chaos (103843) | more than 2 years ago | (#41151451)

The site is down again. It says "This site is currently unavailable. If you are the account holder, please contact customer service." Slashdotted? Spineless hosting company?

Re:Site Unavailable (1)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#41151859)

It just went down! I was lending books left and right just prior.

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