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Monday, September 29, 2014

How Ellora's Cave May Have Just Committed Suicide

In case you actually had a life over the weekend and missed the blow-up, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc. and Jasmine-Jade Enterprises, LLC filed a civil suit Friday morning against Dear Author Media Network, LLC, and Jennifer Gerrish-Lampe for defamation. Ellora's Cave was a ground-breaking e-book erotica publisher. Jennifer is better known as Jane Litte, the proprietress of Dear Author, an incredibly popular romance blog and review website.

The subject of Ellora's Cave (aka EC) has been a major topic on the internet for the past few months. Jennifer wrote a piece that was, in my opinion, fair and factual in regards to their business problems. I linked to it when I compared EC's current behavior to the events leading to Dorchester's demise. Everything Jennifer mentioned is a matter of public record. She laid out the facts, and she gave an opinion about what may be going on behind the scenes and what the end result may be. Her post went live fifteen days ago on September 14th.

Three days ago on September 26th, EC filed suit against Jennifer in Akron, specifically the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division. You can read the actual court documents here at the Summit County Clerk of Courts. I first heard about the lawsuit in an article on The Digital Reader. The Passive Voice has posted the actual filing, which is now a matter of public record, along with his own legal commentary. Inexplicably, EC's attorney attached a copy of Jennifer's blog post to the pleading.

*facepalm*

I know it's been a while since I've practiced law (and nothing I'm about to say constitutes legal advice or legal representation of anyone WHATSOEVER), but what the fuck was that attorney thinking? The apparent objective of the lawsuit was to suppress Jennifer's analysis of EC and chill any further discussion of EC 's business practices. Yet, he just made sure everyone in the world can read it. As Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader said, the Streisand Effect will ensure everyone on the planet knows about the Dear Author blog post and shine a very bright light on EC's behavior.

In a case like this, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, i.e. EC, to show that Jennifer deliberately lied to damage their business. Which means their going to have to open their financials to the court to prove one of the main allegations, that EC did in fact pay ALL their writers, editors and cover artists. Again, any evidence entered into the case will become a matter of public record. Considering how many EC authors are openly complaining about the lack of payment, these folks will be very interested in seeing the financial records of the company.

By Saturday afternoon, the Streisand Effect was in full force as bloggers spread the word about Dear Author getting sued. Outraged readers picked up the thread. Even Publishers Weekly broadcasted it through their Twitter account.

By filing this lawsuit, EC may have just hastened its ultimate fate. The company may not even survive long enough for this case to go to trial.

5 comments:

  1. I'm like 600 blog posts behind in my reader (I've been cherry picking every day or two, which is why I'm here) and this is the first I've heard of the lawsuit, although I'll probably dash over and read PG's take on it.

    I have no idea what that lawyer was thinking either. I've never been to law school, and even I can see what a boneheaded move that was. :/ The only thing I can think of is that the client insisted, and he/she eventually shrugged, did as instructed, and cashed the check.

    Wow.

    Angie

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  2. Oh, and it occurred to me that this is probably more publicity than EC has gotten in years. [wry smile] Too bad it's not likely to draw many new customers.

    Angie

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  3. Quite frankly, EC is fucked, Angie. Jennifer hired the same attorney who took down copyright troll Righthaven. And even if she hadn't, what internet reviewer would want to take a chance reviewing an EC book?

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  4. I actually had the impression EC was fucked a couple of weeks ago. With this lawsuit, they're prying the lube out of the dude's hand and tossing it out the window. :P

    But yes, even if they somehow survive this for a while, I can't imagine their promo efforts going very well. [nod]

    Angie

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  5. ROFLMAO! I so didn't need that image in my head.

    You're right about bad publicity though. Tina Engler's going to have a hard time getting her new venture off the ground after this.

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