Is This Another Dispensation on my part or is it really a true Hoax?

http://www.lulu.com/shop/dr-frank-beckles/time-walkers-the-dispensation-of-heroes/ebook/product-22137845.html

 

Unbelievably Dr. So,and So who seems to have wrote a 10 page masterpiece about saving the late President Lincoln by traveling though time for $12.99 copy of a book without a cover and a five star rating without even being hard bound. Now, I'm not one to judge the freedom and artistic license that is afforded every artist, inventor, or writer, (Not to mention reviewer out there.) but I think this is another sad attempt at grazing in other people's pastures considering there is already a novel out called, "Time Walkers".

 

Ten Pages for $12.99? Why, is it written in gold leaf? What a joke. One that is a clear mockery and aobvious dispensation to my legitimate novel everyone seems to love to hate. Childish ruse if you ask me. They think its funny? I think, "How unfair and childish." So, Glen. If I decide to protest this listing would it be a wase of time or is it just a legal case of artistic highway robbery? KRB/CRC

Comments

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    I'm not familiar with either book, so just let me say this:

     

    A. You cannot copyright an idea.

    B. You cannot copyright a title.

    C. There is such a thing as parallel evolution (for instance, Red Alert, the inspiration for Dr. Strangelove, and Fail Safe both have identical themes but were written independently and without apparent knowledge of one another. To take another example, the novel Snoggle is all about a group of children who take under their protection a young alien. They hide the creature from their parents until it can find its way home. This was published a decade before ET).

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  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    And I often get told off for suggesting that a book's price is too high. "People will pay what they want" I am told.

     

    An interesting story is of two 'artists' who, once, as 'art' they published a book with just empty pages in it. Apparently it sold 300,000 copies to people who even knew it was devoid of content!

     

    In fact I think it may have been published via Lulu.

  • $12.99 for 10 pages is certainly highway robbery; on that I'll agree with you.

     

    Now, have you registered your copyright, thereby obtaining full offensive rights with respect to your work?

     

    If so, have you examined the offending work to determine exactly how closely it follows yours?

     

    In other words,... well, if all 10 pages were lifted from your work ver batim, that would be 100% matched, and if it was just the phrase "Time Walkers" then that might be a 1% match... What percentage of the other work matches yours? Or ahs the same look and feel?

     

    If it's a low percentage, I'd say that you might want to write it off as coincidence. If it's a high percentage, and if you have registered your copyright, then you might want to consult a lawyer. Initial consultations are usually free, or priced inexpensively.

     

    Between us, knowing only what you mention in the opening post, I'd say it's probably a coincidence.

     

    But if the phrase "Time Walkers" is that important to you, you can register it as a trademark. In which case, this would probably be an innocent infringement, and you'd only be able to get a cease and desist order.

     

    I hope that helps.

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    One book is called "Time Walkers: The Dispensation of Heroes." The other book is titled "The Time Walkers," (with, I might add, a cover not much less boring than that on the first book).

     

    I don't see any indication whatsoever that Burnum's "The Time Walkers" has anything to do with Lincoln's assassination, which appears to be the sole plot of Beckles' "Time Walkers."

     

    So aside from the coincidental resemblance of the titles, I don't see where Burnum has anything to complain about. In fact, these are not the only books that have a title similar to his book. For instance, E.B Brown has a series of novels under the general title "Time Walkers" and there are numerous other examples.

     

    In fact, the first volume of Brown's "Time Walkers" series appeared in 2013...a year before the date attached to Burnum's novel. So if anyone would seem to have any reason for complaint, it would be Brown.

     

    In any case, as I said, titles cannot be copyrighted.

     

    Indeed, now that I've looked it up, titles of individual books cannot be trademarked, either. A title of a series (such as the "---- for Dummies" books) can be trademarked, however, since that can be considered branding. Again, this would make a better case for Brown's books than for Burnum's stand-alone novel.

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  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    The thing about price is that it needs to be approached from a rational, rather than emotional, point of view.

     

    Each of us, almost daily, looks at stuff for sale and thinks 'No way! That's too expensive.' The point is that it is too expensive for us, not that it is absolutely, categorically and definitively too expensive.

     

    Mr A might drink wine costing $ 100 a bottle while Mr B might not be prepared to pay more than $ 10 for a bottle of wine. Does the wine that Mr A drink taste ten times better than the wine Mr B drinks? Only Mr A can answer that. If Mr B complains to the wine merchant that the wine that Mr A drinks is too expensive the merchant might point out that it can't be because Mr A drinks it by the bucketful.

     

    Personally I find the book in question too expensive ($ 12.99 for a 10 page book that doesn't even begin until page 5, with no way of gauging the style of writing) but it is not my place to tell the author that he should lower his price. More than likely he will join that large club of indie authors who sell no more than half a dozen books.

  • @ Ron: Sensible and logical, as always. Nice of you to do the research on that. I was speaking in generalities, and I assumed that there was a series under Mr. Burnham's title.

     

    @ Daniel: Well, but with wine, one may assume that there is wine worth $100 / bottle -- I was once shown a rare LePin valued at $10,000 a bottle. The argument there is for quality versus quantity -- supposedly the LePin is something so exquisite that we mere mortals could never understand its value and the subtlties of its flavor.

     

    At a price of $12.99 / 5 pp., we are saying that each page is worth $2.60. By comparison, I can buy an edition of the Iliad for $12.00 per 704 pp. --    less than 2 cents per page! Are we really going to assert that the first book, at $2.60/p., is more than 130 times higher in quality than the Iliad?

     

    I can see where a book or a short writing might have a huge value based on rarity -- an original or early copy of the Magna Carta, for example -- but for a POD, it's hard to justify on Rarity. Short of having information I desperately needed, or the secret to trisect a random angle, or something similar, I really can't see $2.60/p. as being anything other than an attempt to take advantage of the unwary.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    danielblue wrote:

    The thing about price is that it needs to be approached from a rational, rather than emotional, point of view.

     

     


    It's all about the complex subject of the science of Marketing, which, as some assume, is not only about selling a product but first researching about the potential customers.  https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Marketing

     

    They will go to extremes that buyers are not even aware of. Do you know that the sex of potential buyers is broken in to at least six categories for some products? Large companies spend millions a year on the first stages of Marketing, and possibly ditch around 90% of possible products before they get to production. I speak from having the T-shirt.

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    @ Ron: Sensible and logical, as always. Nice of you to do the research on that. I was speaking in generalities, and I assumed that there was a series under Mr. Burnham's title.

     

    Point taken (and thanks for the nice compliment!)....but even if Burnum had a series the title of the series would have to have been formally registered as a trademark for him to have had any basis for a complaint.

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