Friday, July 24, 2015

C'mon iTunes ... let's hug it out.

You know how when something is unjust and you are helpless to be heard or make a change and you just flail and flounder and rave at the fates and blog about it?

I woke to this very welcome email from the (now) lovely people at iTunes Legal/Notices. 
Nadine Doolittle
Jul 22 (2 days ago)

to Erin
Hello Erin,
Can you confirm if any progress has been made on removing this title from iTunes Store?

The rights have reversed to me. I have since republished it and cannot promote or sell the book with this previous edition still being offered for sale on iTunes--in direct violation of its copyright. The literary agent for this work hasn't received a statement of earnings from iTunes nor has the original publisher.

What is going on? Why the delay?

iBooks Store Notices
7:39 PM (11 hours ago)

to me
Hi Nadine,

We will be removing this title from the store today.


iBooks Store Notices
8:17 PM (10 hours ago)

to me
Hi Nadine,

i can confirm that the book has now been removed.  If you still see the book, it may be a caching issue which will resolve itself within the next few hours.


I can stop muttering incantations of doom every time I see a Watch commercial! My teeth will stop grinding in my head! I am filled with love for all things Apple! A reservoir of good will toward all men has been opened in my bosom! 

(I never hold a grudge because grudges take work to nurse and I'm too lazy.)

Thank you iTunes! Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Apple Piracy Policy. Um, Really?

This is from their website:

"Apple actively and aggressively enforces its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law. If you have any questions concerning piracy please fill out the form below."

Okay, so like I have a question? Um, I filled out the forms ... like so many forms, dude, and like no one has responded. So, like, are you sure about this piracy policy-thing of yours? Because I received word this morning from Amazon that my novel The Grey Lady is still being sold at $9.99 in the iTunes Store despite six DMCA notices filed, emails, forms filled out and complaints filed in that hellhole they call "Support."

Get this:

I thought I would give Apple the benefit of the doubt, you know? Maybe the page was a dead link, right? So I decided to try and buy the book myself. First I had download iTunes but my computer is too old, so iTunes Download told me to piss off.

Unable to check if the book was available for purchase, I was reduced to asking Amazon Support if they could check for me. (Let that sink in for a minute.) They emailed me this morning to say they checked and the book could be purchased.

Two years later without account statements sent to the agent or the original publisher. No royalty statements. No legal right to sell the book.

So to recap:

"Apple actively and aggressively enforces its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law."

Apple is aggressive with pirates of their intellectual property. They could give a shit about your intellectual property. And when they are the ones doing the pirating, its a case of Fuck You.

Class dismissed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 12. iTunes Legal. The Sequel.

Two years.
Five DMCA take down notices filed.
One query from an Apple legal representative.
Two emails from beleaguered author.

I swear I will leave this post up for posterity if they remove The Grey Lady and the last laugh is on me.

Here's the thing: If you are not ready to sell books, then don't sell books. If you don't like dealing with authors and their pissy-diva complaints, then don't sell books. If you want lovely content to lure buyers to your freakishly expensive devices, then you'll be dealing with human beings who write books. If you don't want to deal with them, then don't sell books.

The thing about Corporate Image is it can't just be an image. The way a corporation treats its smallest customer is the measuring stick of their integrity, not a glossy ad campaign telling us you have integrity. I wrote a book. It was published. Shit happened and now we want the book removed from the iTunes Store. Easy-peasy. Literally every other book retailer managed to pull off this wondrous feat as soon as they were notified.

At the moment, I can't enroll The Grey Lady in KDP Select because it is being SOLD on iTunes without permission or payment in direct violation of copyright. This means I can't hold the promotions I planned for this summer. This means lost revenue.

It's not rocket science, Apple iTunes. It's book-selling and if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

(Speaking of ad campaigns, for the love of God, will the Conservative Party give us a break from those truly stupid Justin Trudeau attack ads? Running them every 15 minutes is not helping. One of the actors carps from a script about Mr. Trudeau's hair and all I can think about is his hair compared to Mr. Harper's hair and then I wonder 'Why am I thinking about hair?' In the meantime, Mr. Trudeau has an ad running about the issues facing middle-class Canadians. No mention of hair. Do the math, gentlemen.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

iTunes Legal, Are You Listening?

Dear iTunes Legal Department,

I'm not entirely sure you exist. I filled out forms online and hit Submit but for all I know that could just be a big placebo button to keep us hoping someone will actually do something.

Here's the thing.

You have my book The Grey Lady as it was published by McArthur and Company in 2012 still up for sale in your iTunes Store and I'd like you to remove it.

See, boys ... (gosh this is awkward) it doesn't belong to you. It doesn't belong to McArthur anymore either. It belongs to me now and has since June 2013. McArthur and Co. gave it back when they closed their doors.

It's been three years. I've asked you nicely (July 2013 and August 2014) to remove the book from your store as

1) I don't receive royalties on it
2) I've published the book myself
3) I want you to

And just like the darling hipsters you are, you still haven't done it. I assume you are too busy believing your own hype to deal with copyright infringement. You still have that shitty interface for customers/authors/the great unwashed to file their complaints into the Apple Buzzkill Cloud where they can be ignored.

This is the response I received after filing a Copyright Infringement Complaint with Apple Legal:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
If you do not receive a response from an Apple employee, we regret that we are unable to process your request. Please note that due to the high volume of requests we receive, this may be the only other reply you will receive from us.
We appreciate your interest and consideration in contacting Apple.
Best Regards,
Apple Legal
Copyright Team

Cheers you fucking assholes. Now get my book out of your store.