Ellora’s Cave, Dear Author, the Streisand Effect and freedom of speech.

27 Sep

(Edit Tuesday 03/31/15: a couple of important links at the end)

(Edit Thursday 10/30/14: a master cheat sheet and a fundraising anthology)

(Edit Friday 10/03/14: SmartBitch Sarah has created the Dear Author/Jane Litte Defense Fund using crowdfunding service GoFundMe)

(Edit Tuesday 9/30/14: unsticking, as there is something more pressing happening. I will continue to update the list of links at the bottom, though)

(Edit Monday 9/29/14: making this post sticky for the nonce, as I continue to update the list of links at the end. Scroll down for updates on this, and new posts on other topics.)

Welcome to my little corner of the intrawebz. Ellora's Cave sues Dear Author

I am a blogger and, among other things, I talk about things I feel passionate about. I appreciate the fact that I live in a country where freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution. I am grateful that there are those who are willing to help others by putting their money and/or their labor where their beliefs are, and so defend everyone’s right to speak.

There are always people who would like to silence their critics and are happy to try and use the legal system to do so.

Like say, Ellora’s Cave, the subject of the very well written “The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave”, by Jane Litte (online name) and published in Dear Author. As I understand it, not having access to the legal documents, Tina Engler/Jaid Black, the founder of Ellora’s Cave (henceforth, EC for short), is suing both blogger and blog in an effort to set an example.

If the suit were successful, who among the many unpaid writers, editors, copy artists, etc, would have the balls to further antagonize EC? How many blogs would continue talking about problems within EC, with the contracts, the royalty statements, the checks, and so on and so forth? Her reasoning, I assume, is that no one would, and she would be free to continue on her merry way of milking people.

Here’s where she’s utterly wrong.

Dear Author as a whole, and Jane Litte in particular, have advocated for authors as much as for readers for years, and it has helped out bloggers whose right to speech has been threatened (by authors, by other blogs, etc) for about as long. And while there are asshats out there who are lacking in both vision and understanding to be gleeful about EC suing Dear Author, most of the online reading community is indignant and rallying around the blog and the blogger.

We will not be silenced, and we will not sit down and do nothing. Not only will many of us put our money with Jane and Dear Author to help her fight this frivolous, censorious suit, but we will act.

EC, meet the Streisand Effect:

Dear Author’s “The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave”

Dear Author’s announcement of the suit

Smart Bitches take on this.

The Digital Reader reports on the suit.

Sunita at Vacuous Minx talks about the potential chilling effect of the suit

The EC saga laid out at Writer Beware’s blog.

The long-ass thread at Absolute Write—the link takes you somewhere after the suit has been made public, but you can always go back and check the history.

The Passive Voice guy does his own bit to spread the word.

True to his word, Pete Morin posts about this in his own blog.

Author Angela Highland reacts

Author Cat Grant blogged about it too.

Huh, I just saw this: Sleeping with the Write On blogged about it yesterday (it’s a reblog of the Digital Reader report, though)

Kaetrin speaks out as well.

Author Jenny Trout names some names.

Our very own SuperLibrarian Wendy has unleashed Little Miss Cranky Pants with her usual, inimitable eloquence.

Also, I really don’t know how I missed linking to this one from the beginning: Deirdre Saoirse Moen has quite a bit to say.

Oh, oh oh!!! And it’s in her blog that I found THE LIST! aka, the EC authors Exodus support thread–off to post this link at Smart Bitches, where someone asked for it.

Novelist Barry Eisler has a short post up now.

The Book Pushers blog about the suit and take a stand.

The Bad Menagerie is also reacting.

Author/book blogger KTGrant has something to say.

Karen Scott of Karen Knows Best–she has been reporting on Ellora’s Cave and TE/JB shenanigans for half a decade or thereabouts.

Blue night. Black iron. Golden ropes. chimes in with Ellora’s Cave and the Elephants in the Room.

The always awesome Courtney Milan has her say this morning. (Any RWA member reading this: this is why you want to vote for her)

Hey now, guess who else is reporting on this? The Los Angeles Times! How about them apples?

Kat at Book Thingo explains, very eloquently, why rejoicing in the trouble this lawsuit is causing Jane Little and Dear Author is petty and shortsighted.

Butterscotch and Martinis posts some linkage!

The ladies at Parajunkee post a note stating that they won’t review any EC books because of the suit.

My most favorite Two Old Farts express themselves (NSFW–because TE/JB is not what one might call classy)

The lovely ladies at The Book Binge join the choir.

Coffee and Characters chime in as well.

In this month’s SFR link round up at the Galaxy Express, Heather Massey mentions the suit and provides some linkage for basic background.

Jezebel picked up the story yesterday afternoon.

Also, The Guardian’s Liberty Voice has a piece on the lawsuit.

All About Romance weighs in.

Well, well, well…whoddathunkit? Publisher Melville House picks up the story and runs with it!

Angelia Sparrow stands up for herself by serving Ellora’s Case with a Public Notice

And Sarah of the SmartBitches created the Dear Author / Jane Litte Defense Fund using crowdfunding service GoFundMe.

Zenobia Renquist goes into detail about her request to get rights reverted to her for two of her series.

Also, I neglected to post earlier that author Cat Grant has copies of her royalty statements on her blog–an eye opener, for sure.

And a new to me, but early post on the lawsuit (and royalties) from EC author Lisa Matthews.

Brave and heartfelt post by Lolita López/Roxie Rivera: Ellora’s Cave, the Grabbed series, #notchilled.

Author Ilona Andrews has a blog post on why she/they donated to the Dear Author/Jane Litte legal defense fund, that in part says, “put my money where my mouth is because this issue is bigger than whatever residual butthurt I have over some reviews of our books.” Fucking A! Madam, I am not a fan of your books (not a fan of Urban Fantasy in general), but I am absolutely a fan of you, the person beyond the writing.

Because EC authors are posting images of their checks with undated metered envelopes, readers may be interested in checking out this note by Lea Barrymire on how the USPS regulates mail.

BookShelfery gives a summary of the background and potential fall out (for EC)

Deirdre Saoirse Moen has something to say about the reversion of rights for authors trapped in the Ellora’s Cave vortex

And Victoria Strauss, from Writer Beware, answers questions about the same topic.

Author Jennifer L Armentrout gets blacklisted–sort of.

Author Tymber Dalton has a pithy and to the point post on why all of us should donate to the DA/JL defense fund.

EC author Paige Thomas lets go, and asks readers to remember: EC authors, editors, cover artists, got screwed too. (No worries, ma’am, we got your back)

Just in: Coming Together, a call for pro-bono submissions for an erotic fiction anthology–all proceeds to benefit the Dear Author/Jane Litte legal defense fund.

DailyDot posted something full of inaccuracies.

TechDirt has a much better piece here–I particularly like this part:

If Ellora’s Cave wishes to demonstrate that Litte’s claims are libelous (most of which appear to be delivered as opinions rather than statements of fact), it will have to present documentation of its royalty payments, as well as some detailing of Engler’s discretionary spending. It wasn’t interested in turning these documents over in 2009. There’s no reason to believe (especially considering the ongoing tax liens against Engler) it’s any more interested in doing so now.

Wonder when EC will file lawsuits for all these other outlets.


NeBrinkley has been maintaining a master post full of linkies in tumblr

Courtney Milan has another great post on the situation: Why Tina Engler is economically irrational? #notchilled As far as I’m concerned, TE/JB is simply irrational, but the numbers lay it out so clearly.

Deirdre Saoirse Moen has a series of posts analyzing different aspects of the situation at Ellora’s Cave, both in relation to the vexatious defamation suit and on its own. I recommend reading them all from the beginning, as she offers her own perspective and experience both with the legal system as a layperson and as an author. She’s also maintaining a wonderful cheat sheet full of links to relevant documents and/or posts by intelligent people who actually know what they are talking about.

Soshana Evans posted about having a reverted work still sold as an EC title at third party vendors, with screenshots.

Coming Together has posted the lineup for the upcoming erotic stories anthology Pro Bono. All proceeds from the sale will go to Dear Author’s legal defense fund.

I have NO earthly idea how I missed this: Bonnie Vanak asks her readers not to buy her EC titles. Also, she just posted something about royalty checks, dates and mailing.

More posts by Courtney Milan, explaining in laypeople terms, what’s going on:

How free speech issues are involved in defamation lawsuits: libel chill.

Jane Litte, blogger, is also Jen Frederick, author. Why this has nothing to do with the lawsuit.

Recent EC v DA posts by DSM:

(I will update this list as I become aware of more posts)

44 Responses to “Ellora’s Cave, Dear Author, the Streisand Effect and freedom of speech.”

  1. twooldfartstalkingromance 27/09/2014 at 1:46 PM #

    I saw this yesterday and was aghast. Not only will they not win, they just sunk their own ship. Who would buy from or submit to EC now?

    • azteclady 27/09/2014 at 1:51 PM #

      Since I’m not on twitter, I have no idea who they were, but I’m sure you saw the note about authors rejoicing about the suit?

      There are always those who think they will be treated differently (in this case, it would mean, they would be paid as opposed to exploited and threatened) if they side with the scary asshat.

      And unless we do talk about it everywhere we can, there will always be readers who don’t know what EC, Tina Engler/Jaid Black, and other shitty entities and people can and do, do.

      But their main aim is obviously to intimidate the little people–like me–into silence. They think bloggers will go, “wow, they have the balls to go after Jane and Dear Author, I don’t have money or the know-how to defend myself, I better be quiet.”

  2. Mirtika 27/09/2014 at 2:40 PM #

    Reblogged this on Mirtika Writes and commented:
    I REBLOG THIS TO ADD TO THE STREISAND EFFECT. Auhors should be able to speak out if they have grievances against publishers. Authors, if being unpaid, should not have to shut up. Or Artists. Or anyone. For more than a year, I’ve seen complaints of issues with payment and EC blogged about online. I am not a reader of or writer for EC, but when there is that much author complaint smoke, I’m thinking there is fire behind it. We shall see. But I’m standing with the authors and with the blogger being sued. My part to add to publicizing this.

    Hello, Streisand Effect—

  3. mharvey816 27/09/2014 at 3:18 PM #

    Reblogged this on mharvey816.

  4. Darlynne 27/09/2014 at 3:38 PM #

    I don’t have a blog, I’m just a reader, and am heartened to see your Streisand Effect list (although dismayed any of this has come to pass). Looking forward to seeing just how far the story carries. Thank you all for adding your voices.

  5. bamaclm 27/09/2014 at 5:02 PM #

    Linked to this at Farts. You go, girl!

  6. Suzan Harden 27/09/2014 at 7:01 PM #

    Mir, here’s the link to the court’s website so people can read the documents in the case. http://www.cpclerk.co.summit.oh.us/PublicSite/CaseDetail.aspx?CaseNo=CV-2014-09-4421&Suffix=&Type=

    • azteclady 27/09/2014 at 7:23 PM #

      Hello, Ms Harden. I’m not Mir, but thanks for the link.

      • Suzan Harden 27/09/2014 at 9:27 PM #

        LOL Sorry about that azteclady! I clicked on the wrong tab. It still boggles my mind that the attorney for EC attached a copy of Jane’s piece to the pleading. Now it’s a matter of public record. So much for trying to silence it.

  7. Danielle 29/09/2014 at 1:19 PM #

    Thank you for the link list and for keeping it updated. Very much appreciated, azteclady!

  8. Danielle Romero (@DanielleCRomero) 01/10/2014 at 5:17 PM #

    Great post and thank you for sharing!


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