Quoth the Popehat: Shut the hell up! (EC v DA)

4 Oct

Ellora's Cave sues Dear AuthorConstantly updated original list of links here, how to help Jane here, how to donate to the DA/JL legal defense fund here.

(edit at the end – holy shit!)

Some of my readers may know that I am a fan of Ken White of Popehat. How can I not love a man who is so passionate about free speech, and who takes pains to share his love with the world by writing witty and easily understood pieces on different First Amendment cases–to say nothing of firing up the powerful Popehat signal in order to find pro bono or low cost, yet good quality and professional, representation for those who cannot afford it?

So, I read his blog regularly, with interest and profound enjoyment. A type of post that never fails to make me wince, though, is the one advising anyone dealing with the cops, the feds, or anyone investigating you, to shut. the. fuck. up.

Given recent developments within the romance reading community (i.e., Ellora’s Cave suing Dear Author and Jane Litte for reporting stuff that’s on the public domain and posting commentary based on them), I’ve been very interested on what both parties are doing.

Jane, who is not only a lawyer by profession but a very smart person, has done this: on the day she was served, she tweeted links to the facts backing up her post, and basically told EC to “come at her, sis.” Since then, she’s posted on the blog to notify readers of the lawsuit, then an update on attaining legal representation (go, Marc Randazza!) and lastly another post to inform her readers that there had been a temporary hearing where the judge had not granted the injunction but requested that both parties come back for a more thorough hearing later on.

After that? She’s been silent on the issue.

As well she might, because in the joint motion for continuance submitted to the court, it states:

In the interim, all parties agree that neither they, nor anyone under their direct control, shall post on the Internet any comments specifically and directly related to the factual allegations that form the basis of Ellora’s Cave defamation complaint; further, they agree not to comment online, directly or indirectly, on the allegations that form the basis of the defamation complaint. Nothing herein shall prohibit Plaintiffs from responding to defamatory posts or re-posts made by third parties related to the issues raised in this litigation.

Tina Engler/Jaid Black of Ellora’s cave, on the other hand…

Among other things *cough twitter cough* TE/JB made an appearance at The Passive Voice’s re-post of Courtney Milan’s confidentiality clauses post (which is a must read for everyone, by the by, involved with Ellora’s Cave or not).

This is what she had to say:

For the record, I’d like to state that Ellora’s Cave has never sued an author, yet to read everything out there on the internet you’d think we spend our days sacrificing them to Beelzebub instead of publishing their books. At any rate, Courtney Milano is doing us a huge favor with this because the authors who keep saying they aren’t getting paid ARE getting paid. We cannot legally or ethically post copies of their signed and cashed checks to prove we’re telling the truth, but we can in court if the judge orders it.

What motive would authors have to spread lies? Many actually, but the most prevalent reason we’re seeing (and screenshotting) is they want their rights back to an edited book so they can self-pub it & not have to share the profit with the house that published them. This is also the reason those same authors are telling ppl not to buy their books… Bc if their sales fall below a certain number of copies sold, they get the rights to their books back free of charge. Again, they can then self-pub them.

My question to all of you is this: if the evidence provided in court doesn’t uphold your speculative predictions will you apologize to us as publicly & aggressively as you have with jumping to conclusions & spreading the rumors? I don’t believe for a second that any of you will. I’d love for somebody… Anybody… To prove me a liar, but history shows me it’ll just be spin-doctored and swept under the rug by the Courtney Milanos of the world.

And lastly, as to us trying to suppress freedom of speech… That is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard. I have been a passionate civil rights activist for the most marginalized ppl in the US for 20+ years. I may not like what a person has to say, but you can bet your last buck I’m the first one to defend their right to say it.

It would be inappropriate for me to speak about a current lawsuit so I will not get into details. This case, however, is about libel… Not freedom of speech. In a libel suit, malice has to be established, which we were very aware of when filing it. Glean from that statement what you will because I won’t comment further on this case.

On another subject, I have previously emailed PG because I was upset he posted a proprietary email from EC (sent to our authors on a closed, private business loop) & highlighted parts of it without understanding the context of the letter. In said letter, it’s important to understand that it was written for our authors to combat rumors that were already out there with truthful responses. Without that context… Context our authors were well aware of bc they pointed them out to us… The letter does seem like a wtf moment. But then, it was only meant for our authors’ eyes. One of the authors illegally & unprofessionally leaked it… With the context missing of course… To some Internet forum or another.

To those who read this with an open, fair mind, thank you.


Please note: EC may not have sued an author (yet) but they’ve sued other people, at least twice that I recall.

After people who were not particularly impressed by what she had to say responded in a…less than conciliatory manner, lets say, TE/JB came back with this witticism:

I was going to reply, but you’ve already shown it’s pointless.

Courtney, I did not mean to misspell your name anymore than Jamie meant to misspell Brashear. I was unfamiliar with you until this started. I’ve been publishing, editing, & writing romance for 14 years so I don’t read it in my spare time. Now, making fun of my hair & multicultural family while trivializing all my civil rights work? Wow. This place can enjoy you because it only exemplifies the mindset of its participants.

Have fun mocking me & making bigoted statements because I’m too busy working to lurk.

Please note that while the first comment was made before the motion for continuance, the second was made after five in the afternoon on the day.

Mind you, I do not believe TE/JB is in direct violation of the motion, but she totally is violating the First Law of Lawsuits: shut. the. fuck. up.

(I will not even touch any of the allegations of civil rights activism or defense of freedom of speech TE/JB makes–you all be the judge.)


The first rule of holes, I have heard somewhere, is to stop digging.

Tine Engler/Jaid Black has yet to master this simple rule, as she continues to engage online on the topic of whether Dear Author and Jane Litte defamed Ellora’s Cave with her The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave post.

This morning, TE/JB posted a fairly long screed on her jaidblack.com blog. I will not link to it, but if you must check it out, it’s titled “For the silenced victims.” Then again, it may be gone come Monday, because her lawyer is likely to wake up and have a whole herd of cows. So here are the screenshots, which you can click on to embiggen (sorry, between her horrendous color choices, and the font type and size, it’s very hard on the eyes)

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 1

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 2

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 3

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 4

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 5

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 6

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 7

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 8

TE-JB - October 4, 2014 - 9



2 Responses to “Quoth the Popehat: Shut the hell up! (EC v DA)”

  1. bamaclm 04/10/2014 at 1:03 PM #

    Let’s see now: Milan or Engler. Milan or Engler. Hmmm … I believe I pick Milan! I hope you sent those screen shots to Jane, AL, because I do believe TE just pissed on a judge.

    • azteclady 04/10/2014 at 1:14 PM #

      You know, I feel a tad bad for Jamie McGuire right now–with TE/JB naming her as her one brave supporter, JMcG’s ability to deny she was crowing about the lawsuit just went down the drain.

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