Friday, May 11, 2012

WHAT'S IN A NAME? (or, a Cautionary Tale)

Quite a bit, apparently, if your first name happens to be Adele. 

My good friend Adele Dubois, an erotic romance author, received a decidedly less than welcome gift on May 11.  On that day, she received a cease and desist letter for copyright infringement.  And what, you may ask, inspired this drastic action?  Why, Heaven help us, she had used her own LEGAL FIRST NAME --Adele--on the cover of her legally copyrighted book, Intimate Art.  Confronted by this Use (Mis-use? Overuse?) of the Law instigated by Sony Entertainment, Google took down my friend's promotional post on the blog where she had posted it.   Which, to be fair, we would want them to do if someone was pirating one of our books.  My beef is not with Google.  No, my issue is with Sony, which apparently thought my friend Adele using her own name to publish her own book somehow threatened the sanctity of the name.  As know...the OTHER Adele.  This apparently constituted justification for interfering with the income and livelihood of Adele Dubois and nineteeen other writers who happen to post on the same blog.   Part of the complaint lists a URL that goes to a book by Marianne Stephens, who owns the copyright.  That has nothing to do with Adele Dubois.  Marianne is attempting to seek legal counsel.

Can you say gobsmacked?  For the first time in my life, I am grateful to my mother for giving me a name the world at large has a great deal of difficulty spelling, much less pronouncing.  God forbid she should have named me Adele, like my friend's mother who thought it was a nice name.  It is a nice name.  But with due respect to the other "A" lady, who I'm sure has no idea what is transpiring, it's just NOT THAT RARE.  A lot of women have it.  And to be perfectly honest, my friend Adele and I are almost of an age give or take a bit and...frankly, my dear... only peripherally aware of the existence of the other A. (guess I shouldn't say her name).  As far as I know, I've never heard one of her songs, which I'm sure are very nice.  I'm sure she's very nice.  I wish her the absolute best, I convey my blessings to her house, I hope she has a great life.

I don't really wish the same to Sony's attorneys.

UPDATED 5/14/12: