SOUND: Skype rings four times. Caller’s POV.
JOHNNY (Telephone Filter): Hi! You’ve reached Johnny Atsign’s voice mail. If I weren’t too busy, I’d answer this call, but I haven’t, so I must be tied up in some investigation. Or I’m taking a nap. Or I’m fishing. If I’m lucky, I’m fishing.
SOUND: (Telephone Filter): Beep.
PRODUCER: OK, Johnny. I guess this means you’re still out working that new investigation. Give me a call as soon as your back so we can put next week’s episode together.
SOUND: Telephone receiver hung up.
PRODUCER: I guess I’ll have to get one out of the vault.
ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—
SOUND: Skype phone rings once.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Good evening, Johnny.
JOHNNY: Hello! What’s up?
RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Have you been following The Grouch’s Twitter feed this weekend?
JOHNNY: No, I took the weekend off again. And didn’t you ask me that question last week?
RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Uh, huh, I did. He’s having another copyright meltdown.
JOHNNY: What now?
RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) It’s about the book he wrote that he said he didn’t write.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …
JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
JOHNNY: The following is partial extract of the tweets sent and received during my investigation of Is This Thing On Matter.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch A is not not-A is a basic principle of logic.
JOHNNY: The Grouch was going crazy with threats of charges and prosecution because one of his books had been dropped by BigRiver because of a copyright issue. When it turned out that it was claimed that the infringement was against a blog post by one my clients, I decided to get in touch with BigRiver to see how they viewed the matter.
COPYRIGHT AGENT: (Telephone Filter) (Fading in) … we choose not get involved in such disputes. Our default policy is to drop the item from our catalog until the parties come to a solution.
JOHNNY: But don’t you have to resume selling the book after 14 days if the person complaining doesn’t file suit?
COPYRIGHT AGENT: (Telephone Filter) Not a printed book. Hard copy books aren’t online files. They’re physical objects. As such, there’s no way to restore an online file because one never existed. It would be the same for any other physical product that infringed someone’s intellectual property whether it was a copyright, a patent, or a trademark. We don’t get involved in disputes between our sellers and third-parties. If the matter is eventually resolved in the seller’s favor, then we’ll resume listing his goods. After all, selling stuff is how we make our living.
JOHNNY: My client is only claiming that a few paragraph of his were used without permission. Is that really enough to get a whole book dropped?
COPYRIGHT AGENT: (Telephone Filter) We don’t get involved in other parties’ intellectual property claims. We don’t sell items that we know might be subject to such claims. So, yes, a few paragraphs or even a single picture can cause us to drop a physical item until the dispute is resolved. Online files are another matter. Depending on how the claim is presented, the DMCA can apply.
JOHNNY: So a DMCA counternotice … ?
COPYRIGHT AGENT: (Telephone Filter) Wouldn’t be applicable to your clients’ claim.
JOHNNY: But what about the ebook version?
COPYRIGHT AGENT: (Telephone Filter) We don’t sell ebooks versions of hard copy books that have been dropped because of copyright claims. If the print book is reinstated, the ebook would be as well.
ANNOUNCER: I’m a bit old fashioned. I still like to read books printed on paper, and I like to have what I’m currently reading close at hand, so I use my Team Lickspittle Messenger Bag to carry my books. It’s just one on the many useful and useless items you’ll find exclusively at The HogeWash Store. Stop by today, spend some money, and support Team Lickspittle. And remember, folks, you can also support Team Lickspittle by hitting the Tip Jar or by doing your Amazon shopping via the link on the Home page.
JOHNNY: My next stop was another visit to the office of that lawyer I had worked with in a related case. My client had asked [redacted]
JOHNNY DMs: (SYNTH VOICE) @Zombie Are you on board too?
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch [redacted]
ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.
JOHNNY: Next time? Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction is supposed to make sense. Join us, won’t you?
Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Swell theme and under
ANNOUNCER: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign, starring W. J. J. Hoge, is transcribed in Westminster. Be sure to join us next Monday, same time and URL, for the next exciting episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Johnny Atsign is a work of fiction. If anyone thinks it’s about him, he should read Proverbs 28:1.
Be sure to tune in Fridays at 6 pm Eastern Time for alternating episodes of Blognet or Blogsmoke on alternating weeks. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.