[The current site www.themudflats.net is experiencing a huge amount of traffic today. This article is reposted from the current site so you can read it here in the archives. Please check back later in the day to get on the current site. Thanks for your patience. ~Jeanne Devon]
By Ken Morris, Co-author of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, a Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years
When I first appeared on Jeanne’s groundbreaking pages well over one year ago, I wrote about participating in the eBay auction to buy a meal with Sarah Palin to benefit a worthy veterans’ charity. A short time later, after losing that auction to what looked like a rigged bid, I then offered through Mudflats an additional $200,000 for that same charity if Sarah would answer civil question over a second meal, on the record, with the likes of Jeanne, Rachel Maddow, Shannyn Moore, and Keith Olbermann.
While I waited in vain for an answer from your ex-governor, I managed to contact Frank Bailey and his wonderful wife Neen. Over fourteen months ago, after substantive dialogue, we decided to pursue a memoir. Two months later, I realized I needed Jeanne Devon to help me navigate the million details of Alaskan politics and personalities. I invited (actually, demanded) she join the team. Frank balked at first. After all, he’s conservative and she’s a liberal blogger. I insisted they meet or I’d walk away from the project. Well, no surprise, he embraced her inclusion after only a second cup of coffee.
For over a year—that’s right, friends, over a year—we worked in silence. We spent countless hours (on my end, upwards of 70 hours per week) constructing what we believed was an important book, based on documented truth. Within the last month, we finished a marketable draft. Not a final draft–we anticipate changes, both additions and deletions–but something that our agent believed would result in substantial interest in the publishing world. You can imagine our joy.
Then the manuscript was sent out, illegally, to the media. Why? Good question (Jeanne and I have discussed writing-up this disturbing story-behind-the-story with its ethics be damned. New Yorker, are you interested? Rolling Stone?).
With permission from my legal team, Jeanne and I decided to post what is known as a Cease and Desist order. And while there are many other unnamed parties who have engaged in unethical behavior and violated copyright law (you should be ashamed of yourselves), this is the most shocking.
What is written below includes only part of what we sent to this now-officially-named individual, but is, I believe, self-explanatory (a similar letter is going out to those we have identified as also unlawfully reproducing portions of our work). I guess you can say we are not rolling over, and for those who ignore law and morality, we are not going away:
BONFANTE STEINBECK, A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION
February 20, 2011
Ken Morris, Frank Bailey and Jeanne Devon
RE: COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
I write on behalf of Ken Morris, Frank Bailey and Jeanne Devon (collectively, the “Copyright
Owners”). The Copyright Owners are co-owners of the copyright in the unpublished manuscript
entitled “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of our Tumultuous Years” (the “Work”).
Between February 16, 2011 and February 18, 2011 you were the recipient of an unlawfully
distributed version of the Work. Although you knew that the Work was (i) distributed to you in
strict confidence, and (ii) an unpublished manuscript, you choose to unlawfully distribute the
Work to multiple news outlets, bloggers, political activists, and any one else you felt might be
As a result of your actions, hundreds of articles and blogs have been published detailing the
Work. Some of the publications have summarized the Work in great detail, and others have
reproduced the Work’s content verbatim. As an author, you are well aware that your actions have
significantly impaired the Copyright Owners ability to market the book….
…The Copyright Owners believe your actions were done with the single intent of destroying the
marketability of the Work. It is no secret that you are writing your own “tell-all” book about
Sarah Palin. By releasing the Work prior to publication, you have limited the actual interest in
the Work and thereby salvaged the marketability of your own book. This matter appears to be no
more than that of a jealous author sabotaging a competitor via unlawful and unscrupulous means.
The Copyright Owners are currently reviewing their legal options and I can assure this is not the
last time you will hear from them. Besides showing an utter lack of professionalism, you have,
at a minimum, willfully caused significant damages by engaging in unfair competition and
violations of copyright law. In order to minimize the damages caused by your actions, the
Copyright Owners hereby demand that you cease and desist from distributing any portion of the
Work. Additionally, the Copyright Owners demand that you provide a full list of the parties to
whom you distributed the Work.
This letter is not intended as, and may not be construed to be, a complete recitation of the facts or
circumstances connected with this matter. Furthermore, any statement contained in this letter is
not intended as, and may not be construed to be, a waiver or relinquishment of any of the
Copyright Owners’ rights or remedies under law, all of which the Copyright Owners hereby
Please feel free to contact me to discuss this matter further.
Dean M. Steinbeck