• Random House sued ME; not the other way around.
  • Random House filed suit to silence the facts I was posting on the web.
  • There has been NO trial on the facts, only the Random House effort to prevent a trial.
  • NO expert testimony was allowed despite three international plagiarism experts who were willing to testif that it existed.
  • The only sworn statements made under penalty of perjury are affidavits from me and my experts, nothing from RH.
  • The judge refused to consider any expert analysis.
  • Despite suing me first, Random House & Sony UNsuccessfully demanded that I pay the $310,000 in legal fees they spent to sue me.
  • Contrary to the Random House spin, I am not alleging plagiarism of general issues, but of several hundred very specific ones.
  • This is not about money. Anything I win goes to charity.

Legal filings and the expert witness reports are HERE

I have a second blog, Writopia
which focuses on Dan Brown's pattern of falsehoods
and embellishment of his personal achievements.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Issuing a Half-Apology Is Like Publishing a Half-Truth.

A statement from Random House/Doubleday (which also published the Da Vinci Code), said in part:

"The controversy over James Frey's A MILLION LITTLE PIECES has caused serious concern at Doubleday and Anchor Books. Recent interpretations of our previous statement notwithstanding, it is not the policy or stance of this company that it doesn't matter whether a book sold as nonfiction is true. A nonfiction book should adhere to the facts as the author knows them....."

"We bear a responsibility for what we publish, and apologize to the reading public for any unintentional confusion surrounding the publication of A MILLION LITTLE PIECES."

Given that the same sort of author biographical fabrications and marketing of fiction as fact by Random House/Doubleday were key to its success, the apology and refunds to readers needs to be extended to Code.

Issuing a half-apology is like publishing a half-truth.

Further, it's clear that Frey is being made the fall guy, a way for the corporate types to throw a sacrificial offering to the masses and and distance itself from its own misconduct.

Dan Brown could end up in the same boiling pot if he continues to let RH pull his strings.

My previous offer to let Dan off the hook still stands.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Third Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against RH

A third class action lawsuit has been filed against Random House, this one in Seattle by attorney Mike Myers alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

In addition, as previous posts here indicate, the re are uncanny similarities with The Da Vinci Code's marketing, a fact which is increasingly being noticed.

As desperate as Random House has been to keep Dan Brown or anyone from the company from testifying under oath, the truth gets closer to slipping out every day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Presenting Fiction as Fact IS Confusing

In a recent comment, Mark writes: "I never bought the "fact" claim in DVC. I read it as the paintings locations, and the sects were real, but not the scope and context. I think people are confused about that claim, in part at least."

From looking at his online profile, I know that Mark is a scientist, trained to be skeptical and not the average reader. Most folks, however, are not so well equipped to deal with a situation where a big, supposedly respectable company presents fiction as fact.

The fact that SO MANY people took SO MUCH time to write books about how SO WRONG the "facts" were in DVC is a measure of how many people were suckered in by the false and deceptive marketing.

It's easy to say they should not be so gullible, but when you're the average person and you've got a BIG NAME like Random House telling you it's TRUE, then you start to trust.

Obviously this sort of trust in Random House is misplaced and should be properly addressed by the class action law suits.

Two Obvious Reasons RH Can't Back Off DVC's "FACT" Claims

I received an email this morning that asked a question that was SO obvious that I am ashamed not to have thought of it myself:

"Don't you think that -- aside from their lust to sell more books (and movie tickets) -- one key reason Random House cannot afford to publicaly admit that the "FACT" in Code is fiction is that if they do this, then suddenly all the reasons the judge threw out your case will vanish?

"And don't you think another reason is that if they admit this, then they admit that they deceived book buyers and there goes the class action cases against them. Don't you think?"

Monday, January 23, 2006

Class action

As I predicted on January 11, at least two class action lawsuits have been filed against Random House in Los Angeles and Chicago regarding falsehoods associated with James Frey's A Million Little Pieces.

The same sources who dropped that information to me indicate that similar marketing tactics employed in connection with The Da Vinci Code may also be targeted, either to try and prove that Random House has a pattern of engaging in this sort of thing, or as separate class action lawsuits against Code.

This is significant because-- in addition to the continued insistance that Brown's work is factual (in the face of so much credible evidence to the contrary) -- Random House has also used a number of biographical fictions and distortions regarding Brown and his wife in Code's marketing blitz.

Read the Chicago legal filing and that from Los Angeles.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Random House/Sony Appeals Response Reads Like Frey Defense

An analysis will follow after I have an opportunity to read it thoroughly.

But a quick read reveals the same sort of vague and slippery arguments Random House and its supporters have been using to try and extricate James Frey and his "fiction is truth" novel/memoir.

In addition, they have filed 70 pages of regurgitated verbiage, mostly cut and pasted from their previous filings, repeating many of the same distortions and misrepresentations noted and discredited by the facts previously in this blog.

If they're willing to defend fiction as fact for James Frey, how far are they willing to torture the truth when hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake?

Their reply shows their same cavalier disregard for facts and the truth as their schemes to market fiction as fact in A Million Little Pieces, The Da Vinci Code and ... ?

Significantly, they have failed to reply in any meaningful manner to the reversible errors made by the District Court.

They do make a desperate and pathetic attempt to rationalize away the fact that the judge denied me a trial because he mistakenly believed that what Random House had presented as history was actually fiction which I wrote first and Dan Brown copied.

But Random House WOULD try to make that argument. After all, they've got a lot of experience in fooling people into believing that fiction is fact. That also describes their response to my appeal as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

NY Observer Picks Up On Random House "Lying for Dollars" Marketing Pattern

Mark has brought yet another article to my attention, this one from the N.Y. Observer which connects the lies in A Million Little Pieces to those of The Da Vinci Code.

Other posters on this blog (notably D.L. Stewart) have expressed the opinion that there seems to be a pattern of dishonesty for the sake of marketing and sales.

Mark brought the following part of the N.Y. Observer article to my attention:

"The disclaimer in Leonard [another book by Frey] serves roughly the same role as the author’s note at the front of The Da Vinci Code—which says “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” It’s a false certificate, a stamp of limited authenticity on a work of no authenticity at all. The Da Vinci Code is actually built around spurious texts and bald-faced inventions, but the conflict becomes publicity. Factual truth, or the appearance of it, is another tool to make the sale. In the end, there comes the Da Vinci Code movie trailer, using the language of inquiry to forestall inquiry: “Whatever you’ve read …. Whatever you believe …. ” Whatever.

The excerpt above can be found here.

So Dan: Call Me.

Frequent blog visitor Mark made a comment to my Lying for Dollars post which said:

"Buried in a USA Today article that once again looks at forthcoming Da Vinci Code-esque books is this report that the working title of THE SOLOMON KEY for Dan Brown's book-in-progress has been dropped. Spokesperson Alison Rich says: "No title, no content, no publication date, no nothing."

Mark concludes: "You got him on the ropes Lew."

After posting my reply (below) I thought the exchange was worth elevating to a post all its own.

My reply:

I don't take any joy in this.

Dan Brown made a mistake but I am not sure he needs to pay for it the rest of his writing career.

If the Random House lawyers hadn't decided to detonate a legalistic IED back in May 2003,instead of having the rational conversation I offered, this would all be over by now.

Why? Because my feeling is that Brown could have said, "Oops! I forgot to give you an acknowledgement. Here is is!"

I would have accepted that. That's all I wanted. I've been clear about that from the very beginning.

If I were Dan Brown, I'd be pissed as hell at the lawyers for making this far bigger than it should have been.

People make mistakes. No one is perfect. I'd STILL settle for a credit and a handshake apology from Dan Brown.

If Brown wanted to call me directly and set the handshake in motion, I'd be happy to accept that and call it quits so he could get back to writing and whatever else he wants to do.

I should add the following to the reply:

(1) I'd drop Brown from the lawsuit for credit and a handshake but not Random House and Sony. They are responsible for this mess and need to pay for that. And yes, I mean PAY but not to me. A charitable donation to specified Katrina-damaged libraries and Delta non-profits in Mississippi would suffice.

(2) I am in this for the long haul. Regardless of what happens in court, if I am denied a trial on the facts, then I will not cease to make the facts known on the Internet, in the media, in radio and TV interviews.

I don't enjoy this, but I do not give up. Not now. Not ever.

Dan Brown can end this in a heartbeat:

James Frey: An Amateur Compared with RH Lawyers

Random House will soon file their response to my appeals brief and you can be sure it will be filled with the same sorts of fiction presented as fact as they have consistently done in the past.

Compared with the RH lawyers' abilty to misrepresent fiction as fact, Random House/Doubleday author James "A Million Little Pieces" Frey is an amateur.

My appeals brief listed many of the falsehoods in RH filings. In addition, I gave many verified examples of their misrepresentations and outright fabrications in a number of blog posts last year.

The RH/Sony lawyer deviations rom rteality are too numerous to list completely here, but below are a few examples which will probably get re-treaded for the upcoming RH/Sony response to my appeal.

Yes, these are just a FEW ... there are more in the April 2005 Archives and even more in other 2005 archives.

Perhaps we need to set up a little intellectual game of chance to see which of the old, DIS-proven lies will be recycled in the next Random House/Sony legal filings?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lying For Dollars

There is an interesting New York Times piece today regarding the value of truth, something with which Random House seems to have an uneasy relationship.

The article "What Is the Value of Truth?" by Dan Mitchell deals with Random House and others trying to brush off the fact that Jim Frey's A Million Little Pieces knowingly lied about the truth, something we have also seen with The Da Vinci Code.

Mitchell writes: If "Pieces" were labeled as fiction, would it still have landed Mr. Frey on "Oprah"? Would his tale of degeneracy, redemption and rehabilitation have ever seen the light of day?

'The Smoking Gun thinks not. If the book were "just some overheated stories of woe, heartache, and debauchery cooked up by a wannabe author," the story concludes, "it probably would not get published." The Web site points to a 2003 article in The New York Observer, which said that Mr. Frey tried to sell the book as fiction until his publisher vetoed the idea.'

Read the entire article.

One can also wonder whether DVCode would have sold so many copies had Brown and Random House not presented so much of the work as fact, and stuck steadfastly to the lie even after so many scholars had thoroughly demolished that idea.

It is dishonest at best to trick people into an intellectual bait-and-switch of these sorts.

On the other hand, the Federal Trade Commission and any number of class-action consumer lawsuits have found that false and misleading advertising and promotion are illegal.

Are "Pieces" and "Code" part of a pattern as other posters here and elsewhere have suggested? If so, what other Random House "facts" are fiction? If Random House knew about these before hand and structured marketing that was knowingly false, they should be investigated by the FTC and other appropriate bodies.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

RH Stands By Author, AGAIN!

The following regarding James Frey, Dan Brown and Random House comes via email from D.L. Stewart, who has posted comments previously, has forgotten her blogger password. (As an aside, I apologize for configuring the blog to require a blogger account. While it does not entirely eliminate anonymous posts, it does keep drive-by spamming to a dull roar.)

Anyway, D.L. Steward writes:

Now I ask you: If Frey over embellished, and represented his MS as fact, What effect will this have on RH's reputation?

First Dan Brown and now this? Makes me wonder how many other red flag 'AGAINS' exist with RH.

Like: Did they KNOW about Dan Brown's alleged plagiarism of Lew Perdue’s DoG / DVL. before publishing DVC?

The ‘mainstream media’ is all over Frey for lying. RH is offering refunds. And Oprah is backing Frey.

Whoa! Where was the ‘mainstream media’ when Lew Perdue’s solid appeal was filed in December, 2005? What? No takers? But, you can bet that RH’s response will be heralded

A company that keeps that tight a reign on policy eventually busts its seams and through disgruntled employees becomes grist for the mass mill.

What would it take for someone from RH to admit that their PR policy doesn't include admitting to or taking responsibility for 'errors'?

It does prompt more questions about placing burdens of proof upon an author. Will publishers now have to put authors through lie detector tests? ( RH’s petty cash could probably pay for a lie detector machine.)

Writers lie all the time; when the lies get published: it’s called Fiction.

Frey may have lied; but plagiarism is stealing. Does this mean that at RH it's ok to 'embellish' the facts, as long as you don't steal them?

In my opinion, RH’s rep is in the toilet. Whooosh!

RH has already offered refunds? Does this mean they realize the connection? And are trying to head off media attention?

Someone from RH Legal has seen the connection between your case, the damage potential of its resurrection and the possible inclusion of an organization of legal reform jumping on your bandwagon. (You just won't go away) tsk, tsk.

This is the 'smooth over'.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Random House Offers Readers Refund

Given Dan Brown's obvious and proven errors in his purported "facts" and his refusal to confirm that he did any research at all as warranted, and given the millions of people who bought the book based on Brown's representations of accuracy, it looks logical that RH should refund money to those who bought Da Vinci Code.

Or perhaps a class action lawsuit on behalf of those people really is in the works as some emails I have received suggest?

Of course, RH and Brown can't admit the "facts" were actually "fiction" because they're fiction I made up first ... so they have to keep insisting fiction is fact and the judges have to keep taking random House's word for it, otherwise ...

... otherwise, we must have a trial -- Dan and RH's worst nightmare.

Anyway, here's the refund story from today.

Readers offered refund for controversial memoir

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Random House will offer a refund to readers who bought James Frey's drug and alcohol memoir "A Million Little Pieces" directly from the publisher, a move believed to be unprecedented, after the author was accused of exaggerating his story.

The entire story is here.