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Publisher Renames 'Katie.com' 510

Posted by michael
from the advance-in-a-retrograde-direction dept.
twigstamc420 writes "In an update to stories posted the previous two days on Slashdot, Penguin Putnam publishing has issued a press release stating that they have re-named the title of Katie.com to 'A Girl's Life Online'. Press release (pdf) found on their press page."
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Publisher Renames 'Katie.com'

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  • by garcia (6573) * on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:06PM (#9901772) Homepage
    In other news, GL Online [girlslife.com] has stated that Penguin Books had used psychical and emotional intimidation to coerce them into allowing the usage of the title "A Girls Life: Online".

    A representative from Boy's Life [boyslife.org] was quoted as saying, "girls have cooooodies, ewww. Good riddance!"
  • by Hobbex (41473) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:07PM (#9901789)

    Isn't this is a four year old issue in which very little has happened recently? (Most articles I found about it were dated from 2000).

    Did Slashdot force this sudden 180?
    • Judging from the numerous articles on slashdot the paat 2 days and the geek lynching that Penguin received at the hands of /.r's, I'd say, Yes.
    • Jesus, who would've thunk a bunch of annoyed geeks to could affect rapid change?

      Okay, everyone concentrate until I get superpowers. And I don't want to be the next "Arm Fall Off Boy" or "Matter Eating Lad" (dang Legion of Super Heroes), I want something neat. Some sort of Tad Ghostal powers.
    • by Sircus (16869) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:13PM (#9901890) Homepage
      There was also an article [theregister.co.uk] on The Register. I presume there were other articles on other sites - it probably all got too much for Penguin.
    • by garcia (6573) *
      Nah [google.com], it's just that the media has recently jumped on this. Al Roker probably has more people that are psychotic than we do.
    • by travdaddy (527149) <travo&linuxmail,org> on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:17PM (#9901952)
      Whoa, I think Katie Jones (the good one) owes Slashdot an interview! I'm sure she would be more than willing to do one!
      • by brandonY (575282) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:40PM (#9902283)
        Whow, boy, slow down. Let's not imply the other Katie is the bad one. She was also, and to a much greater extent, a victim. Repeat after me. I am not my publisher.
        • "You are who you choose to associate with." -- Brian Sussman/KFSO (i think)
        • A twist on "the good one/the bad one" at Bob, the Angry Flower [angryflower.com]...
        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:21PM (#9902841)
          Being a victim of a sexual assult isn't a free pass to be a jerk later in life. It's a horrible experience, no question. However just because something bad happens to you doesn't make you automatically a good person or mean your actions are always justified.

          The critical point that people are missing here is the lawyer that was doing the dirty work represents Katie Tarbox, not Penguin. Well guess what? When a lawyer represents you, they MUST do as you say. If they don't like it, they can leave, but they are not allowed to not listen to you. If you tell your lawyer to drop a lawsuit on your behalf, they must do so.

          So Katie T. was laying when she claimed there was nothing she could do. On the contrary, she could tell her lawyer to back down. The book name is up to the publisher (though they always clear it with the author) but it was Katie's lawyer, not Penguin's, that was making the legal threats.

          Basically from reading some stories about this, the post on katie.com, and Tarbox's responses, I get the feeling that Tarbox has become greedy and wants to milk her fame for all it's worth. Now there's nothing wrong with profiting from something like this. If oyu have a story people are willing to pay to hear, then good for you if you make money selling it. However I believe that for Tarbox, money is now the motivating factor, not protecting people, hence her agressive actions and deceptive information.

          People really need to be careful about worshiping victims. When someone is a victim of something bad, a crime, natural disaster, disease, etc they need love and support. It does not, however, make them into a super hero. They still can be and can be come a bad person. As an example, take a drug dealer that gets a debilitating cancer. Well, that's a bad thing, and you certianly can feel sorry for them because of that, but it doesn't mean it's suddenly ok for them to be a drug dealer, one does not wash out or justify the other.
    • If the slashdot community can get a publisher to rename a book in a matter of days (assuming of course that this community was largely responsible), maybe we can be harnassed for more than bringing webservers to their knees.
      I also wonder how much of this was a result of the amazon.com reviews/rankings, and so on? If it was significant, slashdotting places that provide open reviews may be a viable way to instigate change in businesses whose practices we find questionable.
  • by 2names (531755) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:07PM (#9901796)
    A large corporation has finally done something right.

    Wait, what's the catch?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      They're going to light us all on fire tonight at 8:53. :(
    • by flibuste (523578)
      They did what was the ONLY thing that could go right for THEM. Don't worry, they did nothing else than work toward their own interest.
      Obviously, they've tried to force an issue. The lawyer was badly wrong trying to intimidate somebody while knowing there was no way a court would rule in their favor. She had no idea of how an Internet community can be powerful in those matter because it's not their primary business.
      Seeing all the harm that was done by people like slashdotters (including comments in Amazo
  • We didn't do anything wrong, we don't know of anyone who did anything wrong, we didn't even think about doing anything wrong. And now we'll correct this wrong right away like we could have done years ago. Thank you very much. Love us, we are the good guys. _-Right.
    • by josh3736 (745265) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:12PM (#9901873) Homepage
      Something that a lot of people seem to be missing out on is that this is not entirely the publisher's evildoing.

      Yes, they might be the ones that said "huh.... katie.com is already in use.... Fuck it, we'll use it anyway!"

      But they aren't the ones sending the lawyers after Katie Jones. Katie Tarbox, the author, is sending the lawayers after the other Katie.

      I can almost forgive using katie.com. It is inexcusable for the author to send the lawyers after someone who has the legal rights to the domain.

      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:32PM (#9902160) Homepage Journal
        Actually we don't have any evidence that Tarbox sent lawyers after anyone. All we know is that a lawyer, working on a project with Tarbox, suggested to Jones that she sell the domain to Tarbox, and when Jones refused, said that continuing to hold on to the domain would only make things worse.

        Which is presumably true. If you own a domain that's being targetted by netkooks and other Internet lowlife, you're not going to make anything better by holding on to it.

        From what I have read, nothing Jones has said implied in any way that any legal threats were being made. But it's now being treated as fact on Slashdot that she has, I think the usual "If you hear something repeated enough times you begin to believe it's true" has been combined with a misunderstanding of what Jones wrote.

        • by pyrrhonist (701154) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:54PM (#9902454)
          All we know is that a lawyer, working on a project with Tarbox, suggested to Jones that she sell the domain to Tarbox, and when Jones refused, said that continuing to hold on to the domain would only make things worse.

          I don't think threats count as suggestions. In Katie Jones' own words:

          She then got quite aggressive and said things would 'only get worse' for me if I didn't give it up.

          The other thing she tried to do was emotionally blackmail me, which I felt was extremely inappropriate.

          From what I have read, nothing Jones has said implied in any way that any legal threats were being made.

          Again, in Katie Jones' own words:

          She also told me that I could not sell it to anyone nor use it for any other purpose because
          she could prosecute as it's now linked forever to the book and it's subject matter. And she said that they were going to Trademark the term 'katie.com'.
    • That reminds me of all those SEC settlements, where the "guilty" party neither admits nor denies any wrongdoing...

      Yeah, whatever!
    • by Bozdune (68800) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:13PM (#9901893)
      Hey, whether they fess up to their original sins or not, we won. But I bet the reason we won is all the negative reviews that suddenly landed on Amazon, not a bunch of geeks mouthing off on /. The reviews hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook. A lesson to be learned, perhaps...
  • by sbergstrom (107349) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:07PM (#9901799)
    This is just Plume's red herring attempt to get the pressure off. They've got to still be doing something we can be angry about!
  • Woot! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    FinaFuckingLy! Geeks: 1; The Man: 0
  • I wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sneezinglion (771733) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:08PM (#9901806)
    ...if that lawyer will still be demanding the domain from the other Katie though.
    • According to the press release, no such demand was ever made:
      In addition, it was erroneously reported recently that Plume had asked its attorney to attempt to buy the web site Katie.com from domain owner Katie Jones. This is absolutely not true.
      • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Insightful)

        by randyest (589159)
        That excerpt from the press release denies attempt to buy the domain. It makes no mention or denial of having tried to intimidate and threaten Katie Jones into donating the domain to them to avod "things only getting worse."

        Important distinction, that.

        Your post proves the effectiveness of denying a related, but different charge in an effort to whitewash an entire event.

        Be careful.
  • by Coffee Warlord (266564) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:09PM (#9901828)
    Certainly snapped this one up.

    Domain Name: AGIRLSLIFEONLINE.COM
    Registrar: REGISTER.COM, INC.
    Whois Server: whois.register.com
    Referral URL: http://www.register.com
    Name Server: DNS19.REGISTER.COM
    Name Server: DNS20.REGISTER.COM
    Status: ACTIVE
    Updated Date: 05-aug-2004
    Creation Date: 05-aug-2004
    Expiration Date: 05-aug-2006

    Organization:
    Katie Tarbox, Inc.
    Katie Tarbox
  • Great move. (Score:5, Funny)

    by randyest (589159) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:09PM (#9901832) Homepage
    Fury of a 10,000 angry geeks diverted.

    I'm very glad to hear this.

    So, the only remaining question is: will Chubby Aftab [aftab.com] apologize for the threats now, or wait until she's on O'Reilly next week?
  • by stromthurman (588355) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:10PM (#9901850)
    Now, if Katie Tarbox can be dissuaded from using the name 'Katie.com' for her upcoming school lecture series as well, Katie Jones may finally get her weblife back.
    • I would imagine it wouldn't take much dissuading... why would she want to drive traffic to katie.com?

      Chances are this is already in the works; they'll change the promotion material to drive traffic to the appropriate site.
  • If so, let's all pay a visit Here [sco.com] and Here [whitehouse.gov].
  • Her own announement (Score:5, Informative)

    by miracle (115019) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:11PM (#9901860)
    She posted her own personal announcement [katiet.com] on the site she really owns.

    Today I am very excited to announce that Katie.com will be re-released and re-named A Girl's Life Online. From the beginning, I hoped that Penguin and Katie Jones would be able to resolve this issue. I never believed that I had any right to the name Katie.com as a website but simply viewed it to be the name of my book. That being said, I never wanted anyone to experience unwanted emails or traffic on the Internet. As someone who has been abused, I would certainly not wish to cause anybody pain. Therefore, I sincerely apologize to Katie Jones for any suffering she may have endured.

    That's a little different than the slashing perpetrator Slashdot has cast her. Refreshing to know the good guys do win....sometimes.
    • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:22PM (#9902025) Homepage Journal
      So was it mis-reported that Katie Tarbox's personal lawyer was trying to get Katie Jones to give up the domain?

      -Peter
      • by NaugaHunter (639364) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:55PM (#9902467)
        Using Occam's Razor, the following scenario seems likely.

        1) Penguin's legal team researches proposed names and replies that they wouldn't want to be associated with girl.com, but katie.com's content is inoffensive enough.

        2) The author is told that 867-5309 set enough precedent that she could use the name as a separate entity.

        3) As publicity builds up before a proposed tour using the name katie.com, the author attempts to engage legal counsel to acquire the domain.

        4) A cyber-ambulance chaser [aftab.com] gets in touch with her and is engaged. (Come on. Just look at this site.)

        5) The geek world, while sympathetic to the author's original experience and book, cries 'Shenanigans!' to her lawyer's actions towards the current domain owner.

        6) Penguin's legal staff decides that that negative fallout was becoming larger than their original risk estimates, and recommends a name change to settle things without admitting anything.

        A publisher has great control over a book's title especially for unpublished authors (even Asimov had his titles changed early in his career), so I don't hold the author overly to blame for the original use. I also don't hold her to blame for wanting to acquire the name. She obviously could have chosen a better lawyer, but who knows how she made that choice.

        The only thing I think the publisher is guilty of is underestimating the degree of problems usurping an existing domain name would cause. While it's obvious to us now, the book did come out in 2000 and the title may have been decided in 1999. At that time domain name legality was still all over the place, and it's more likely a combination of inexperience and ignorance then malevolence.
        • by dillon_rinker (17944) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:18PM (#9902787) Homepage
          As far as the legal system is concerned, an attorney IS you. EVERY ACTION taken by an attorney on your behalf is legally YOUR action. Since this is the reality that lawyers have created and understand, I don't think it's too farfetched to suggest that when Katie T retained a shyster as her attorney, she became legally, ethically, and morally liable for the actions of her attorney.

          Regarding the publisher's guilt - I don't think inexperience and ignorance could be an excuse even in 2000. The internet was not a new thing in 2000. The antitrust case for Internet Explorer + Windows was three years old. The ".com thing" was big news and big business - it was the height of the internet bubble. Furthermore, ignorance ceased to be an excuse the instant they found out about Katie J, and they COULD have found out about Katie J by typing the address in any browser.

          A pox on all of them, I say.
    • by icedivr (168266) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:22PM (#9902026)
      Well.... what else was she supposed to say? "I'm sorry my bullying attempts got exposed to the light of day and yall called me on it"?

      I guess I'm just cynical but I doubt Katie T's lawyer would have pursued the domain name without the ok of Ms Tarbox. That makes her complicit in the attorney's actions. At this point it's just damage control.
      • by dillon_rinker (17944) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:57PM (#9902493) Homepage
        Katie T's lawyer CAN'T do ANYTHING without the ok of Ms Tarbox. Attorneys DO NOT act independently; they act ONLY in the interests of their clients. Failure to do so can get them disbarred.
        • by shirai (42309) *
          You've never had a lawyer before.

          When you have a lawyer (especially for the first time) and you don't understand the law, you feel obligated to listen to your lawyer. Before I understood that what I want is ultimately what should drive my decision, I let a lawyer convince me into behavior that I later regretted. It wasn't quite so public or bad but I understand how should could have been suggested into a course of action ("You're just protecting your name and this is how we do it corporately.")

          Lawyers enc
    • Now I'm starting to feel a little bad. It was confusing because Katie Tarbox herself probably wasn't harassing Katie Jones, but people who appeared to be representing Tarbox were.
      • Well, had you read up on the information available from sources other than Slashdot, you might have been clued in about this from the start. Things are not always as they seem here at Slashdot. It's pretty typical around here to read the first sentence and embellish it into something it's not quite. For example, Tarbox has said that this lawyer who the other Katie implies threatened her, does not represent her. But you know how the sheep here feel about lawyers, one mention and keyboards all over the world
        • There are three possible cases:

          1. The lawyer is representing Katie T
          2. The lawyer is representing Penguin
          3. The lawyer is representing herself, doing all this out of the goodness of her heart in her free time on her own dime.

          I think #3 is right out. #2 may be the case, but I suspect that Penguin has their own attorneys and doesn't need to hire shysters (you have seen her web site, right?). That leaves #1.

          If you can point me to a source (other than Katie T) that indicates the attorney doesn't belong to Ka
    • I find it little coincidence that after the Slashstorm came her way, she recanted from the "it isn't my fault" a bit. How many e-mails did she get from here expressing outrage? I know I mailed her.
    • by Omeganon (104525)
      Umm. That's 4 years _after_ they first started using it. Please. Even in 2000 the Internet was widely used and you can't tell me that someone didn't think to check if the domain was already in use. That's back in the hey-day of buying/suing for domain names. They knew what they were doing.
  • Hold on a second.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wolfemi1 (765089) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:13PM (#9901888)
    There is a quote here in the press release that set off my BS detector:

    ...it was erroneously reported that Plume had asked its attorney to attempt to buy the website Katie.com...

    There were no rumors of offers to buy the website. What kind of shameless PR technique is this to cover up the fact that they asked for its donation? I think asking for (demanding) its donation is worse than offering to buy, and this strikes me as a particularly unscrupulous statement by their PR department.
  • In Other News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wind_Walker (83965) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:14PM (#9901898) Homepage Journal
    Penguin Putnam, publishers of "A Girl's Life Online" (previously titled Katie.com) are thrilled at the enormous amount of free publicity they have received. They clearly did not intend to pursue the lawsuit in question, merely to make enough of a gesture to arouse interest in certain tech communities.

    Such astroturfing is top-notch, the likes of which has not been seen since the Phantom Video Game Console [infiniumlabs.com]. Penguin Putnam thanks all the gullible editors and saps who provided their free advertising.

  • by cliveholloway (132299) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:15PM (#9901921) Homepage Journal

    Not often these things happen. Please take the time to thank Penguin. I suggest you email the writer of the Press Release, Brant Janeway at Brant.Janeway(at)US.PenguinGroup.com

    I'm sure they'd appreciate hearing how grateful we all are.

    cLive ;-)

  • Every effort? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rev. Rudolf (146245) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:16PM (#9901926) Homepage
    "We have made every effort to clarify the fact that Plume's book, Katie.com, and the website, Katie.com, are not in any way associated with one another."

    Personally I would have thought that "every effort" would have included going to the effort of not calling the book that in the first place.

    Still, a small victory. Behold, Geek Power! :-)
  • My new book (Score:3, Funny)

    by nacturation (646836) <nacturation&gmail,com> on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:16PM (#9901927) Journal
    I'm writing a new book called Penguin.com, all about how you can find penguins online. The fact that the book, Penguin.com, and the website belonging to the publishing company shares the same name is purely coincidental. Regarding this, I have been quoted as saying, "I will make every effort to clarify the fact that my book, Penguin.com, and the website, Penguin.com, are not in any way associated with one another.
    • Re:My new book (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PhuCknuT (1703)
      The problem is, it won't work as well the other way around. For penguin, it would be free advertising. For katie j, it was more like a free slashdotting for 4 years.
  • Hell yeah!

    But... in the PDF, they claim they "made every effort." Which is bullshit- wouldn't that include trying to just buy katie.com from her? I mean, this is a big company with big money. duh.
  • It sounds like the publisher checked with their attorney and found out there was no legal way to take the domain.

    I doubt it had to do with any kind of moral sense or justice.
  • Sting.com (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fubar411 (562908) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:19PM (#9901981)
    Has anyone else noticed that Sting.com, once a website for a computer game fanatic is now the official web-page of Sting, the artist? A quick look, shows typical rock-ego, with quotes from the artist himself, a ton of flash, etc. Any idea how this was finally handed over? Did the guy at least get paid?
  • Penguin might have retitled the book, but until those 2 f-ugly bitches stop billing Katie T.'s "online safety, look, I was stupid and this could happen to you too" crap as "Katie.com", this mess isn't over yet.

    It appears that Tarbox did indeed get a clue and register her own domain:

    Organization:
    Katie Tarbox, Inc.
    Katie Tarbox
    745 Carter Street
    New Canaan, CT 06840
    US
    Phone: 203-966-1828
    Email: ktarbox261@aol.com

    Registrar Name....: Register.com
    Registr
  • by 3dr (169908)

    Now I can sleep at night!

    (...and about time a corporation's bullying tactics fail in a fairly visible way.)
  • Damn good news for a Friday!

  • by Hank Reardon (534417) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:25PM (#9902059) Homepage Journal

    The author of the book has her own "vanity" domain name, katieT.com [katiet.com]. Why the hell wouldn't you just use this for the title instead of dragging somebody else through all of this crap.

  • I always wonder why it is, when I see things like this, that the two parties can't work it out in a more straight-forward and mutually beneficial fashion. In this case, all it would probably have taken was for the publisher to have offered to pay for katie.com's hosting and registry for as long as they wished to put a small presence along the top or to one side of her page, referring people to info on the book. In the case of the two WWF's a few years back, I emailed them both outlining a mutually beneficia
  • Katie Jones Responds (Score:5, Informative)

    by geekychic (732496) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:28PM (#9902101)
    Katie Jones, owner of the katie.com [katie.com] domain, has posted a response on her website.

    Penguin FINALLY do the right thing!

    According to a press release on their site today, Penguin Puttnam have finally decided to do the right thing and rename the book. I cannot tell you how pleased I am!. Of course they should have done this 4 years ago and saved us all a load of grief, but I am thrilled that they've finally realised the consequences of their actions and admitted fault by retitling the book.

    All that remains is to hope that Katie Tarbox does not continue to promote herself or her services as 'katie.com' as previously threatened and maybe then my life can return to normal :-)

    I am sure that this sudden change of heart by the publisher is largely to do with the support this issue has received from the online community and once again I'd like to thank everyone very much indeed.

    Yours very happily

    Katie Jones

    I'm so glad -- I was so ticked off by this that I sent an email to Penguin yesterday threatening to never buy their books again. I wonder how many irate slashdotters flooded their inboxes... =)
  • Perhaps the Slashdot story submission process should be incorporated into the WTO/ICANN domain name dispute resolution process. That certainly wouldn't make it any easier for "the little guy", or reason. Unless, ironically, the submissions is a duplicate.
  • pdf contents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by randyest (589159) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:32PM (#9902162) Homepage
    No special formatting, fonts, graphics, images . . . sigh. Why pdf? Press release text and my comments below:

    In an effort to avoid an association between the book originally titled Katie.com and the website Katie.com, Plume and the author decide to make this title change. New York, New York, August 6, 2004 ... In 2000, Dutton published a hardcover book called Katie.com by Katie Tarbox, an eye-opening account of one teenager's descent into the seductive world of the Internet.

    Can't resist the plug ("eye opening" indeed.)

    After the book was released into the market, it was brought to Dutton's attention that a website of the same name existed on the Internet.

    Given that the original title "girl.com" was changed after they realized it was, at the time, a porn site I find it very hard to believe no one checked "katie.com" before release. I guess that sounds better than "We expected to bully katie.com away from Katie Jones, but all our efforts failed, including bringing out Jabba the Lawyer [aftab.com]. Worse, the backlash was costing us ratings on Amazon.com. So we're backing down."

    The fact that the book, Katie.com, and the website shared the same name was purely coincidental.

    And very easy to check before release. Like they did with girl.com. Liars.

    In an effort to avoid any association between the book and the site, when Plume issued the book in trade paperback in 2001, it printed on the copyright page that the author of Katie.com and events described in the book have no connection whatsoever with the website domain owner Katie Jones or her e-mail address.

    Which means they knew this before release. Which means their previous statement that they didn't realize until after release is a lie.

    Trena Keating, Editor-in-chief of Plume, said, "We have made every effort to clarify the fact that Plume's book, Katie.com, and the website, Katie.com, are not in any way associated with one another.

    Yes, now they have finally made "every effort," which includes changing their book name.

    In addition, it was erroneously reported recently that Plume had asked its attorney to attempt to buy the web site Katie.com from domain owner Katie Jones. This is absolutely not true. Ms. Jones confirms this point in a message currently posted on her web site.

    I didn't hear that they wanted to buy it. I heard they tried to intimidate her into giving it to them. Big difference.

    "We are not working in association with author Katie Tarbox or any other individual in an attempt to assume ownership of the domain name address www.katie.com. Of course, the personal views of the author are hers and do not represent Plume in any way. "Going forward, Plume and the author have decided to re-title this book A Girl's Life Online.

    Great. Good job. Late, and chock full of spin and damage control, but good call.

    This is an important book about predatory pedophiles on the Internet and how we can protect our children. We changed the title to keep focus on this issue. The newly titled book will be released next month.

    More revenue opportunity! Everyone wins!

    We have always taken this situation very seriously.

    As evidenced by your ignoring it for 4 years?

    And we hope that by making this title change, it will demonstrate just how dedicated Plume is to clarifying this matter."

    Oh yearh. It's clear. You're afraid of slashbots! har har har

    #### Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin Boo
    • by dcigary (221160) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:31PM (#9902951) Homepage
      We expected to bully katie.com away from Katie Jones, but all our efforts failed, including bringing out Jabba the Lawyer [aftab.com].

      Thanks. You'll be receiving a call from my lawyer for the ensuing damage that was caused to my monitor by my spit-take of Diet Coke after reading the above sentence...

  • I really didn't want to boycott Penguin.
  • by acceleriter (231439) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:33PM (#9902165)
    . . . when the rightful owner threatened to sell katie.com to a "barely legal" pr0n site :).
  • by CharAznable (702598) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:33PM (#9902167)
    Penguin:
    "We would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids..."
  • by otlg (803177) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:39PM (#9902267)
    Ok, yes they changed the name, but how many copies are in circulation?

    Plus they only changed the name because of negative press, not because they wanted to 'Do The Right Thing'. They are still on my personal 'banned' list. And I refuse to believe that Ms. Tarbox is as innocent as she claims.

    THIS WENT ON FOR 4 YEARS!

    I guess it's true; people have short memories, which is why stupid politicians get second terms.
  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:42PM (#9902297)
    How long will Katie Tarbox continue to milk her experience for cash? There is no doubt in my mind that what happened to her was horrible, but there are moments when I find myself questioning if it is even about protecting others anymore.

    She could just be an unfortunate woman who had a terrible childhood experience only to grow up and have publishers manipulate her recovery in the persuit of money, or she could just be someone who is desperately clinging to her celebrity as - by her own accounts - it is the only recognition and purpose she has ever known.

    If the former is true, then she needs to be a bit more upfront about it, but if the latter is true, then she needs to make use of her family's wealth and do something with her life that will provide her with a sense of accomplishment.
  • by Cheeko (165493) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:47PM (#9902363) Homepage Journal
    Took a quick look over at katie.com [katie.com] and she makes mention of slashdot, and offers much thanks to the support of the community making a difference. Good to see that she holds no hard feelings over the publicity :) Go good guys.
  • If only SCO.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArtisteTerroriste (637973) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:50PM (#9902386)
    If only SCO had the business sense that Penguin, Tarbox Inc., sleazy lawyers, etc. have, this whole "truckload of code" nonsense would have been over with a long time ago.

    Obviously Penguin, Tarbox Inc. (see domain registration) ARE interested in making money, having a sucessful business even if people don't seem to like the book.
  • by mrklin (608689) <ken.lin@gmai l . c om> on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:36PM (#9903006)

    On Katie Tarbox's site, you can see in the lower banner that her book has been translated into multiple languages such as Chinese, Japanese, German, and others.

    All of them feature the original title of katie.com except for the Chinese version whose title translates to Dream of the Internet Lover. Maybe the Chinese editors did their homework?

  • by jbltk (801038) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:41PM (#9903067)
    jbltk: I'm sorry to bother you so randomly, but I'd like to know when you found out that someone else owned Katie.com, and why you didn't insist the title of your book be changed at that time and wait to say it was a good thing until the publisher finally ceded?

    ktarbox261: As I said before this issue was between Katie Jones and Penguin, I could do nothing to change it. They bought the right to publish it and I sold it under a different name.

    jbltk: Than why did the press release state that the publisher as well as the author made the decision to change the name, seeing as you have no input?

    ktarbox261: This time was a very unique situation.

    jbltk: But why didn't you, even without any control, publicly state you felt Penguin's stance was unfair to Katie Jones, and why did you continue to plan to call your workshop by the same name?

    ktarbox261: I never had any plans to do that and that is reported incorrectly.

    jbltk: so Parry Aftab happens to be a lawyer who doesn't represent you and is only a victim's rights advocate?

    jbltk: it just seems to me like you've played both sides, awaiting the outcome so you would be able to do what was most profitable for you, in regards to your future projects

    ktarbox261: Parry Aftab is not my lawyer and never has been. My lawyer works out of Connecticut.

    ktarbox261: I never asked anyone to call Katie Jones.

    ktarbox261: I have always wanted Penguin to do the right thing . What you read is not the whole story.

    jbltk: Then why did she call Katie Jones? What was the purpose of that call? Lawyers charge large amounts of money to do things like that. I find it hard to believe she'd make an international call like that without instruction from a client

    jbltk: ok i'm listening

    jbltk: please inform me of all the misinformation

    ktarbox261: Parry is not my lawyer we have no written agreement, I have never paid her a single dime.

    jbltk: FYI, I've yet to see an article that quotes you as being in favor of changing the title

    ktarbox261: Look at my website

    jbltk: I looked. I don't see anything said by you that indicates you favor a title change or sympathize with Ms. Jones. The only thing I've seen so far is your statement regarding the press release. Up until then, I'd never seen any news article that had you saying you felt sympathy or wanted a title change

    jbltk: I know you may have signed your creative control over when you sold your book, but that didn't prevent you from speaking out publicly

    jbltk: You see, it's easy to say all those things you say @ (Link: http://katiet.com/message1.htm)http://katiet.com/m essage1.htm after the fact, but you never said them until today

    ktarbox261: I do sympathesize with Ms. Jones and the fact that I said I am excited to change the name of the book, that would show I am in favor of it.

    ktarbox261: Unfortunately I couldn't speak about this issue until today.

    jbltk: why is that?

    ktarbox261: Because this issue was between Penguin and Ms. Jones.

    jbltk: that hasn't prevented me or my peers from giving Penguin a hard time publicly or directly. Did you have some sort of confidentiality agreement or something?

    ktarbox261: That is all I can say.

    jbltk: OK, is it fair to say that you would have faced financial hardships had you made any statements on the issue?

    ktarbox261: No it is not fair to say.

    jbltk: It just seems to me that if you really thought what Penguin was doing was wrong, you should have piped up way back when this all started, unless you were under a contractual obligation to not speak about it.

    jbltk: I'm not trying to be a jerk, there are just a bunch of inconsistencies that I see in this whole thing, and I really like to know the whole story

    ktarbox261: I could not speak about it.

    jbltk: Because of an agreement between yourself and the publisher?

    ktarbox261: I could not speak ab

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