Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wrong Author Listed on Book

Dear Rich: Is there an issue if my name is on a book by mistake? That's what happened to me. My name was credited for a book that I did not write. I did write one version of the book but they did not use it. There would only be an issue if you or the real author believe that the attribution error resulted in an injury. If you feel, for example, that the mistaken listing defames your reputation, makes use of your name to endorse a product without your permission, or subjects you to emotional distress (or some similar claim), you can pursue the publisher. The real author may have different claims. For example, the contract between author and publisher may have requirements for attribution and this snafu may result in a material breach. Alternatively, the author may claim a false designation under the Lanham Act, or under some circumstances, copyright infringement.  In cases involving famous authors, "errors" like these cause class action lawyers to salivate.