Good Things Done Bad Ways

August 5th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Yesterday, we spoke at length about the harm Norma Khouri has (apparently) done to the cause of raising awareness about honor killings. We say apparently because, much as we love gossip and intrigue, we really hate to believe someone could be this stupid. Even when the facts point in that direction.

A few days ago, we discussed the sheer, well, stupidity (sometimes there is no other word) of Penguin’s releasing a book called without securing the rights to the domain first. They fact check and rights check the hell out of the use of brand names, but can’t be bothered to make sure the title won’t cause problems? It was recently suggested to us, during a speech by Robert Gottlieb of Trident Media, that publishers don’t fully get the Internet. He was speaking about authors and using the web, etc. for promotion. We suspect if he’d heard this story, it would strenghtened his argument.

Katherine Tarbox was the victim of an online predator. This is a serious issue — something we wish all parents were aware of (kids do not possess the judgment of adults — and many adults don’t possess all that much judgment, either — parents must monitor what their children see, do, watch, hear, and where they go). Katie Jones has a legitimate problem; one that should have been avoided. It’s not like a derailment: you could see this one coming.

As with the Khouri issue, the message Tarbox and her publisher are trying to get out is being drowned in a wave of bad publicity (we knew this had reached critical mass when the husband said that SlashDot had the story). We wish this weren’t so, but can’t see how Katie Jones can fight back any other way. It appears she’s tried working through traditional channels. Lawsuits are expensive, and she doesn’t have the resources to fight this case. Harm has been done…not only to an innocent bystander, but also to a serious issue that needs all the awareness and attention it can receive.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs · Publishers and Editors