The last major ebook publisher, Kobo Inc. of Canada, has refused to remove its MP Publishing (Isle of Man, Great Britain) editions of my Sparrowhawk series from its online catalogue, citing a contract between Kobo and MP Publishing. See the Wikipedia entries on Kobo Inc. of Canada here:
This overlooks and evades the fact that MP Publishing, with whom I did not sign a publishing contract, was sold the publication rights to the series by a now defunct publishing firm, MacAdam/Cage of San Francisco, which has not paid me royalties earned by the series for the second half of 2012, per the now inoperative contract between MacAdam/Cage and me, and as of today’s date. This is clearly a breach of contract, to which MP Publishing is party, because it, too, has not bothered to pay me earned royalties, nor sent me a statement of earnings, and has remained silent on the matter. Culpability in this piracy is clearly extended to Kobo of Canada, because it now has knowledge of the facts in the case.
Kobo’s position on the matter is that the legal relationship is between MP Publishing and me, not between Kobo and me. This is transparent evasion and dishonesty, reducing Kobo to the criminal status of a fence.
I am requesting that readers here who use Kobo ebook readers of any kind refrain from purchasing any Sparrowhawk title from Kobo (and, in fact, boycott the firm altogether). Regardless of the status of the contract between Kobo and MP Publishing, it is a contract which expropriates earnings from my intellectual property, which as of this date, is stolen property.
Legal recourse to correct this theft or piracy would entail hiring a British solicitor or attorney to represent me in any action against MP Publishing. This is a costly alternative clearly beyond my means. MP Publishing knows this, and is counting on the prohibitive cost such an action would entail to protect it from any just and untoward penalties. It would probably bring Kobo of Canada into the litigation, as well, making it an international issue and doubly complicated.
Readers who peruse the Wikipedia entries on Kobo will see that the piracy of my intellectual property is international in scope, extending to France, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as Great Britain and Canada.
The simplest and most honest action Kobo could take, considering all the facts in the matter, would be to remove my Sparrowhawk titles from its sites. This it refuses to do. It is willfully abetting MP Publishing’s theft of my intellectual property.
Following are the links to each of the MP Publishing ebook editions Sparrowhawk titles now carried by Kobo:
Sparrowhawk Book II: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-ii-hugh-kenrick (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-ii-hugh-kenrick)
Sparrowhawk Book III: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iii-caxton (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iii-caxton)
Sparrowhawk Book IV: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iv-empire (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iv-empire)
Sparrowhawk Book V: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-v-revolution (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-v-revolution)
Sparrowhawk Book VI: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-vi-war (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-vi-war)
Sparrowhawk Companion: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-sparrowhawk-companion (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-sparrowhawk-companion)