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Copyright Infringement?

VDM Publishing? Ever hear of this publishing company? Neither had I until one of their "authors", if one could call copying wiki articles an author, copied Team FREDNET's 124 page wiki without contacting anyone for permission.

It is a long story...traversing the pretend author publishing under one of VDM's Imprints, Sess; charging the consumer a large amount of money for this book; Books, LLC in Memphis, TN, one of Google's imprints, picks up this "author" and offers the same book for sale while Team FREDNET was still an active Team in the Google Lunar XPrize competition. Team FREDNET only signed Master Team Agreement 3.1, according to Fred Bourgeois, III, CEO, and did not sign any further MTA"S. Media Rights appeared to be an issue as reported by other news publications through the years.

Does this constitute copyright infringement? It all depends on the interpretation of the Creative Commons License CY-BY-SA and the many caveats therein. According to CEO Fred Bourgeois, III, the Team FREDNET wiki also had the Copyright mark on the material as well as the TRADEMARK.

I would advise against using a Creative Commons License unless an attorney has read and interpreted what can be done with your material once this cute little label has been added to your wiki. There are unscrupulous persons out there who can and will take your work and publish without your knowledge.

This was all found by accident, while searching for another book on Ebay. Just for fun, I typed in "Team FREDNET" and up popped this book. Days of researching clarified how this situation might be addressed for resolution. Utilizing two search questions will garner the most useful information. The two questions are:

1. Who sues Google?

2. What attorneys sue Google?

The number two search term brings up an article "We are Google...So Sue Us" with two young attorneys lounging on easy chairs in awkward angles. Nice photo. The article presents many examples of copyright infringement law suits.

The statute of limitation is 3 years, therefore,any company has whatever year the book was published or from point of discovery (some work involved with this option) to bring a copyright infringement suit not only against VDM but also Books, LLC. or Google.

The safest route when placing your work in the public domain is to always place your own copyright on your material. Pay your fee; make it all legal. This will not stop all the would be authors out there from skimming from your work.Thus is life.

If you would like to verify this information simply plug into your browser: Team FREDNET Google Books.

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