Can an Author Who Lies Be Held Responsible?

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Remember the September 2005 Oprah Book Club selection, A Million Little Pieces?  Who could forget the controversy surrounding this wildly popular memoir about the life of author James Frey?  After the book became a sensation, it was revealed that Frey had exaggerated some truths when writing this supposed factual memoir.

A couple of years later, a legal settlement was reached with Frey and the book’s publisher whereby readers who felt they were deceived by Frey’s claims that his book was a memoir — and thus true — would be entitled to a refund for the purchase price of the book.  Readers simply had to submit proof of purchase, a piece of the book itself, and a signed sworn statement that they had purchased the book based upon the belief that the book was true.

In the end, less than 2,000 readers actually asked for a refund, costing the publisher considerably less than the $2.35 million it had set aside for such claims. Interestingly, however, it still cost the publisher over $1 million in legal fees, notices, and disclosures, not to mention some unflattering notoriety for Frey himself.

If this sounds familiar, it is because it is happening again!  Readers of Lance Armstrong’s books want their money back following the cyclist’s admission of steroid usage.

Click here to read what Virginia cyclist and attorney Doug Landau has to say about the case against Armstrong and his publisher.

 

 

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