Open Letter to Joseph Melendez, pseudonym Seph Lawless
Dear Mr. Melendez:
I will not tolerate your harassment. I will not be subject to electronic bullying. If you are unhappy with the blogs I have written about your “book,” then maybe you should be more forthcoming in your claims. The book I reviewed was not based on real stories. Instead, you made up stories in hopes of selling more copies. This is unethical and amoral. Please refrain from complaining, again, about my writing.
Last year I wrote several blogs discussing the amoral behavior of Joseph Melendez, who goes by the pseudonym Seph Lawless. Joseph self-published a book titled 13: An American Horror Story. I took exception to his claims that his stories were fictional—made up. Joseph purported to lots of media outlets that his photographs depicted abandoned houses where heinous crimes were committed. The media ate it up. None of them actually fact-checked the stories. If they had, they would have found out that every story was made up. A lie.
After posting my first blog, I received a couple of comments threatening lawsuits if I didn’t remove my blog. I did not waiver. A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by WordPress, the hosting site of my blog, that Joseph registered a complaint. This is what he wrote:
— BEGIN NOTICE — First name: SEPH Last name: LAWLESS Company name: Address: 8205 FRANKLIN BLVD. City: CLEVELAND State/Region/Province: OHIO ZIP: 44102 Country: United States (US) Phone number: [redacted for privacy] Email address: INFO@SEPHLAWLESS.COM Copyright holder: UNITED STATES COPYRIGHT OFFICE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Location of unauthorized material: http://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2014/11/15/missing-a-haunted-house-or-2-or-3-or/#comments Location of original materials: http://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2014/11/15/missing-a-haunted-house-or-2-or-3-or/#comments Description of original materials: THE IMAGE OF HOUSE IS MY COPYRIGHT IMAGE. THE BLOG USES NOT ONLY THE IMAGE BUT IS ABUSIVE, SLANDEROUS AND USES DEFAMATION IN BLOG AS WELL.
Note: I redacted his telephone number for privacy.
I take exception to this because the blogs are not abusive or slanderous. I wrote the truth. My blogs are covered under the Fair Use Exception of the U.S. Copyright Law, http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107. I criticized his work and he didn’t like it. Well, tough. Don’t tell lies.
Another Note: Interesting enough was the link Joseph provided. It was to another one of his books and not the one I blogged about. Oh my stars!
Morals of this blog: 1) WordPress rocks! They supported by blog. 2) Writers, bloggers, and photographers need to unite to end this type of behavior.