major caudill hits the big time.

Hey, kids!  It’s Major Caudill again!

The good Major managed to get his essay “Why The Gun Is Civilization” quoted once again.  This time, it’s in Ted Nugent’s book Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto.  It’s reproduced in its entirety on pages 242-244, and attributed to (who else?) Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.).

How about that?  His stuff sure gets around, doesn’t it?

On the bright side, I can now say that one of my essays is available in bookstores nationwide.  On the downside, it’s attributed to another guy, and printed without permission in the book of yet another guy. 

For the record (and for those of you tuning in late in the game), I first posted the relevant essay in March 2007 on my blog here.  The essay appeared in the September 2007 edition of Dillon’s Blue Press, available here.  Ted Nugent’s book came out in 2008.  I’d say any IP lawyer worth his salt should be able to slam-dunk this one.

About these ads

49 thoughts on “major caudill hits the big time.

  1. MarkHB says:

    Oh for pity’s sake, and that’s not what I said out loud.

    Really, yes, slam-dunk and what the hell was he thinking not properly researching something he quoted in print? Hope the settlement’s a fat one for ya.

  2. Al T. says:

    Go for it. Seriously.

  3. Jason says:

    Gawd. You REALLY need to start suing people over this one. Its out of hand, and until someone starts dishing out some punishment, it will only get worse.

    Mistake or not, would you let your kid steal something, and not punish them?

    • Joshua says:

      Copyright infringement is not theft. The “stealing” analogy is flawed. Even the supreme court says so.

      • MarkHB says:

        In the case of (say) a TV show or piece of music being shared over P2P, that’s one thing – but taking a creative work, filing the serial numbers off it and pretending it’s yours (or that you “can’t find the real author”) is a whole ‘nother animal.

      • Joshua says:

        In the case of theft, the victim is denied access to and use of the thing being stolen. When I steal an apple from your tree and eat it, you can’t eat the apple. In the case of copyright infringement, the victim still has possession and use of the property. If I copy your work and pass it as my own, you can still sell copies of it, although your sales might be reduced because people buy mine instead.

        I think there are valid arguments against both behaviors, but I don’t think it’s right to cast them as morally equivalent.

      • MarkHB says:

        I have a question, if I may. This is the blog of someone who’s had this piece of work ripped off more times than you’ve changed your underwear (assuming normal cleanliness and that your age is under 350 years). What in goodness’ name could your purpose be in turning up and harping on about copyright infringement not being theft?

        I ask out of some form of morbid curiosity, I suppose.

      • Joshua says:

        @MarkHB: I turned up because I was interested in the story, that’s all. Firearms are one political area that I’m very interested in. Copyright law is another. Just like we gunnies try to straighten out people who mistakenly believe that “assault weapons” are the same as “assault rifles,” people who care about copyright law sometimes try to straighten out those who believe that copyright and theft are equal. The analogy is more apt than you might think. “Copyright = theft” is to the RIAA as “assault weapons = assault rifles” is to the Bradys. The legal right to fair use is as threatened nowadays as the 2A–maybe more so, since fair use doesn’t have a constitutional amendment backing it up.

        I’m not trying to suggest that Mark doesn’t have both legal and moral cause for a suit. I’m not trying to suggest that Ted doesn’t owe him an apology. I’m just trying to straighten out a patently incorrect piece of propaganda that the RIAA has drilled into the mind of the public. The wrong that was done is copyright infringement. Theft is a different thing, both legally and morally. That distinction is as meaningful as the distinction between an “assault weapon” and an “assault rifle”.

        When Mark goes after Ted’s publisher for damages, as I hope he does, he will sue for copyright infringement, not theft.

      • T.Stahl says:

        Copyright violations of the kind we’re here talking about is theft. It’s a theft of time and money.
        When I develop something, be that a piece of literature or a mechanical or electrical device or a something comparable, I invest time and money.
        To copy what I developed and to use it to create revenue or to safe money you’d otherwise have to spend to get it, is theft and fraud.
        Theft because it reduces the revenue that _I_ can create and fraud because you adorn yourself with stolen plumes.
        Why should anyone develop anything if it were ok to copy it without consent and compensation?

      • Joshua says:

        Why should anyone develop anything if it were ok to copy it without consent and compensation?

        That is a good question, and one that only the individual artist can answer.

        I fully agree with you that people should have control over the things that they create, and that creating a piece of intellectual property should grant you the right to decide how you and others profit from it. Legal “fair use” is the exception, of course, but I don’t think that’s what you’re referring to.

        All I’m saying is that it’s sloppy semantics to call it “theft”. The RIAA and other copy-fighters have been putting out propaganda to the effect that copyright infringement equals theft. They do this, in part because copyright infringement is a very slippery topic, and theft is something everyone can get their mind around. But they also do it because if copyright infringement equals theft, then they can (incorrectly) treat every infringed copy as a lost sale, and inflate the estimated value of their damages. They use these drastically inflated damages to destroy the financial lives of people who may be legitimately guilty of copyright infringement, but who don’t deserve to be financially ruined as a result of it.

        If you get angry when you hear someone say, “assault weapons should be banned because they’re full-auto,” you should get just as angry when you hear someone say, “copyright infringement is theft.” To many people, the distinction between semiautomatic rifles, “assault weapons,” and true, full-auto assault rifles is irrelevant. We know better, and we know that losing sight of the distinction does needless harm. It’s the same with “stealing” vs. “copyright infringement.”

      • ravenshrike says:

        “Copyright violations of the kind we’re here talking about is theft. It’s a theft of time and money.”

        Bzzt, wrong. This is nothing more than a breach of copyright and wrongful attribution. Both of which are actionable of course(the latter being in many respects much more of a problem than the former), but neither of which falls under theft of anything.

        “When I develop something, be that a piece of literature or a mechanical or electrical device or a something comparable, I invest time and money.”

        Correct. You invest time and money on a venture that you cannot guarantee will net you anything in return.

        “To copy what I developed and to use it to create revenue or to save money you’d otherwise have to spend to get it, is theft and fraud.”

        And here’s where you go back to being wrong.

        “Theft because it reduces the revenue that _I_ can create”

        This is an outright falsehood on two points. The first being you do not create the revenue, you generate revenue by creating wealth, wealth being an object/idea people are willing to assign value to. The second being that copyright infringement in and of itself(when combined with lack of proper attribution it certainly does, but that’s not the same issue as you’re harping upon, having chosen the general over the specific) does not necessarily reduce any revenue you might generate. It depends on several circumstances, the totality of which having not been studied by any group even approaching neutral to the topic as of yet.

        ” and fraud because you adorn yourself with stolen plumes.”

        In Marko’s specific case this applies, but in the case you alluded to above, one has not stolen anything.

        “Why should anyone develop anything if it were ok to copy it without consent and compensation?”

        FOSS and the Creative Commons license are examples of people choosing to do so, although I will not try to attribute reasons to why they do. Their existence simply indicates that such reasons exist.

        There is no INHERENT reason for someone to be able to restrict their idea’s spread once they have been let loose in the wild, so to speak. The reasons that exist are solely social constructs that are meant to give additional incentive for such creation. Currently however, both the patent system and copyright system are extremely broken.

      • MarkHB says:

        Whilst I agree In Principle that the current copyright and IP law setup is messed up, and in fact assists anyone with More Money to hose anyone with Less Money simply buy hiring more lawyers for longer, I honestly don’t think this is a good venue to start citing Lessig or Doctorow. I really don’t think either of those worthies were of the opinion that Intellectual Property != Actual Property ergo nicking anything you find on the ‘net is fine. Creative Commons does not exist to strip content originators of their right to recognition, attribution or indeed recompense. Exactly the opposite – particularly the terms “attribution” and “noncommercial” – something Ted Nugent went flat against, without even bothering to Google the alleged “Major Caudill” (which would have brough him here) or the title of the piece (which also would have brought him here).

        In this instance, this is more a case of saying where copyright law as it stands doesn’t do enough to help support and defend Content Creators. Through perpetuating a misattribution, and taking profit from proliferating that bit of fraud, harm has been done. A second party is turning a profit, and the content creator is seeing none of it, and through this is more than likely discouraged from sharing their work on the ‘Net because of it.

        This helps the ‘Net how? It doesn’t. This serves people trying to strive for fairer copyright laws how? It doesn’t. If ever Copyright Infringement did equal theft, then I submit that this is the closest example of that theft you’ll find.

        I therefore politely and with all respect suggest that this might not be the best place to further your cause. Marko ain’t the RIAA – he’s exactly the opposite. One individual getting hosed by a larger organisation. Arguing here that he hasn’t been stolen from isn’t helping to fix anything.

      • Joshua says:

        I honestly don’t think this is a good venue to start citing Lessig or Doctorow. I really don’t think either of those worthies were of the opinion that Intellectual Property != Actual Property ergo nicking anything you find on the ‘net is fine. Creative Commons does not exist to strip content originators of their right to recognition, attribution or indeed recompense.

        As much as I love Lessig and Doctorow, I’m not making a free-culture argument here. I’m making a legal, semantic argument. All that I’m saying is Intellectual Property != Actual Property, ergo nicking AP is theft and nicking IP is copyright infringement. This has nothing to do with CC. The distinction that I’m bringing up existed before CC did.

        In this instance, this is more a case of saying where copyright law as it stands doesn’t do enough to help support and defend Content Creators.

        As critical as I am of copyright law in its current form, I disagree with this statement. I think that in this case, the law is clear-cut and plenty-strong. I look forward to cheering on Mark when he gets his well-deserved settlement and licensing deal with Ted’s publisher.

        If ever Copyright Infringement did equal theft, then I submit that this is the closest example of that theft you’ll find.

        I agree. But copyright infringement doesn’t ever equal theft, because if it did, it would be called theft. And the sloppy semantics that confuse theft with copyright infringement contribute to ongoing harm, both to content creators and to consumers.

        I therefore politely and with all respect suggest that this might not be the best place to further your cause.

        Maybe not. I definitely feel like I’m starting to repeat myself, at which point I don’t guess there’s much more point in continuing.

        Marko ain’t the RIAA – he’s exactly the opposite. One individual getting hosed by a larger organisation.

        He’s a rights-holder who believes his rights have been infringed. In that sense, he is exactly the same as the RIAA. The difference is that, in Marko’s case, infringement almost certainly actually has occurred, and he will probably use ethical legal processes to collect his due.

        Arguing here that he hasn’t been stolen from isn’t helping to fix anything.

        How is anything I post on this blog going to “fix anything”? Marko’s going to get a lawyer to write a nastygram, and that’s how things are going to get fixed. In the mean time, why don’t you and I discuss this issue. It’s not like Marko is fretting about our little semantic back-and-forth and it’s keeping him from taking care of business.

        Right? I sure hope so ;-)

  4. MarkHB says:

    Incidentally, the first two Google hits for Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.). lead back here. So there’s absolutely no excuse at all for not checking attributions properly. I would dearly like to know which cheesedick first found it necessary to fabricate the fallacious Major, if only so I could know what utter asshattery possessed him.

  5. crankylitprof says:

    Marko needs to get paid, son. I’d say beat that like a rented mule.

  6. pdb says:

    This is utterly ridiculous. Have the publishers never heard of google?

  7. theflatwhite says:

    Go for it. Failure to enforce a copyright can have a negative impact on future litigation should you later decide to enforce it.

    My guess is the publisher would settle. I mean goodness! Copyright law is what keeps them in business. You’d think they would be more careful.

  8. maybe ted’ll give you a role on his new “reality” show…he’s gonna teach some guys survival skills, and then he and his kid are gonna hunt ‘em down…wonder what part you could play?

    seriously, this time there’s got to be a payoff…and maybe some publicity, too. that couldn’t hurt when the new novel is being negotiated :)

    jtc

  9. Mark Alger says:

    I’d bet if Ted were aware of the situation, he’d make it right.

    M

    • Marko says:

      Well, I don’t happen to have his number on speed dial, and he’s not in the book.

      I do, however, have the address of his publisher, so I’ll just pester them.

  10. Wild Deuce says:

    I see a new roof in your future … or a new house under the existing one (if you already had it fixed). Something nice for the wife? College for the kids?

    I learned my lesson and I know I was lazy when I threw those creationist/evolution quotes your way recently but … come on! These people do this for a living!

    Are you going to take the casual and polite approach or are you going to drop out of the sky into their unsuspecting world like a bolt of (legal) lightning?

    • Marko says:

      I’m more the casual and polite kind of guy, but it’s my experience that people just don’t take such inquiries seriously unless they come on legal letterhead.

      I think it may be justified to let the legal beagles off the leash on this one.

  11. Al T. says:

    I cannot see Marko being anything other than polite until it’s time to not be.

  12. MarkHB says:

    I’m unfamiliar with the American legal shenannegans, Al T., but when a respected, established author has stolen from a young, up-and-coming author – effectively swiped bread off his table – then it’s not time to be polite anymore. In my opinion alone, of course.

  13. ChrisB says:

    Marko,

    If Ted is making money off your essay, which he kinda is to an extent, I’d be all over him for it. Just name recognition alone might cost you readers you otherwise might get to buy your other stuff.

    If you want, I’ll be glad to harass his publishing company on your behalf.

  14. Caleb says:

    “Casual” and “nice” are out the window now, Marko. I’m 100% with the “beat it like a one armed nympho” crowd – plagiarism and theft of intellectual property are serious issues.

  15. Al T. says:

    Well, first no one knows if ol’Ted really stole it or one of his flunkies (editors) told him it was public domain. If you start off nice you can always escalate, harder to escalate when you’ve already thrown the nuke. I think Marko’s on track – nice polite letter from a law firm. Be good for him to get the acknowledgement and some $$s. IMHO, go in screaming “lawsuit” and a possible pay day just moved far, far down the calender. And that IS the way lawsuits work in my neck of the USA.

  16. MarkHB says:

    “Ol’ Ted” published, under a false attribution that would have taken 30 seconds to check, if that.

    And made money out of it.

    His name’s on the cover, and the captain of the ship must accept responsibility for his crew. Or are we playing under some new kinda rules these days?

  17. Tiffani says:

    Pardon my French, but what a bunch of fucking bullshit.

    You do a search for the old Major, and that essay is ALL OVER the place, attributed to him. The editors of Nugent’s book obviously did a crap job with their fact-checking. When you find something like that out on the web, you track down the original source … and then, you ask the author for permission. (I’m sure it’s the same in “regular” publishing as it is in academic publishing, my own field.) So it looks like neither the former nor the latter action was taken. OR, someone out there has not only stolen your work but impersonated this bogus Major and signed over a permission for the essay’s use.

    And whether or not Nugent wrote the book, it has his name on it. Someone with his belief in self-reliance and personal responsibility should own up and take full responsibility for something out there with his name on it. You need to get what is owed to you–either a credit or monetary compensation for such a high-profile person adding to the perpetuation of a falsehood. Let him deal with the people on his end; I’m sure the head of someone in his employ or in his publisher’s employ will roll over this.

    In short: Go. For. It.

  18. Lawyer says:

    My advice (and two cents): You ought to get an attorney. Not just for the persuasive value of a letter on letterhead, but for the follow-up. Even a letter on a firm’s letterhead may not get anyone’s attention at first. After all, it won’t be the first letter they have ever received claiming copyright infringement.

    You may or may not have the time, knowledge, or connections to pursue this, but a good attorney will have all three. Copyright infringement claims are notoriously hard to legally prove. Some that appear to be slam-dunk cases can take a long time to resolve. It’s great to hope for a quick settlement, but you want someone who is prepared to take this for the long haul. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

    In addition, for any author, a copyright infringement claim affects their reputation and livelihood. Therefore, they will invest money and effort in order to minimize the damage or eliminate the claim.

    Fortunately, because of the possibility of a payout, you should be able to find an attorney that will take this on a contingency fee–if they believe in your case.

    One other thing–I’m no longer in private practice, so I don’t have any other motive in writing this.

  19. […] The Nuge definitely didn’t do his homework when he published Marko’s piece. […]

  20. […] Quotations, RKBA, self defense | I hadn’t read the original essay before, but because of this then this I was directed to this original […]

  21. Tam says:

    You need an affidavit, call me. I remember when you wrote it, bro’.

  22. […] Posted on May 18, 2009 by Caleb Ted Nugent’s new book has an essay by some “Major Caudill” guy in it.  This is an instance of TITANIC editorial fail.  Seriously, the essay is in the book in its […]

  23. Two--Four says:

    […] Ted. You should write Marko a check. May 18, 09 | 10:49 am AxeBitesVarious guitars I see floating by, mostly Gibson and […]

  24. Tam says:

    P.S.: I even remember this phone conversation pretty distinctly, Marko. Distinctly enough to discuss it in a courtroom, if necessary…

    Lemme know what you need.

  25. Jim says:

    There’s a fairly popular song on the alternative-rock frequency which seems to speak fairly directly to this situation.

    Band is “Blue October”, and the tune is called “Dirt Room”.

    You really need to give it a spin and either transcribe the lyrics or download ‘em from somewhere.

    It’s delightfully evil, and is a hand-in-glove fit, here.

    Not that I’d wish it on the Nuge, but I’m sure his sense of sardonic snarkishness might even appreciate it.

    Oh, do loose the lawyers? Good hunting!

    Jim
    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

    P.S. I still have my copy of Dillon’s Blue Press with your article featured therein. Let me know if you need the copy?

  26. JTHM says:

    Ted is a straight up guy (or at least that’s my impression after 30+ years of following him) I believe he would never do this intentionally.
    I also believe you’ve every right to correct this by any and all legal means at your disposal.
    I’ll be watching this closely and wish for an amicable outcome.

  27. perlhaqr says:

    Wow. I believe this elevates Epic Fail to a whole new level.

  28. Tarn Helm says:

    Make contact.
    If an equitable agreement can be reached, so be it.
    If not, so be it.
    File.
    Fight.
    Win.
    Go to bank.
    Write your own book.
    Enjoy life. :)

  29. bobby b says:

    Two points:

    – The story is on the internet, verbatim, in quite a few places. Many of the copies have been there since before Nugent’s book was published. You may have a problem in that he can reasonably assert that he did do his proper checking, and that he found that bogus “Major” attribution in several locations. People need to be vigilant and proactive in protecting their property.

    – At some point, it’s going to be cheaper and easier to simply change your name to Caudill.

  30. Flash Gordon says:

    Relying on the doctrine of fair usage I copied this from keytlaw.com:

    It is extremely important to register your copyright before an infringement so that you can get attorneys’ fees and statutory damages from an infringer. Many times it is difficult or impossible to prove substantial monetary damages when content on a website is infringed.

    Since neither Ted nor you are liberals I’ll bet that Ted will offer to make this right and you will be reasonable about it.

    • MarkHB says:

      Since neither Ted nor you are liberals I’ll bet that Ted will offer to make this right and you will be reasonable about it.

      1) Fair use doesn’t apply. The article was copied in toto.

      2) So, all liberals are contract-breaking, oathless scum, eh? Lovely.

      • Flash Gordon says:

        MarkHB:

        Please read more carefully. I didn’t say Ted was relying on fair use, I said I was relying on fair use for the quote I lifted from Keytlaw.com.

        On liberals being contract breaking, I don’t think there was any contract involved in this matter, was there?

  31. ASM826 says:

    Is there any update on this? I had been expecting to see it either here or on Ted Nugent’s site.

  32. […] Congratulations to Stuck in Massachusetts, and all the other responsible bloggers, for a succesfull blogger shoot.  I especially love Marko’s nametag.  It’s made of win.  For those who don’t get the reference, see here. […]

  33. GreatBlueWhale says:

    Gee, Marko, maybe it would just be easier to legally change your name…
    :^)

  34. […] having been circulated on the internet attributed to this Maj. L. Caudill, it was published by Ted Nugent in his book Ted, White and Blue.  Thankfully, Ted made things right with Marko later that […]

Comments are closed.