FedEx just dropped off an envelope containing the items above: a small stack of correspondence, a copy of a signed license agreement, and a check. The Nugent folks have retroactively paid for the right to print the essay of mine they published in Ted Nugent’s book “Ted, White and Blue”. My very nice lawyer sent a letter and gave them a call, they basically said “Ooops—our bad,” and we exchanged our respective ideas as to how to rectify the oversight. I asked for a particular amount (the same money I received for one-time print rights when I sold the essay for the first time, to Dillon’s Blue Press), and they agreed.
As you can see from the picture, we’re not talking a huge sum of money here, but it’s definitely not chicken scratch to a freelancer. In addition to paying for the print rights, they’re also going to give me a full attribution if they end up printing a paperback version of “Ted, White and Blue.”
My lawyer in this case was Adam Gonnelli, of Faruqi & Faruqi in New York City. He’s a very nice, very professional guy, and he kept me constantly appraised of our progress with the Nugent folks. If you have a need for legal services, I highly recommend Adam. His firm does consumer class actions, and also represents workers who do not get paid appropriate overtime, or work "off the clock" with no pay at all. This copyright issue was probably a bit out of his usual area of action, but he didn’t flinch at the comparatively minor legal issue of my dastardly plagiarism case. (Thanks again, Adam, and I’m buying the drinks the next time we’re in the same zip code together.)
So there you have it: writer’s material got borrowed without attribution or permission, reader let writer know about it, nice lawyer sent a letter, a few phone calls were made, and writer got paid for his work. Better late than never, I say.