Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Clearly I Was Mistaken

I apologize if you tried to visit earlier today and the site was down.  I'll try to explain...but I've had a long day and am truly disheartened right now.  Please forgive me if I don't make the best sense.

I took the site down purposely...but decided to put it back up when I received an email from a reader asking where it was.

Here's the deal.

I received a "Cease and Desist" letter this AM from a law firm representing E.L. James.  The letter (which I am not allowed to publish or they will take action against me) insisted I remove my tshirt shop in which I had 3 Fifty Shades-themed shirts for sale.  I didn't think the shirts I designed would be a problem since I didn't choose quotes I thought would be a copyright infringement.

Clearly I was mistaken.

I am way too tired to get into the semantics of the situation...but to say it has completely saddened me is an understatement.

This blog serves no other purpose than to make the few people who read it laugh...and to discuss the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

And let me be clear: in the letter I received, Ms. James' law firm said she was fine with me keeping this blog running; just not the tshirt shop.

But let me mention something.

I have defended E.L. James and the Fifty Shades series more times than I can count.  You think the email exhanges suck?  Eff off; I think they're great.  You think Christian is a doosh?  Eff off; he had a rough childhood.  You don't think the writing is up to par?  Again - Eff. Off.  "Good" doesn't have to equal "Shakespeare".  I found myself throwing all of this at people...as well as tweeting "Dr. Drew" and telling him how ignorant his theories on the first book were...especially since, at the time, he hadn't even read it.

I thought all of that counted for something.

Clearly I was mistaken.

As for the shirts, I didn't sell so much as one.  And Spreadshirt.com gets paid for the shirts; not me.  Any slight commission (and I mean slight - as in, a couple of bucks.  They'd be too expensive, otherwise) I would have made would have gone toward my costs to upkeep this blog.  Sure, Blogger.com is free.  However, the chat software, domain and multiple tshirt shops on Spreadshirt.com cost money.

Let's be clear about something else.  I'm not some company that just wants to make money off Ms. James' success.  I don't mass produce these shirts and sell them on the street corner in New York City.  I'm not like the people selling the Royal Family coffee mugs at Princess Di's funeral.

And let's face it - when you're a TRUE fan, it's FUN to wear a shirt that mentions a line or character from our favorite book.  We do it out of respect for the author/writer; not to take money out of his or her pocket.

I thought the fact that I promote the Fifty Shades series - coupled with the fact that I am a one-woman operation who doesn't even advertise here, in order to keep the site fun - would have kept me from dealing with this type of thing.

Clearly I was mistaken.

I thought - naively enough - that it was about the story...and the wonderful world of Christian Grey...and not about money.

Clearly...

I was mistaken.