I wrote an Amazon book review of the paperback version of April Brown’s “Poetic Justice”. It felt a bit strange to do so considering I am a “character” in her book, and some of my own story overlaps with April’s story. I reviewed some early versions of certain chapters. But to see the completed book package is still very impressive to me. I did financially support the project by paying full price for my copy of the paperback. I give disclosure of my light involvement and relationship to the book.
The Very First Book on Copyright Extortion and the Dash Poem.
As a disclaimer and full disclosure, I am one of the “characters” frequently mentioned in April Brown’s new book but I am also a legitimate buyer / customer of the book because I advanced purchased the book at full price directly from April to support this project.
I can confidently say for myself and many others, that no one ever imagined the Dash Poem would affect so many people in unexpected ways. Since 2012, I have watched April Brown’s personal journey and becoming, by default, the most outspoken victim advocate on behalf of the “Dash Poem Extortion” victims I have ever seen. It is the premise of “Poetic Justice.” And “Poetic Justice” is also the culmination of her personal journey through this.
When you do Google searches on the “Dash Poem Extortion” all roads point to April Brown. It is inescapable simply because no one has taken on the role of victim advocate as vocally as April has. Linda Ellis wrote a poem in the mid-1990’s that has been mentioned in countless websites and media sources. In today’s vernacular, it would be called a “viral” poem. But that viral poem has a very dark and ugly side to it.
If you share the poem on your website, you run the high risk of becoming a victim of the “Dash Poem Copyright Extortion”. What is truly amazing is this “extortion” operation is run by only two people operating from their respective homes. And yet, the terror and fear they strike into so many people and organizations is astounding. April thoroughly describes the details in her book.
I have reported and spoken out on the issue of copyright extortion since 2008. But until 2012, I never knew there was such a thing as “poem copyright extortion”. In fact, I was initially skeptical of April’s claims and didn’t believe that such a small operation run by a housewife could paralyze so many people and organizations into silence and fear that they do and successfully generate tens of thousands of dollars per year for Linda. Again, April describes the beginnings of the community that would become her friends and allies as a victims’ advocate.
My early role in this is that I extended April a communication platform and invitation to my online community. I then attempted (without much success) to be a victim advocate for “Dash Poem Extortion” victims. It turns out I was not a good victims’ advocate in this situation because I did not relate to this particular group of victims’ irrational fears where I was publicly critical of their cowardice. But April was the one constant throughout the months and years.
In my one attempt to directly assist a victim from a $100,000 extortion letter in 2012, I inadvertently placed myself in the line of fire. Because of my very outspoken writings that allegedly “threatened” Linda, Linda took legal action against me in February 2013 in a way no one ever foresaw. April describes the legal drama that would unfold in the next two years.
April, already unhappy with being a victim and hearing dozens of victim stories, suddenly watched in horror, disgust, and anger that I (a friend, supporter, ally, and online community leader) become “victimized” by Linda. Linda utilized the local court and a court order to shut down the one important communication platform April and many others used to share information with others about the “Dash Poem extortion”. April suddenly became the lone victims’ advocate again, publicly.
After battling through two appellate courts for two long years, I ultimately prevailed. Behind-the-scenes out of the public eye, April was there and she is one of the most important allies and supporters I had during this time. She watched it all happen and describes it all from her perspective. Of course, my portion of the story is one small piece among many people’s stories told in the book.
The “Poetic Justice” book is about April’s journey and her story. It is the very first book that discusses the phenomenon of copyright extortion. April writes her accounts and stories of the many people who have intersected and come into her life. She shares her experiences in fighting Linda, the “Dash Poem copyright extortion”, her personal observations and opinions of Linda, and ultimately brings the seemingly array of unrelated people and events together into one compelling narrative.
Even though I was there for certain portions described in her book, it is still fascinating to read her accounting of all the disparate, intertwining events since 2011. It is worth your time to read this book. I recommend it. I think you will be amazed, angered, shocked, and surprised by the revelations as it relates to the famous (and now also infamous) Dash Poem.
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