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Posted: 12/26/2005 10:52:15 AM EDT

I was forwarded an email from I guy I never met, but I used to know his brother and he was a good guy. IM or email me if you can help and I’ll forward it to him.

"I haven't contacted some of you in some time, so you may not even be aware that I started a little publishing company earlier this year. That little hobby of mine has ended me up in a bit of a fix and if you know the right person, you could help me out of it...

I'll try to keep this as short as possible. There is a book publisher called TAN Books that was publishing, among MANY others, a book called Divine Intimacy for many years. Last year, they couldn't afford to keep it in print, and then they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I had many requests for Divine Intimacy and decided to look into it. I easily discovered that the Carmelite Nuns in Rome still hold the copyright to that work. They largely survive on royalties from this book. I spoke with them and they said that they didn't know that TAN was publishing their work and had not given them permission to do so, and they gave me exclusive rights to reprint it. TAN was still claiming that they were going to get Divine Intimacy back in print, so I informed them that they could not legally do that. In the meantime, I discovered that TAN was infringing many other copyrights and not paying many royalties that they owe on works they continue to sell, while hiding behind their bankruptcy for protection (see e.g. www.boycotttan.com). I finally heard from TAN's lawyers two-and-a-half months later when they offered to buy out my rights to the book. I informed them that by that time I had already gone to print and so was not interested in selling my rights. They have now filed a type of lawsuit against me called a declaratory action. Needless to say, it is very expensive to defend one's rights in a declaratory action, but, if I don't, the nuns and I will lose the exclusive rights to this work by default even though the nuns' copyright is incontrovertible. This is what TAN is hoping for.

Here is my question for you: do you know an attorney that might be willing to help me prevent this injustice pro bono (free of charge)? A bankruptcy and/or copyright attorney would be ideal, but any attorneys willing to help me with this free of charge would be very helpful, regardless even of what state they're in. Could you tell any attorneys that you know about this case and see if they would be willing to help? I would really appreciate it...

Thank you,
Andrew
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