The second edition of Montgomery lawyer Tommy Gallion's book about Alabama political corruption inexplicably contains a statement on the copyright page that the book is a work of fiction, and Gallion states in a letter (dated 10/16/20) to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that it almost had to be a deliberate act of sabotage and demands corrective action.
U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) comes under heavy criticism in the book, and Gallion's letter suggests that Jones, or someone connected to him, might be tied to the change.
The first edition of Shadow Government, Southern Style: Political Corruption from D.C. to Dixie, released by Amazon Publishing, contained a correct statement on the copyright page, near the front of the book, and it reads : "The characters and events portrayed in this book are true, based on personal knowledge, memory, and research of the author."
For the second edition, which includes Part Three, the statement says, "The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarities to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
How did the change happen? That remains unclear, but Gallion seems determined to find out. He writes to Bezos:
I spent eight years researching the material for this book. Since the book came out in the marketplace several months ago, it has done very well. Amazon has awarded it five stars. I selected Amazon Publishing to publish my book because of its alleged good reputation in the publishing field.
After the first edition was published, I received information that caused me to write a revised second edition. This revised edition was published several days ago. The first edition contained an introduction and Part One and Part Two. The second edition contains Part Three and a revised Table of Contents, which is the subject of this letter. Otherwise, the second edition was to be identical to the first edition. My editor sent the second edition to Amazon Publishing with only the above changes.
Yesterday, my phone rang off the hook with people who were confused as to the blatant and illegal changes to the book, without the permission of either my editor or me.
This change had to be deliberate as shown above. This specious and malicious act destroyed not only the book, but my reputation and credibility that can never be repaired.
I have appeared on talk shows and am appearing before the Montgomey Lion's Club on Friday regarding the book. I have a book signing in Fairhope, Alabama, at the oldest bookstore in Alabama, to a sold-out crowd on Saturday.
My book has uncovered some of the most corrupt political prosecutions in the history of our country. The book discusses well-known politicians, both Republican and Democratic, such as former Democrat U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, his client Karl Rove, U.S. Senator Doug Jones, and many others.
Could this lead to legal action? Gallion's letter suggests the answer is yes. He writes to Bezos:
In order to mitigate my damages, I respectfully request you or someone in your organization do the following:
(1) Immediately send out the correct copyright information to every person who has bought the second edition for Amazon;
(2) Forward to me the name and contact information for the person at Amazon Publishing that made this unauthorized change to my boook;
(3) Please give any information of anyone mentioned in my book that contacted you or anyone at the Amazon organization or The Washington Post, which you own, about this book.
(4) Provide executed sworn affidavits from you and the head of Amazon Publishing attesting that both of you have no relationship of any nature with the people mentioned in my book; and
(5) The affidavits should include you personally, any Amazon Company employee. and any Political Action Groups ("PACs") that have contributed to the election of U.S. Senator Doug Jones, directly and/or indirectly.
I suggest you have Amazon's attorney look at the violations of copyrights contained in "Counter-notification under 17 USC Sec. 512(q)(3) referred to as DMAC." I have talked to several people in the publishing area, and all have said that this unauthorized change of my book had to be deliberate based on the facts stated above.
Your immediate response will be greatly appreciated.
Thomas T. Gallion III