A Case of Intellectual Property Theft

You have to read the fine print to find me.

In the course of a routine internet search, to see who’s posting things about me these days, I found this ad. It came as something of a shock to know that an issue of Proust Said That had been included in a volume of two of the books of In Search, published in India, for which the publishers used the initial Moncrieff translation of the title—Remembrance of Things Past.

I’m listed as an author, along with Marcel P., and the illustrator. Apparently they didn’t do any research or they’d know that “P” became my name and wasn’t an initial. They probably didn’t even read the issue they purloined, or they’d know who the illustrators actually are.

This book was published in March of 2018. They’ve been selling it for 2 1/2 years without going to the trouble of letting me know. Somehow they figured out that I’d entertained people into reading and loving Proust, with a quarter of a million readers a month, throughout the ’90s. So they added Proust Said That #2 to their Proust publication, as an entertaining incentive.

The publisher, Bahri, has been around for decades. It was started by an academic, who was concerned about the lack of books on linguistics produced in India. Dr. Bahri is no longer there, but his successors seem to lack his academic ideals.

I’d say I’m entitled to royalties. The question now is how to get them. In the meanwhile, I can at least content myself with the knowledge that somewhere in this world, my name exists next to Proust’s on the spine of a book.

By P Segal

P Segal, progenitor of DaDa, Proust and Italian Cooking. From North Beach San Francisco. Proust Said That and variably incontrovertible indications.

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