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The eyes of a Wolf always see straight into your soul ...

...You can't hide the truth from them


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Monday, 6 February 2012

MPG Books Group Ltd refuse to sign Intellectual Property Agreement ...

Words of a Wolf was released on paperback in 2010 and printed by MPG Biddles Ltd (previously Biddles but acquired by MPG Book Group Ltd).  I was impressed by the level of service by MPG Biddles and was keen to get the setup on the safe list of companies that do respect Intellectual Property (IP) on http://www.wolf-photography.com/html/IP-UK/html/companies_respect.html.

I contacted the company and asked them to sign an IP agreement stating that they would safeguard my work and delete it from their systems once instructed to do so.  I sent them a sample copy of the agreement which would have needed to be customised to this specific area of printing (eg kept on file until instructed to delete, title of book etc - whereas a graphic print job would be deleted as soon as the print job has been completed).

Unfortunately, MPG Biddles Ltd now have to refer all such enquiries to their parent company, MPG Books Group Ltd (based in Cornwall), who refused to sign.  When I contacted the Manager of MPG Biddles for a reason I was told, 'He doesn't want to sign it'.  This left me feeling very concerned with regards to the security of my Intellectual Property, so I contacted Neil Boulcher of MPG Book Group Ltd and explained that the IP agreement had to be signed if they wanted my business and that this requirement was part of a project to provide disabled veterans and other people with a safe list of companies that respect Intellectual Property who would be willing to sign an agreement stating so.  I also explained that there is also a list on 'RespectIP' that list companies that refuse to sign IP Agreements.

A few days later I received a letter from the Chief Executive, A Chard, together with a CD that had my book files saved on it.  The letter said,

'Dear Mr Sunkmanitu,

Further to your telephone conversation with Neil Boulcher and subsequent email, I hereby return your Intellectual Property 'Words of a Wolf'.  I can also confirm that no other copies are held by MPG Books Group and all files held on the Pre-Press systems at MPG Biddles Ltd have been deleted.

Whilst we appreciate your need to protect Intellectual Property, we have every right, without prejudice, to determine on what basis we undertake work for our customers.'

You have to ask yourself a question or two here:  Why would a company refuse to sign an Intellectual Property Agreement with a customer, especially when their business revolves around printing mainly copyrighted materials?  Why would they terminate the printing contract?

MPG Book Groups and MPG Biddles Ltd have since been added to the following list: Companies & Organisations that either don't Respect IP, refused to sign an IP Agreement or refused to reply to the enquiry.  You can draw your own conclusions as to their reasoning for refusal.  I see no valid excuse for refusal whatsoever by a company that I pay to print hard copies of my work for me.

Be careful with who you use to print your Intellectual Property or design your website etc. If they don't want to sign an Intellectual Property Agreement with you, I wouldn't do business with them as you don't know who's going to do what with your work behind your back.

The other thing to bear in mind is that, currently, copyright expires 70 years after the death of its creator.  My feeling is that, with current technologies, companies may decide to farm Intellectual Property for the future when copyright expires.  Make sure you know who holds your work and safeguard it.

Wolf

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