Corrupt Federal Judge
Even so, the copyrights were all valid. Of Survivors 1 and 2 Judge Waters wrote (Exhibit B- 19), "The evidence before the court indicates that Survivor 1 and Survivor 2 were publicly distributed in 1984, more than one year before the date of the first publication. Thus, the copyright protection on these works has been forfeited."
The allusion to 1984 indicates an August 1984 ad in American Survival Guide (Exhibit B-41) featuring Survivors 1 and 2, Poor Man's James Bond, Granddad's Wonderful Book of Chemistry and others. The same ruling would have invalidated the last two, but did not.
The books distributed in 1984, and before and after were duly copyrighted earlier editions. In the 1987 edition of Survivor 1, the first page (not the title page) says "Copyright 1976 by Kurt Saxon." In the 1988 edition of Survivor 2, the first page (not the title page) says "Copyright 1977 by Kurt Saxon."
The books in the ad were 11 1/2 x 14, on newsprint and, except for a 1930 home workshop manual added as filler, were identical to the original 24 issues copyrighted separately and bound in their original tabloid format.
The Survivors 1 and 2 of 1987 and 1988 are 81/2 x 11, on glazed paper, each with 1 1/2 times more material. They were registered as compilations. The "Date-of first publication of this particular work" (Copyright registration form TX) was 1987 for Vol. 1 and 1988 for Vol. 2. Neither "particular work" existed in 1984.
PMJB 2 was first published in 1986. The copyright registration said it was first published in 1988. The copyright notice for the first printing of PMJB 2 was typed on the title page by Plaintiff. When Harper reset the title page for the second printing he mistakenly wrote "1988" instead of "1986." When Plaintiff filled out the copyright form he was copying from the second printing and repeated Harper's error. It was a simple clerical error, not meant to deceive so could not have invalidated the copyright. Moreover, the first printing reflected the original copyright date of "The Poor Man's Armorer" copyrighted by Kurt Saxon and distributed in 1977. (Exhibit B-42) This is not shown on the title page of the second printing but the Poor Man's Armorer's copyright date is on page 6 of PMJB 2.
Judge Waters ruled the copyright to PMJB 2 forfeited. Regardless, a judge's ignorance of the validity of a document does not invalidate the document.
Discrediting the above three copyrights was important to Judge Waters. Otherwise he might have had to acknowledge that Harper had transferred 9,282 stolen books to Blann with a retail value of $157,794, losing the case for the defense.
Had Judge Waters been impartial and wanted to see if Plaintiff's material was protected, he had but to ask. But throughout the trial he did not once address himself to Plaintiff. Had he done so, the proof would have been presented immediately, as it was in the courtroom throughout the trial.
But none of this mattered to Judge Waters. He knew Plaintiff had authored The Poor Man's James Bond and was a Survivalist and was therefore beyond the Pale.
During the trial, Judge Waters leafed through the PMJB and commented, "I'm very disturbed by this material, especially the part about poisoning winos." Did he feel threatened? No matter. The subject matter of Plaintiff's works was not supposed to have any bearing on the outcome of the trial.
When Blann ran out of the PMJBs he had illegally kept after the property was signed over to him, plus something like 3,414 New Improved PMJBs illegally transferred to him by Harper, he had Harper print 5,370 more. (Exhibit C-25). Harper called Plaintiff and told him he was printing a run of PMJB 1 for Blann. He asked Plaintiff if he would like a run of New Improved PMJBs since all but the first 20 odd pages were the same and costs could be cut for both parties by running both editions at the same time.
Plaintiff told Harper he didn't want him to print PMJB 1 and sent a letter of protest. (Exhibit C-17). They were printed anyway. (Exhibit C-25).
Blann purposely removed the copyright notice from that printing, jeopardizing its copyright. Blann wanted others to believe the copyright no longer belonged to Plaintiff. (Exhibit B-30).
Although Judge Waters quoted the law: "A licensee's publication without copyright does not invalidate the copyright unless publication occurred by or under the authority of the copyright holder," he still ruled the copyright invalid.
Judge Waters knew Plaintiff had protested the printing and had no control over it, and in point of fact, Plaintiff didn't even know the copyright notice had been left out until much later. Even so, Judge Waters ruled, "Saxon has failed to establish the applicability of any of the S 405 exceptions. Therefore, the copyright protection on PMJB 1 has been forfeited."
This ruling is not only completely wrong, but if allowed to stand, it threatens every copyright in existence.
An important point in the trial was Judge Waters' refusal to see the marketability of the books Harper and Blann stole from Plaintiff. Defense maintained only the 1,000 authorized books had been marketed. Plaintiff sought to prove the 1,000 would not fill even the orders from the initial 135,000 catlogs Blann ordered from Harper.
Blann had been printing and sending out many hundreds of thousands of catlogs. He had been buying name lists representing many thousands of weapons buffs who were the best market for Plaintiff's books and sending them catlogs. Blann was also selling thousands of Plaintiff's books at gun shows, from his own tables and also to other gun show dealers in such books. He also had display ads in just about every national gun magazine.
He was also selling thousands of Plaintiff's books to Plaintiff's former dealers, who were also selling them through catlogs and display ads in national magazines.
A definite factor in the sale of the books was that Plaintiff's books had been virtually off the market for two years. Now with PMJB 1 in a new format and enlarged and with the brand new PMJB 2 and 3 plus Chemistry and the new Survivors 1 and 2, Blann had new books for the same market. Even those who had bought Plaintiff's original works wanted the new editions.
Blann had no problem selling a paltry 17,164, or an average of 2,860 of each title in the next few months.
But Harper wasn't doing that well, in giving Plaintiff so much credit, on behalf of Blann, Harper was deeply in debt to DP&L. What with Blann clearly cornering the market in books stolen from Plaintiff, Plaintiff was unable to make large enough payments to satisfy Harper. On August 3, 1988. Harper wrote Plaintiff a four page letter explaining how much he had gone into debt printing the 30,000 books and how much Plaintiff still owed.
The letter listed five books prepared for printing at $4,000 each (PMJB 2 had been prepared previously), or $20,000. Next was a cost of $5,000 for paper for each of the six books, or $30,000. Then was the cost of $8,000 for the printing of each book, or $48,000, for a total of $98,000. Harper had borrowed from his wife and son and was deeply in debt to DP&L and feared an accounting.
The letter listed a payment of $7,500 from Blann for the 1,000 authorized books. It followed with "Total paid, $33,500" and "Balance, $68,396."
Soon after writing that letter, harper regretted it. Had Plaintiff come up with the balance and demanded delivery, an accounting would have had to be made of the books illegally transferred to Blann. The remainder of the books could not have been reprinted as cheaply as had been done in increments of 5,000. Too much juggling of figures would have tripped him up with DP&L.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."
Moreover, Harper couldn't apply the moneys paid by Blann for the books to Plaintiff's account because Blann wasn't supposed to have them.
So in subsequent letters, Harper denied having printed 5,000 of each of the six books. Too late!
When confronted with the letter of 8-3-'88 at the Deposition, (Exhibit C-3), Harper babbled. "But these figures don't have anything to do with anything. They don't have anything to do with books that were printed. They don't have anything to do with what Kurt paid. They don't have anything to do with anything. This is what it would have cost had I printed five thousand copies of each of those books. And that was never done."
Of that most incriminating letter, Judge Waters wrote, "On August 3, 1988, Harper sent Saxon the figures on Granddad's, Survivor 1, Survivor 2, PMJB, PMJB 2 and PMJB 3. These figures indicated Saxon owed a total of $98,000 for printing 5,000 copies of each of the six books.
"Harper testified that these figures represented the amount Saxon would have owed DP&L had 5,000 copies of each book been printed. Harper stated he had written this letter in anger. Italics Plaintiff's.
This was the end of Judge Waters' comment on the letter. Note: he didn't comment on the inclusion, "Total paid by Kurt- $33,500" and "Balance $68,396." Judge Waters makes the letter unimportant by saying, "Harper stated he had written this letter in anger."
So Judge Waters discounted the letter's contents because Harper was angry! According to Harper and Judge Waters the letter was simply a cost estimate. Then why the anger? Harper was angry because Plaintiff had only paid $33,500 of the $98,000 he owed. But if the letter was only an estimate, Plaintiff would not have owed $98,000; would not have already paid $33,500. If the letter was only an estimate and Harper was angry, Harper would have simply refused to print the books and the matter would have ended then and there.
Judge Waters willfully, wrongfully and with extreme prejudice, discounted the most important document. That document proved Harper was a liar. It proved he had indeed printed 30,000 books for Plaintiff, had delivered only 11,836 and could not account for the remaining 17,164, unless he admitted selling them secretly to Blann.
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