Legal Notice to Goodreads

The following are the contents of the legal notice sent by me to Goodreads. Goodreads is a website owned by Amazon. The notice is in reference to my book “Kerala Hugged“. I am self-publishing the electronic copy of this book and won’t self-publish any paperback edition, and it doesn’t look like any traditional publisher would publish e-book, paperback or hardback edition of this book. Nevertheless, even if any publisher would publish this book, it would be subject to the following notice sent to Goodreads. Of course, I won’t be selling my book on Amazon unless the notice has been honored. The notice is as follows:

Please take notice as under:

1. That Goodreads has hosted the prologue of my book “Kerala Hugged” on its servers at the following link: (omitted).

2. That one Ms. Heena Rathore P. has written an unprofessional review of my book with 2 star rating at the following link: (omitted).

3. That the review hosted by Ms. Heena Rathore P. is unprofessional for the following reasons:

a. That Ms. Heena Rathore arbitrarily downgraded the review rating from 3 star to 2 star without assigning any reason and, on further probing, came out with a completely frivolous reason that the original rating she gave to my book was 2.5, but while rating on Goodreads and Blog, she rounded it off to 3 but later felt the round off should be other way, so she rounded it off to 2. The rounding off can’t be whimsical, it has to follow the rules of rounding off. The 2.5 rating can only be rounded off to 3, not to 2 as per rules. Furthermore, there is no proof of rounding off because she, as per her own assertion, rounded off the rating on her blog as well, which was completely unnecessary as she could have easily given a 2.5 rating on her blog, where she is the master and was not obliged to round off the rating. So, the original rating of 2.5 never got represented anywhere in any public forum. Of course, the Goodreads has no way to ascertain whether Ms. Heena Rathore actually gave the initial rating off 2.5 or 3, so the original rating would be what appeared on public forums first, which was 3. And certainly it was downgraded to 2 without assigning any reason, which is highly unprofessional and has tarnished the image of my book and my image as an author.

b. That the comments of Ms. Heena Rathore following the review were completely unwarranted and highly defamatory of my image as an author. A professional reviewer is not expected to make such unwarranted and defamatory comment. Furthermore, my comments to her review have been deleted by Goodreads, which has removed all my defense against her review from the public eye. There was nothing warranting the deletion of those comment as would become evident from the following screenshots, where my comments are also visible: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byg6eujwvhMrWHFRekZ2Uzl6dms/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byg6eujwvhMrbF9HckllS0J6SkE/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byg6eujwvhMrUnp6NGFJN2lZdHc/view?usp=sharing

The above mentioned deletion of the comments is a biased action of Goodreads, which is a separate cause of action.
Not only this, Goodreads has also removed my account and banned me from using Goodreads without giving any concrete explanation or even opportunity to defend myself, which has made it impossible for me to defend my book on Goodreads. Removal of my account is also a separate cause of action.

4. That, in my capacity as the author of the book, I have flagged the review and have requested you to take off the unprofessional review, but you have failed to honour my request. The failure to honour my request is the impugned action of this legal notice.

5. That I also requested you to remove all my books from Goodreads as I am unable to defend and protect them when I am banned from using Goodreads, but you have declined that also.

6. That, from all the above, it is very clear that you have not only denied me all the opportunities to defend and protect my book but also actively participated in defamation of mine and my book by Ms. Heena Rathore P. through her review and comments on Goodreads.

7. That therefore I call upon you to immediately remove the unprofessional review of Ms. Heena Rathore P. with all its accompanying comments from the Goodreads website, ban Ms. Heena Rathore P. from posting any review on Goodreads, and thereafter run the following ticker on the all the pages of Goodreads website for a period of one week:

“Goodreads apologize to Mr. Ankur Mutreja, the author of the book ‘Kerala Hugged’, for failing to duly remove the unprofessional review of Ms. Heena Rathore P. with all its accompanying comments. Goodreads has now removed the said review with all accompanying comments and has also banned Ms. Heena Rathore P. from posting any more review on Goodreads.”

8. That on your failing to immediately execute as stated in the para 7 above will force me to take appropriate legal action against Goodreads at its own cost and injury.

9. That the above notice is without prejudice to my rights in a court of law or other wise.

Comment Dt. 03.06.2017

I have received the following reply to my legal notice above. Needless to say, I am not satisfied with the reply.

Hi Ankur,
 
Thank you for taking the time to contact Jeff Bezos.  Our team has been asked to take a look at this for you and address your concerns.  It may help to clarify that we do not dictate on what basis Goodreads members form their personal opinions about a book.  Members are free to give any rating they choose, so this member’s 2-star rating doesn’t violate any of our rules.  In addition, the content of the review does not violate any of our review guidelines, so we will not remove the review or take any action.
 
We went ahead and removed the description you added that contained the prologue of your book, so it no longer appears on the book page.  However, as we’ve mentioned before, we do not remove the records of published works from our database.  It may also help to clarify that we are not selling or distributing your books on the site, but we do display metadata about a book’s publication so our members can keep track of books they’ve read.
 
Please note that this will be our final decision on these matters.  However, if you ever have concerns about any other content you see on the site, please let us know and we’ll be happy to look into it for you.
 
Sincerely,
The Goodreads Team

About the Author

Ankur Mutreja
Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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