Colombo Turncoat Sues for Rights to 'Break Shot'

Simon & Schuster stole the rights to mob informant Kenny "Kenji" Gallo's life story, titled "Break Shot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia," Gallo is alleging in a lawsuit seeking an injunction and damages for copyright infringement.

Yes, the book was recently featured on this site when I quoted from it, as well as recommended it to all readers.

I was quite surprised that the book was unavailable on Amazon, except for "used" copies, one of which I snapped up; I had loaned my copy out and never got it back. I would think the publisher would relaunch a new version of the book considering that it could leverage the fact that it keys in on certain individuals involved with a new cast member of the hit show "Mob Wives."

Kenji has filed a lawsuit filed against the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, alleging that the company purloined the rights to the book by registering the copyright in the names of co-author Matthew Randazzo and former publisher Phoenix Books.

Kenny "Kenji" Gallo
Randazzo wrote the book with Gallo after reading the ex-mobster's blog, Hollywood Mafia, written while Gallo was in the Witness Protection Program. Gallo, a Japanese-Italian-American, said he had completed a first draft and had posted more than 1,000 stories on his blog when his co-author joined him.

Gallo sued the book's first publisher, Phoenix Books, claiming it released the book without paying him and then sold reprint rights to Simon & Schuster for $10,000. That lawsuit has been settled, according to the new complaint.

Randazzo assigned his copyright in the work to Gallo in November 2010, the complaint alleges.

Simon & Schuster has sold thousands of copies of the paperback through its  Pocket Star division, Gallo estimated. He claims the publisher blew off his complaints that he owns rights to the book.

"To date, Gallo has absolutely no control over the paperback book sales of his autobiography (which took him four years to write) or any way to earn money from said sales - or even any way to profit from the paperback edition's rights - because Simon & Schuster refuses to communicate with him," the lawsuit states. (Parentheses were included in the complaint.)

Gallo claims a screenplay he wrote based on his life story is in limbo because of uncertainty over who owns the copyright.

"Because of this 'limbo' status, Gallo is also unable to seek republication of the paperback with other publishers, much less for a sequel based on the book, despite expressed interest to that end. Nor is he willing to risk self-publishing the book through Amazon.com or though his own popular blog website until those matters are formally resolved," the lawsuit states.

Gallo is represented by Abraham Labbad of Pasadena.

Comments

  1. A wanna-be gangster got gangstered by book publishers; he would've never made it in the big city. Serves his big mouth right.
    Old-School Anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see this guy is despised, more than other rats like Calandra and Alite ...wonder ??

      Delete

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