Trestle Press Ordered To Pay $750,000 In Damages
Over a year ago, we reported on the woes of one Trestle Press, who were caught red-handed stealing copyrighted images for their eBook covers. There were some pithy (non)apologies made on the part of Trestle's founder, Giovanni Gelati, and the infringing images were removed. Surely, we thought, the nightmare was over…
But the story didn't end there, and thanks to some Nancy Drew-like sleuthing from author Anne McDonald, we can see the whole picture now. You can read her entire account on her blog, but in a nutshell, McDonald became suspicious of Gelati and his Helping Hand Press, a faith-based publishing venture. After doing some digging, she discovered these lovely tidbits:
- Helping Hand was in fact just Trestle Press in disguise,
- Gelati had stolen the name from another publisher,
- his name wasn't Giovanni Gelati (which means Joe Ice Cream), but was in fact Michael Brachelli, sometimes known as the Ice Cream Man
- he was not licensed by the state of Pennsylvania to operate a business,
- he refused to revert the rights to a manuscript back to its author,
- he defaulted on a lawsuit against Trestle to retain those rights, and finally,
- in his absence the judge ruled that Brachelli pay the plaintiff $750,000.
So there you have it, folks. Michael Brachelli, aka Giovanni Gelati, aka The Ice Cream Man: known graphics and manuscript thief, indebted to an author for three quarters of a million bucks. I'd advise against sending this guy any work.
Anyone have horror stories with this guy you'd like to share? Or how about publishing scumbags in general?
To leave a comment