The Hustle apologises to Anna Cleary

The Hustle apologises to Anna Cleary

The Hustle publishes an official apology to Anna Cleary for infringing copyright.

Updated 23/7/2016 12:30pm: Added a link to the original article at The Hustle.

This morning (at least, from where I’m sitting), The Hustle updated John Havel’s piece on how to game the Amazon bestseller list (background here and here) with an apology to Anna Cleary, whose book, Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin, was plagiarised as part of Havel’s experiment. Here’s a screenshot of the apology (link to source):

The Hustle apology to Anna Cleary - 23/7/2016

I do feel, based on my admittedly limited correspondence with Havel, that he and The Hustle are genuinely sorry for having done something so — in Havel’s own words — ‘douchey’. But as commenters in my previous post and on Twitter have pointed out, copyright infringement and plagiarism, though related in this case, are different things, and plagiarism of works in the public domain is still plagiarism. So if anyone is thinking of replicating Havel’s experiment or doing something similar, perhaps think about not using someone else’s work as a shortcut. And if you’re now curious about the book that sparked this controversy, the ebook is available at bookshops. (Also, I may be biased, but I prefer the Australian Mills & Boon covers!)

Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin
Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin by Anna ClearyMills & Boon | 9781742783468 (Aus) | 9781426832437 (US) | Extract

The rebel billionaire… Connor O’ Brien has scars – inside and out – proof of the dark and dangerous life he leads. The innocent girl next door… Inexperienced Sophy Woodruff has never known a man as devastatingly sexy as Connor. Intense, brooding and distant, this bad boy is everything she shouldn’t desire… He’ll take her – and show her the most exquisite pleasure! Despite his vow of non-commitment, Connor can’t resist bedding Sophy. But Sophy is a virgin, and once he’s taken her innocence he’s not sure he can walk away…

Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Library


  1. Sam says:

    Thank you.

    You’re on point with your reporting. Very fast, easy to read, and engaging.

    If you wanna work with us, let me know. Although we have different view points, we respect that.

  2. Alex says:

    According to John Havel’s LinkedIn: “Hustle Con teaches startups tactics through our conferences and website. Kinda like TED Talks but not as hoity-toity and more actionable.” And yet he can’t tell the difference between items in the public domain and stolen work in a pirate site. I find that hard to believe for a company that purports to help startups here in the Bay Area (Silicon Valley). And if this is the type of stuff they want to teach startups, yikes. But at least they finally apologized to the author.

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