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Old 02-04-2013, 02:07 PM   #31
Elfwreck
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The issues I could see being relevant:

If Penguin *knew* he was lying, or strongly suspected it, there's a potential case for fraud, for them marketing known fiction as nonfic. (ETA: Since the book was published more than 10 years ago, I don't think this is likely.)

If the companies he sued for libel, and committed perjury to win those lawsuits, want to sue for defamation/libel, they may have a case, depending on how the book portrays them.

If the book was marketed as "Lance Armstrong, Noble Bike Hero Who Was Totally Falsely Accused of Doping," the public may have a class-action suit grounds for refunds based on fraud. (This could be true even if Penguin didn't know; they're supposed to confirm their marketing choices.)

If, however, the book was marketed as "Lance Armstrong, Bike Celebrity, Tells His Story," I don't think there's much of a case for the public.

Comparing those last two would involve marketing specialists insisting that the flyers/ad copy did-or-did-not state or imply specific things. The blurb text at B&N says "This is the story of one man's journey through triumph, tragedy, transformation, and transcendance. It is the story of Lance Armstrong, the world-famous two-time winner of the Tour de France, and his fight against cancer."

I don't see an implication of "this man never used illegal drugs to win and never lied under oath."

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Old 02-04-2013, 02:34 PM   #32
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The legal case against Armstrong in any common law jurisdiction is straightforward, as it ought to be. He induced people to buy the book through the deliberately fraudulent misrepresentation of the fundamental facts about his career and his success. It may also constitute (in Australia) misleading conduct in trade or commerce under vthe Trade Practices Act.
The case against the publishers is much less clear, and would depend upon the extent of their prior knowledge.
The book stands in a different position to autobiographies which conceal or distort or misrepresent the truth, even deliberately; as people have said, you're a dill if you expect the truth in an autobiography.
The whole point of this book was not the autobiography - it was the courageous drug-free battle. If he had admitted taking drugs, then the whole premise of the book - and hence the book - disappeared.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:59 PM   #33
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Book Description (Amazon)
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People around the world have found inspiration in the story of Lance Armstrong—a world-class athlete nearly struck down in his prime, who came back to win the world's most grueling test of cycling, the Tour de France. It's Not About the Bike is the story of Armstrong's journey from inauspicious beginnings through triumph, tragedy, transformation, and transcendence. Though he's a hero to millions, he never adopts a hero's pose. In his down-to earth Texas style, he tells of his childhood, early success, near-fatal cancer, recovery, survivorship, victory in the 1999 Tour de France, marriage, and first-time fatherhood. Everyone knows Lance Armstrong is a passionate and fearless competitor. It's Not About the Bike reveals what is truly heroic about the man: his depth of character and generosity of spirit.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:53 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
Book Description (Amazon)
People around the world have found inspiration in the story of Lance Armstrong—a world-class athlete nearly struck down in his prime, who came back to win the world's most grueling test of cycling, the Tour de France. It's Not About the Bike is the story of Armstrong's journey from inauspicious beginnings through triumph, tragedy, transformation, and transcendence. Though he's a hero to millions, he never adopts a hero's pose. In his down-to earth Texas style, he tells of his childhood, early success, near-fatal cancer, recovery, survivorship, victory in the 1999 Tour de France, marriage, and first-time fatherhood. Everyone knows Lance Armstrong is a passionate and fearless competitor. It's Not About the Bike reveals what is truly heroic about the man: his depth of character and generosity of spirit.
That sort of marketing statement drives home the point I was making about the fundamentally dishonest nature of the book.
A representor may make a statement which prima facie is technically true; however this may tell only half the story. If a statement of fact is made but the representor fails to include information which would significantly alter the interpretation of this fact, then a misrepresentation may have occurred.
If Armstrong made the same sort of claims in his promo appearances (which he no doubt did), then it clearly leaves him open to actions for fraudulent misrep.
In addition, it also leaves the publishers open to actions for innocent misrep even if they had reasonable grounds for believing that their false statements were true.
The difference between fraudulent and innocent misrep lies in the remedies available. In this case it would probably make no practical difference - the remedy would be refunding the purchase price/cost.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:00 PM   #35
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I want to sue the Kardasians just for polluting my eyeballs with all their rubbish.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:38 PM   #36
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Steve Wozniak says the coming Steve Jobs biopic is far from the truth. And I find Woz credible. So can I make that one of the two or three movies I see this year and then get my money back?

Taking this too seriously, Random House is owned by a German charitable foundation, and so it would be morally much better to sue in-it-for-the-money movie studios for lying biopics than to go after the book publisher. I told my DW that this wouldn't be a popular argument to make, since people here don't always like Random House, but she said to go for it
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:50 PM   #37
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Steve Wozniak says the coming Steve Jobs biopic is far from the truth. And I find Woz credible. So can I make that one of the two or three movies I see this year and then get my money back?

Taking this too seriously, Random House is owned by a German charitable foundation, and so it would be morally much better to sue in-it-for-the-money movie studios for lying biopics than to go after the book publisher. I told my DW that this wouldn't be a popular argument to make, since people here don't always like Random House, but she said to go for it
I know that you're only joking, but hereabouts, to sue for misrep you have to prove that it was the lies that induced you to enter the contract. You're out of luck if you go in with your eyes wide open.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #38
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I know that you're only joking, but hereabouts, to sue for misrep you have to prove that it was the lies that induced you to enter the contract. You're out of luck if you go in with your eyes wide open.
He will, obviously, lie about that.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:25 PM   #39
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He will, obviously, lie about that.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:40 PM   #40
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What Jozawun said is basically right; there may be a cause of action against Armstrong under the California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Basically, if you make certain kinds of false statements in order to sell goods, and people buy the goods in reliance on the false statement, you've violated the act and can be sued.

The hardest thing about these kind of suits is proving reliance, and I see that as being a big problem in this case. I'm not sure how the plaintiffs will prove that they bought the book because they believed that it was all true, as opposed to having simply bought the book because it was written by Armstrong and they were interested in what he had to say.

Reliance is a problem for the class, too, such that it might be hard to establish a class action.

(There's also a statute of limitations issue, but it might be tolled).
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #41
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I am puzzled by the fact that Mr Armstrong has not been charged with perjury. It's clear that he lied under oath on several occasions.
I believe the statute of limitations has run out on most of them. It's usually around 6 years.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #42
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Did James Frey get sued for lying in his memoir A Million Little Pieces?
Yes. They settled, rather than allow a precedent to be set. The same might happen in this case.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:03 AM   #43
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That sort of marketing statement drives home the point I was making about the fundamentally dishonest nature of the book.
A representor may make a statement which prima facie is technically true; however this may tell only half the story. If a statement of fact is made but the representor fails to include information which would significantly alter the interpretation of this fact, then a misrepresentation may have occurred.
If Armstrong made the same sort of claims in his promo appearances (which he no doubt did), then it clearly leaves him open to actions for fraudulent misrep.
In addition, it also leaves the publishers open to actions for innocent misrep even if they had reasonable grounds for believing that their false statements were true.
The difference between fraudulent and innocent misrep lies in the remedies available. In this case it would probably make no practical difference - the remedy would be refunding the purchase price/cost.
I quoted the description because I was curious if the news changed anything. The description isn't changed, so if anybody buys the book today can they sue? And what are they suing for? The people who found the story inspirational 12 years ago never considered that the guy who had cancer and cycled faster than those other guys who kept being accused of taking performance drugs might have taken drugs himself?

Did the readers buy the book because he beat cancer, or because he won the Tour de France?

I'm not saying that cheating is wrong, but this guy has a point:
Quote:
Cyclists all doped. Which makes our original question so difficult to answer: Who now holds the Tour de France titles from 1999-2005?

Let’s start with 1999 and work our way forward. We want to find the rider free of drug taint. We don’t want to go crowning a guy then having to take his title away so soon after we did so to Lance. 1999 should be easy compared to following years because Marco Pantani, the ’98 champ, had already faced a drug suspension earlier in the year and skipped the Tour. (Also, he died a few years after when he OD’d on coke and we want our new winners to be alive, so we can give them victory parades through their hometowns—we’re about feel-good stories here.)

It appears second-place finisher Alexander Zülle is our new 1999 champion! But wait. The Swiss cyclist was a member of that tainted Festina team that had just been thrown out of the Tour a year before. He even later admitted that he used drugs, and tested positive. So Zülle is out. I’d name Fernando Escartin the winner, but in 2004 a former teammate spilled the beans about Escartin’s team’s systemic doping, so that’s not a safe pick. In fourth place was Laurent Dufaux, but like Zülle, he was on that Festina team. Ángel Casero, the fifth-place rider, was named in Operacion Puerto, a big investigation into by Spanish police that took down the doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who provided the doping fix for countless riders. Abraham Olano finished behind Casero, but he was a happy customer of Italian doctor Michele Ferrari (Armstrong was another client), who has been banned by USADA for giving drugs to his athletes. From my research, it looks like Daniele Nardello should be champ because he’s the highest finisher not twisted up in a drug scandal. Congrats, Daniele. Someone should find him and tell him.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:11 AM   #44
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:58 AM   #45
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Taking this too seriously, Random House is owned by a German charitable foundation, and so it would be morally much better to sue in-it-for-the-money movie studios for lying biopics than to go after the book publisher.
No moral problems here. The charity constract is only/mostly for cutting taxes.
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