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Thread: [Content site] MF Publishing London

  1. #1
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    [Content site] MF Publishing London

    Anyone had interaction with this outfit recently? They've been posting 'freelance writers wanted' ads all over the internet for the past few weeks. They've got a 'blog' set up (it's painful to look at):
    http://www.Mfpublishing.wordpress.com
    but no web site.

    My hubby and I run an online writers' forum (The Write Idea http://www.helenwhittaker.net/phpBB2). One of our members posted a query about them, research and intelligent questioning ensued and then ... MF Publishing London joined our forum as a member. I let him in to see what would happen.

    Big mistake! A guy named Paul from MF Publishing London has subsequently:
    * threatened us with legal action
    * misspelled the word 'libelous' numerous times
    * contacted our web provider to lodge a complaint
    * threatened us ... again ... with legal action
    * made several demands to remove posts he deems objectionable and, even though we have complied with all of his requests, once again, threatened legal action

    At The Write Idea, we have merely asked questions regarding the validity of MF Publishing London, querying who is running it, what their qualifications are and where the money is coming from to pay the writers they are trying to hire.

    Please let me know if any of you out there have had dealings with this organization. I'm becoming increasingly annoyed by this guy Paul and his bullying methods.

  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Aptly named, it seems.
    Emily Veinglory

  3. #3
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Yeah. Wonder if the guy knows what "MF" commonly stands for?

  4. #4
    Your friendly cynic Anna Magdalena's Avatar
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    How awful for you. Looks fishy in every way. And threatening people with legal action before they've even started doesn't look good either. How to win friends and influence people. Not.

    I may be wrong and this is just an idea but maybe they will charge applicants for these 'information packs'. Usually the most logical way to recruit people is to give full information upfront and welcome enquiries. Maybe there will be no reviews website at all...

    Then again, maybe I'm just a cynical old so and so...

  5. #5
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Magdalena View Post
    maybe they will charge applicants for these 'information packs'. Usually the most logical way to recruit people is to give full information upfront and welcome enquiries. Maybe there will be no reviews website at all...
    That's exactly what our group's been surmising over at TWI. Without getting answers from MF Publishing London, it's kinda hard to know for sure, though, isn't it?
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
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  6. #6
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Legal action in the UK is very expensive, especially in libel actions.
    This guy is just blowing smoke.

  7. #7
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    I say consult a solicitor if necessary (I don't know what was contained in those posts you removed), and then restore them. All of them.

    Unless UK law is vastly different from US law, and the posters in your forum were simply speculating and asking questions, it's valuable information for others (and his responses and threats even more so) and certainly not actionable.

    The threat of legal action is the golden tool of scammers and incompetents. No one wants that, so the threat alone is often enough to get them what they want.

    He requested access to the fire. Let him smoke himself back out.
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    What does MF stand for?

    I agree with waylander about the legal issues, they can also take quite a while to get going.

    Visiting the wordpress site that guy seems to have a fondness for the ; amongst other things.


  9. #9
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Thanks, waylander and Giant Baby. I sooooo agree with your thoughts! We're currently waiting to see if MF surfaces again in our forum (haven't seen him all day). Tomorrow, we start asking questions again.
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



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  10. #10
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by para View Post
    What does MF stand for?

    I agree with waylander about the legal issues, they can also take quite a while to get going.

    Visiting the wordpress site that guy seems to have a fondness for the ; amongst other things.
    While I was googling MF Publishing, I happened upon this:

    MF
    Noun 1.mail fraud - use of the mails to defraud someone
    fraud - intentional deception resulting in injury to another person

    That wordpress site makes my eyes itch.
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



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  11. #11
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Kindly put, para. You meant a fondness for the consistently incorrectly utilized ; I believe?

    Hurts my brain-balls.
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  12. #12
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Sorry, R.E.D. Cross posted. We're itching and aching together on this one.
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  13. #13
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Baby View Post
    Kindly put, para. You meant a fondness for the consistently incorrectly utilized ; I believe?

    Hurts my brain-balls.
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



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  14. #14
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    TheRightEyedDeer:
    A guy named Paul from MF Publishing London has subsequently:
    * threatened us with legal action
    * misspelled the word 'libelous' numerous times
    * contacted our web provider to lodge a complaint
    * threatened us ... again ... with legal action
    * made several demands to remove posts he deems objectionable and, even though we have complied with all of his requests, once again, threatened legal action
    If you've removed all posts that this Paul fellow has deemed objectionable, then I suggest that you email back to him and ask him on what grounds he still wishes to pursue libel action. In that email, I'd remind him that there is no Legal Aid in the United Kingdom for defamation law suits and therefore he will be responsible for all costs and that as part of the English legal process, you will have full discovery over his business practices (including methods of payment, his means of business etc etc). I would conclude the email by stating that if he is intent on pursuing legal action against you, then he should let you know the name of his solicitor and their contact details so that you can liaise with them direct.

    People like Paul are vermin. They threaten legal action at the slightest provocation but 9 times out of 10 don't have the bollocks to go through with it. Given that you've complied with his requests (and personally, I'd have told him to go stick it up his jumper and come back with a court order), he's not going to have a leg to stand on.

    TheRightEyedDeer:
    At The Write Idea, we have merely asked questions regarding the validity of MF Publishing London, querying who is running it, what their qualifications are and where the money is coming from to pay the writers they are trying to hire.
    And there is nothing in English law that prevents you from asking questions. In fact, the fact that Paul signed up as a member meant that he had a right of reply if there was anything there that he wanted to set straight. The fact that he chose not to and instead resorted to legal threats would suggest to an impartial observer that he can't give a convincing answer.

    One thing I did notice from the blog is that the address they give for submissions:

    MF Publishing London (Applications), New Cobon House, Suite 210, 3 Cobon Road, Docklands, London, E3 2DA.
    appears to be a mail forwarding service (thank you Google) which can be hired for £40 for 3 months or£120 for a year. Now, there's nothing wrong with using a mail forwarding service (and this particular one appears to be entirely legitimate and has been in existence for over a decade), but the fact that MF Publishing is supposedly looking for a load of editors and writers, who it's proposing to pay, when it doesn't have a permanent office site, doesn't have a registered address and indeed, does not appear to be a registered company, does not exactly inspire confidence in the long-term business strategy of Paul and his friends.

    So if I were you, I'd also ask Paul what his registered business address is so that you can investigate launching a civil action against him for harrassment.

    MM

  15. #15
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    MM, that's brilliant. We will henceforth attempt (again) to enter into a dialogue with this guy. I'll start by sending him an email.

    We were aware that the address he has listed on his blog is a mail service. He seems to have a chronic problem with spelling ... Cobon House and Road is actually "Corbon".
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



    TheRightEyedDeer

  16. #16
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    TheRightEyedDeer:
    We will henceforth attempt (again) to enter into a dialogue with this guy.
    Don't dialogue with him - you don't want to give him that kind of legitimacy.

    Set out the action that you've taken to address his complaints, tell him that he needs to precisely set out what his remaining complaints are in writing and in sufficient legal detail for you to consult with your attorney, inform him what the legal process is in England re libel actions, tell him that if he wants to continue his nonsense then you will only deal with his solicitor from hereonin, which is why you need the contact details and finish by saying that if he doesn't stop threatening and harrassing you, you're going to look towards taking legal action against him, which includes tracking down his internet service provider to get his personal details and finding out who the backers are of his alleged website to look into the possibility of restitution against them.

    The guy has v. little credibility and I think you should make clear that having gone along with his nonsense for this long, you're not prepared to tolerate it any longer.

    MM

  17. #17
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Thanks again, MM. Here is the text of an email I have just sent off to him:

    Hello, Paul. Further to the interactions you've had over the last 24 hours with our internet provider, NamescoUK, and our subsequent compliance to your requests, I'd like to make a few things clear.

    There is nothing in English law that prevents any of our forum members from asking questions. In fact, the fact that you signed up as a member of The Write Idea means that you had right of reply within our forum in order to set things straight. The fact that you chose not to and instead resorted to legal threats suggests to me that you aren't able to give any convincing answers.

    If you are intent on pursuing legal action, please be aware that there is no Legal Aid in the United Kingdom for defamation law suits. You will be responsible for all costs. And, as part of the English legal process, we will have full discovery over your business practices (including methods of payment, your means of business, etc. etc.) If you remain intent on pursuing legal action against us, then please let us know the name of your solicitor and their contact details so that we can liaise with them directly. We also would like to request at this time receipt of your registered business details (legal name, company registration number and physical address) so that we can investigate launching a civil action against you for harrassment.

    Thank you.
    Couldn't have done it without you, MM. Will keep you posted.
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



    TheRightEyedDeer

  18. #18
    Your friendly cynic Anna Magdalena's Avatar
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    Good luck.

    I am not an expert on law but I believe the UK Tradings Standards departments (local government based I believe) will investigate what appear to be dodgy practises to part innocent people from their money. (Not that I'm saying this is, by the way.)

    I still suspect such 'businesses' work in this way. People will apply for an 'information pack' which will say very little of any value. They will be charged for this. Then nothing happens. This kind of scam is rife--usually on postcards put in newsagents' windows where jobs appear to be offered. Often the 'job' is to recruit more 'workers'.

    How many editors and writers does one website need to review TV, Film and books, anyway?

    There is also a BBC TV programme called Watchdog that investigates this type of thing.

  19. #19
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    MF posted a reply on our forum this afternoon. The thread is open to visitors if anyone would care to go and have a read.
    http://www.helenwhittaker.net/phpBB2...pic.php?t=4734

    He still seems to just want to whine and not pony up with details about his organization.
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



    TheRightEyedDeer

  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll add the bit of info here, too: MF Publishing London is not to be confused with MF Publishing Limited (formerly MF Consulting Ltd.).
    ICAO
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    II 2016: 2017:

  21. #21
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Goodness, what a tool.

    Just treat him like a proper troll and ignore all future postings. Nothing will pain him more.
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  22. #22
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    Thanks, I'll add the bit of info here, too: MF Publishing London is not to be confused with MF Publishing Limited (formerly MF Consulting Ltd.).
    Yes, thanks CaoPaux. We have been made aware of that and have made it clear in our forum.
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



    TheRightEyedDeer

  23. #23
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    TheRightEyedDeer:
    He still seems to just want to whine and not pony up with details about his organization.
    If I were you, I'd print out his responses or screencap them, just in case Paul decides to do some more sabre-rattling in future.

    MM

  24. #24
    the land of black flies TheRightEyedDeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    If I were you, I'd print out his responses or screencap them, just in case Paul decides to do some more sabre-rattling in future.

    MM
    Thanks, MM. I started doing that a few days ago.
    Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
    - Gene Fowler



    TheRightEyedDeer

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    OK - now I feel really sick - I'm new to the online writing game and just spent ages putting two reviews together for MF Publishing job and emailed them over with CV . Not too happy with a 'rogue' having all my contact details and possibly now going to plagiarize my copy! Anyone got any suggestions? Help, help, please

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