NOSTOS - April 6, 2001

Controversial biography of church leader falls victim to piracy

By Jerry Stamatelos

Montreal-based journalist Justine Frangouli is currently topping the Greek publication sales charts in the US with "I Monaxia Enos Asymvivastou" (The Lonely Path of Integrity). The Athens News Agency correspondent's authorized biography of Spyridon, former Archbishop of America, is being illegally printed and circulated within the Greek American community.

Book buyers in many American cities are claiming that their copies are among thousands of poor quality duplicates of the official edition from notable Greek publishing house Exandas. Stefania and Harry Nikolaou recently purchased 100 copies of "I Monaxia Enos Asymvivastou" and were shocked when they opened the boxes and found that they had purchased pirated copies, a fact they reported to the Greek publisher and the New York District Attorney. Many other US purchasers have made similar reports. At the center of the charges of theft of intellectual property is bookseller and publisher Sam Chekwas, the owner of a bookstore in Astoria, New York. Chekwas, in the midst of preparing for a Greek book fair, is the sole distributor and promoter of Greek books in the United States.

Exandas head Magda Kotzia condemned the illegal activity in a written statement to numerous publishers and book organizations in the US. The publishing house will not take any legal action at this time so as not to compromise in any manner the repute of the former Archbishop of America.

Those who have purchased duplicates are asked to return them to the source and demand a full refund.

[ NOSTOS - - April 6, 2001 ]