When buyers of Simon & Schuster's $600 special autographed edition of Bob Dylan's new book "The Philosophy of Modern Song" received their copies a few days ago, they quickly figured out that Bob didn't actually hand-sign the books. The books included a certificate of authenticity signed by Simon & Schuster's president-CEO Jonathan Karp but when fans compared photos of the signature and determined that the signature was made using an "autopen" signature replication device. They identified at least 17 variations of the automated signature. Initially, the publisher held its ground, responding to refund demands by insisting that the limited edition "was personally signed by the author." After 48 hours or so, they changed their tune.
Emails that began going out early Sunday afternoon to complaining customers referred to a "mistake": "We apologize for the mistake that was made and are offering a full refund of your purchase. Please keep your copy of 'The Philosophy of Modern Song' at no cost. We hope you will enjoy reading it," read the email, also signed by Karp.
Wonder if Karp's signature was autopen too.