Pirates of (the) Amazon












Someone in China pirated an author buddy’s ebook and published it on Amazon. This is not an isolated incident, it happens all the time. After some communication with Amazon, the pirate copy was removed, but not before it had sold several copies.

I’m disappointed in Amazon.

I’m glad to use their platform to sell my books, but I don’t for a moment believe Amazon provides this service from the goodness of its heart. It makes money from my books. Amazon is the provider, I’m the client.

Shouldn’t a corporation protect its clients from fraud?

Surely there could be an automated program which red-flags a suspect product before publication. Hm, look, this exact same book is already on our website, at a different price. And look, this client does not have the same account. Better look into this before we publish it.

An example of how little Amazon cares about publishing illegal works is evident from the fact they will pay the pirate, as if they are the author and copyright holder of this work. Yep, as long as Amazon gets its share, and dutifully pays the publisher their share, what does it care if the real author is out of pocket?

My friend’s book was stolen and someone else profited from it. This is her book, her hard work, yet she’ll get nothing from those sales. She was told if she wants the royalties from this pirated ebook, she has to contact the pirate and get the money from them.

Yeah. As if that’s going to happen.

Fighting piracy on torrent websites is difficult. Sometimes the item will be removed after contacting the webmaster, sometimes not. But blatant piracy permitted by a major online book retailer? Outrageous!

Come on Amazon. Do something. Don’t let pirates take advantage of your services and of honest authors for the sake of a few bucks.



5 responses to “Pirates of (the) Amazon

  1. This happened to me recently.

    Beforehand I got over piracy quite a while ago, saw one of my books on torrent site almost a year ago, wasn’t suprised, didn’t care, its out there, it happens.

    However on Amazon it’s the fact that the pirate kindle version is actually linked to my genuine print version in the “Format” box. So all my efforts to make any kind of living off this have a pirate copy attached to the side like a cancerous growth. Like I say I can live with piracy but when it is presented / advertised / attached to your actual genuine legal copy? Twisted.

    I have contacted Amazon and from what I have gather reading others experiences I might have to look forward to the pirates putting it on again and again. To publish with an Amazon assigned “ISBN” all you have to do is tick a box that says something like: “Yes I am the copyright holder”.

    • UGH! Sorry it happened to you. I hope Amazon soon realizes the scope of the problem and puts something into place to check before a book is published, but I don’t know how easy/difficult that would be at the rate books are being published nowadays.

  2. This happened to me recently. It showed up on my Author Central page. I contacted Amazon and they had it removed within a week.

    It happened to me over a year ago as well. That one took a month to remove. This is a problem, but Amazon is realizing the problem and improving on it.

    • I hope there is an improvement. Amazon should close these pirates’ accounts and not pay them royalty, but apparently Amazon has not reached this stage in the area of improvement.

  3. Valerie J. Long

    I have no idea of the applicable laws in your country, but if that book was stolen (“pirated” sounds too adventurous), the retailer cannot own it, can he? Isn’t that called “fencing”? In that case, Amazon might be sued to at least return the money share they gained from those transactions, even if you can’t reach the thief. Probably it wouldn’t be worth the effort for just a few books, but if you find other victims and do a joined effort, that might make Amazon reconsider…

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