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Old 02-06-2014, 03:55 PM   #1
DrNefario
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Mary Stewart's Arthurian series still being knocked off?

I was searching on the stores for Mary Stewart's Arthurian books (The Crystal Cave, etc) today, and on the Kobo store I was offered a couponable omnibus of the first four, called Legacy. It seemed a bit too good to be true - especially as the books were all available separately, not couponable and the first was more expensive than the omnibus.

At first, I thought it was just a bad geo-restriction, but looking at it, I noticed that the publisher was Smashwords, which didn't sound right at all, and then searching the web I found a thread right here on MR from 2011 about what looks to be the same book:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=119244

If someone can explain to me how this is legit, then I'd be happy to buy it, but, honestly, I'd rather pirate it myself than pay some crook to rip off a 97 year-old woman. The persistence of these pirates is kind of amazing and disgusting.

Note that there do seem to be legit copies of the individual books available now, in the UK at least.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:57 PM   #2
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Hi - I bought it a while back from Amazon US. Like you I'd read it years ago, so searched out an e-copy.

The publisher states on the inside cover: "KGStudios holds exclusive worldwide rights to digitally distribute this title"

There are a 175 reviews at Amazon spanning 2 years. I didn't read every one word for word, but based on your concern, I went back and scanned them - no suggestion at all that it is pirated.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:51 PM   #3
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Yet a quick Google turned up no book producer just a couple of game/app and design companies so it may still be suspect... claiming rights doesn't necessarily mean that you have them... further research probably warranted...
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #4
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I sent an email to her UK publisher over a year ago. I'm not in the UK, but I'd seen an article listing the UK publisher. I asked regarding the Legacy collection being sold at both Amazon US and Amazon UK. I never heard back.

I see the Legacy collection is still at the US store, but not at the UK store. Even if her UK publisher doesn't have the US rights, the information should have gone to her representatives.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:47 AM   #5
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A lot of tradpub authors signed away their digital rights for peanuts in the pre-kindle era, especially those with old contracts that only covered print editions. So it is not impossible that a small ambitious operator might have acquired them in the 90's. They might have even passed through multiple hands over the years; book contracts often outlast the companies that negotiated them.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:21 AM   #6
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I can appreciate everyone wanting to do their due diligence here (out of respect for the author and her work) but don't let the price be a major sticking point. Having an omnibus edition available for less the price of ONE of the ebooks it contains is not all that unusual.

Whether they have the right to publish it is entirely different, of course, but the price just isn't all that revealing.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 02-07-2014 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Whoopsie!
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:58 AM   #7
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No, it wasn't just the price that made me think twice. I seem to remember Once and Future King having the same problem, and the omnibus in that case was from the same publisher. In fact, my initial worry was that the Blackberry icon was missing from the Kobo listing, making me think it might be one of their "magic" non-downloadable books. It was only later that I noticed it was published by Smashwords Editions, where the separate volumes were from Hodder & Stoughton.

It might even be completely legitimate, but I think I'm going to give it a miss.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:18 AM   #8
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One odd thing I noticed. The original posting was in 2011 at $9.99 and that page is now gone and a new publication date in 2012 is up with the book at $6.99 instead.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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Coker seems to be fairly accessible at Smashwords. Has someone thought to inquire there about their "publisher" status for this work?
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:00 PM   #10
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Amazon is fairly quick to pull down books that violate copyright. Since the book has been out there for quite a while, either the company in question does own the copyright, or the copyright holder hasn't noticed it available on Amazon. Given how famous the books are, I find the later hard to believe. My basic take on it is that as long as you purchase it in good faith, from a well known ebook store with a good reputation such as Amazon, you should be ok. It is almost impossible to determine via an online search who legally has the ebook rights to a given book.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:13 PM   #11
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When I saw it on amazon (.com) yesterday, it had no price, and today it didn't show up in a search. The fact that it wasn't on .co.uk was one of the things that bothered me.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNefario View Post
When I saw it on amazon (.com) yesterday, it had no price, and today it didn't show up in a search.
That may be due to your location. I'm in the US. I can buy it on Amazon.com for $6.99.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluribus View Post
That may be due to your location. I'm in the US. I can buy it on Amazon.com for $6.99.
What confuses me is that the original posting that was linked in this thread was for 2011 but the book now on Amazon has a 2012 publication date.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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OK - this was a long time ago, and I'll try to recount what I remember:

The original listing on Amazon was pointed out by one of our members in a thread here. A short time later, Amazon removed that ebook from their listing - I think because it was determined that it was an illegal set that violated copyright. (I'm not certain about that, but I do remember discussion about the issue of copyright.)

I remember someone commenting on the fact that the ebooks looks horrible. I was tempted to buy that earlier set, but then changed my mind.

That's about all I can remember.

Isn't the listing on kobo for only 2 of these titles in the series?
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:48 AM   #15
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Legacy is still listed by Smashwords so anyone in the world can buy it for $6.99 since they don't do DRM or regionisation
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/43827
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