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Old 08-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #1
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Harry Potter Pirated Editions on Kindle Again

Apparently badly OCR'd editions of 6 Harry Potter titles are now available again for $19.99 each - now listed as published by Amazon!

[Link deleted by moderator]

These editions have been available since the 16th. Wonder how Amazon will handle this situation? Amazon Discussion board posts indicate CS has been repeatedly notified about it.

Last edited by HarryT; 08-17-2009 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Link to illegal material deleted according to site policy
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
Apparently badly OCR'd editions of 6 Harry Potter titles are not available again for $19.99 each - now listed as published by Amazon!

[Link deleted by moderator]

These editions have been available since the 16th. Wonder how Amazon will handle this situation? Amazon Discussion board posts indicate CS has been repeatedly notified about it.

Now that's what I call piracy. +1 for cheek though Thanks for the story

Last edited by HarryT; 08-17-2009 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Link to illegal material deleted according to site policy
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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Apologies to the mod for posting the link - didn't realize the Amazon link would be considered a violation of site policy. The intention was to show the ingenuity (?) of the pirates in 1) still getting by Amazon's filters for illegal content, and 2) using Amazon's own name as the publisher, which probably helped in point 1.

One would think these books would/should have red flags in the Kindle book upload software system.
Or maybe this is a post-1984 test of Amazon's new resolve to handle these situations more gracefully.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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I am curious as to how many of these pirated versions of HP have been bought off Amazon.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:06 AM   #5
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The Harry Potter books seem to be gone. I just did a search of Harry Potter at the Kindle Store and none of the books show up.

But what this goes to show is that this is really Amazon's fault. Amazon should stop allowing books to be published without first verifying them. Someday some author is going to find an authorized eBook on Amazon and sue them and win.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:32 AM   #6
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Apparently Amazon is not doing its homework at all:

54 Books of Robert A. Heinlein - now listed at $200 published by "Amazon Digital Services" - another badly formatted obviously pirated edition. Still listed for sale.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:44 AM   #7
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AND - Stephen King - lots of newly added titles - all at $19.99.
AND - Roger Zelazny too

Edit: There is an on-going discussion on the Amazon Discussion Board about the King books - a post claims CS verified them as legit - and at $19.99!! More updates as they occur!

It's beginning to look like Amazon got loaded down big time this weekend with pirate copies of popular authors. I had noted a large jump in the total number of books available on Kindle (monitored in the Kindle forum) this weekend- a jump of several thousand in a day or so. Amazon will have fun trying to find & remove all of them, not to mention refunding purchases & deciding what to do about copies already purchased, since all are listed as published by "Amazon Digital Services."

I downloaded a few samples (yes you can get samples) and the appearance ain't half bad - no linked TOC, cover art, etc. But all I've seen are .azw and quite readable. The $19.99 price tag (and higher) is the give away.

Last edited by poohbear_nc; 08-17-2009 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Update King info
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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Amzon, turn off self-publishing and this problem won't happen. Then when any eBooks are uploaded, validate them first.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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Not to misquote Ronco: Wait, there's more:

The Wheel of Time Compendium (all9books) by Robert Jordan (Kindle Edition) for $200.
Sho-Gun for $89.99.

It looks like Amazon got targeted by a major pirate organization - wonder if Amazon can trace where the purchase price funds are going to - maybe Amazon is funding the successor to Pirate Bay?
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Amzon, turn off self-publishing and this problem won't happen. Then when any eBooks are uploaded, validate them first.
And how, exactly, does Amazon validate them?

One of the big problems with the current state of copyright in the world is that there is no directory of who owns what content.

It's fairly easy to determine who owns the rights to something like Harry Potter or Heinlein, but what about something a no-name author put out a few years back?

Or how about the Doc Savage and The Shadow stories where we have a company (Conde Nast) who says that they own the rights, but others (Blackmask) saying that they are in the public domain. (Story here.)

Of course, it would be a really nice thing if Amazon would pay to do all the leg work to determine the ownership of all these "abandoned" works, but I doubt that they could afford it (and it probably wouldn't be worth it).
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:45 AM   #11
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I assume the problem is similar to YouTube's. Unless someone reports something as a violation, how are they going to verify all of that mess at hundreds or thousands of uploads a day? And suppose someone sneakily starts self-publishing ebooks by an obscure public domain author (e.g., Dickens - ha!) but hides all the Harry Potter books inside them? And when that's discovered, they move to some other author. Either they need to live with the current chaos, move to some independent validation scheme, or disallow self-publishing. That would be unfortunate, I think.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:52 AM   #12
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I noticed Harlan Ellison's Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes at $20. It's available for less in his authorized Deathbird Stories, The whole book for $9.99 at fictionwise. If this is a pirated edition of Maggie, Amazon has some interesting times ahead of it....
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Amzon, turn off self-publishing and this problem won't happen. Then when any eBooks are uploaded, validate them first.
That's obviously the problem: Amazon doesn't want to put in the work required to check and validate anything. So far, they've settled for going after a violation when it was brought to their attention, which is obviously good enough for the law. But as poohbear suggested, there are probably loads of content that haven't been brought to their attention yet, bouncing around in the Kindle store.

Many more violation-floods like this might be enough to force Amazon to close the store to everyone but established publishers in time...
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
I noticed Harlan Ellison's Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes at $20. It's available for less in his authorized Deathbird Stories, The whole book for $9.99 at fictionwise. If this is a pirated edition of Maggie, Amazon has some interesting times ahead of it....
There's a slew of new editions of various authors at $19.99 or $20.00 prices. On-going discussion on the Amazon Discussion Board as to the legitimacy of some authors new Kindle editions. No announcement from Amazon yet. Samples are in .azw. Formatting quality varies widely.
You're right - this could be a nightmare to clean up.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:27 PM   #15
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I concur that Amazon should vet self-published books, even though it will slow down the self-publishing process and could incur a cost for self-publishers.

As to the "how," that's what database programmers are for. Amazon already has a fairly comprehensive list of books in and out of print, so it should be possible (though I'm sure far from easy) to use that as the basis for a verification system. It doesn't need to be perfect, it just has to do better than whatever they're doing now.

For what it's worth, Sony is also working on their own self-publishing ebook service. I for one fully expect the Greek Chorus of Mobileread to blame Sony when the Harry Potter pirated books are listed for sale through the Sony Store.
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