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Old 03-18-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
Daithi
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Pirated ebooks on Amazon?

It looks like the Kindle Store is hosting pirated books. I bought Stephen King's The Stand a little while back on Amazon and noticed that the ebook had a crappy looking cover, like you find on computer generated Project Gutenberg ebooks. At the time I wondered if the book was a pirated copy. Well, the book is no longer available in the Kindle Store, so chances are that it probably was pirated. I've seen other books with crappy covers and/or very low prices and it makes you wonder.

For some obvious examples you can look at 1984, Animal Farm, and Gone with the Wind. These are still copyrighted in the U.S. but not in Australia and Canada. Yet people have started selling them in the Kindle Store.

Seems the Kindle Store is ripe for abuse. It also seems that Amazon should clean up its own mess before accussing others of copyright violations.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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The first 2 Harry Potter novels were in the Kindle Store a while back.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:55 AM   #3
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I purchased "The Stand" with the crappy cover from both Amazon (.azw) and Fictionwise (in LIT).
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:56 AM   #4
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More lawsuits waiting to happen
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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The Stand on Amazon has the same 'crappy cover' that a lot of ebooks from that publisher have. It's also the same cover the $50 version from FW has IIRC.

I think it's more likely the publisher was getting a lot of questions asking why it was $9 on Amazon, but $50 at FW & BoB.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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I really can't imagine there being "pirated" books on Amazon; that would be comically bad for business. As AnemicOak said, it was probably the price point being an area of contention.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:48 PM   #7
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More lawsuits waiting to happen
Not necessarily. They might get a DMCA takedown notice but I doubt they'd be sued if they take them down in a timely manner.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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I bought The Stand back in July, and it's still in my purchases list on the MYK page, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't a pirated version. It's just a fairly generic cover, which quite a few ebooks I bought last summer had, but it does say Doubleday and has a full copyright page (at the end, a stylistic decision I heartily approve). The copyright page is quite long and includes the permissions for all the song excerpts used in the book. If this is a pirated version, it's one with unusual attention to detail

The book is no longer on Amazon, but I would guess it was for some other reason. When the pirated HP books showed up, the people who bought those got refunds and they were pulled from the list of purchased items. The Stand is still available for me to download on the MYK page.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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I really can't imagine there being "pirated" books on Amazon; that would be comically bad for business. As AnemicOak said, it was probably the price point being an area of contention.
They allow self publishing. Typically people put their own books up but somebody put up copies of some Harry Potter books awhile back. They were taken down within a day but they were still purchased by quite a few people. It's not like Amazon has people checking every book. These independent seller situations are kind of like ebay. People sell all sorts of knock off designer goods on ebay. Ebay tries to remove questionable auctions when they can but they can't catch everyone right away.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
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It looks like the Kindle Store is hosting pirated books. I bought Stephen King's The Stand a little while back on Amazon and noticed that the ebook had a crappy looking cover, like you find on computer generated Project Gutenberg ebooks. At the time I wondered if the book was a pirated copy. Well, the book is no longer available in the Kindle Store, so chances are that it probably was pirated. I've seen other books with crappy covers and/or very low prices and it makes you wonder.
Many of the books I've bought from FictionWise have had "crappy covers" - or even no covers at all. That doesn't make them pirated. Very often, publishers just aren't very good at creating nice-looking eBooks.

Quote:
For some obvious examples you can look at 1984, Animal Farm, and Gone with the Wind. These are still copyrighted in the U.S. but not in Australia and Canada. Yet people have started selling them in the Kindle Store.
Are you suggesting that every copy of "1984" sold in a US bookstore is also pirated? The fact that a book is still in copyright does not mean publishers can't publish it.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #11
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They allow self publishing. Typically people put their own books up but somebody put up copies of some Harry Potter books awhile back.
Just to clarify your valid point in case there's anyone who is not aware--J.K. Rowling has said she would never allow her books to be published digitally. So if Harry Potter books were up, they were unauthorized.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
The Stand on Amazon has the same 'crappy cover' that a lot of ebooks from that publisher have. It's also the same cover the $50 version from FW has IIRC.

I think it's more likely the publisher was getting a lot of questions asking why it was $9 on Amazon, but $50 at FW & BoB.
I bought mine from FW the week it was released for about $17 (and $9.99 from Amazon). At one point the Amazon price had dropped to below $3.00 then popped up again.

Very weird.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:16 PM   #13
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The Gone with the Wind, 1984, and Animal Farm examples are still in the Kindle Store. Lord of the Flies is another one, as are several more where the copyright is expired outside the U.S. but is still valid in the U.S.

Go to the Kindle store and take a look at nearly all of the Heminway titles (still in copyright even in Australia) and also Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold. Just crappy covers or are these books pirated?

There is also a group of well known titles with really cheap prices ($2 or $3) that I remember finding and wondering if they were pirated, but damned if I could remember which books they were.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:28 PM   #14
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This version of GWTW is from the actual publisher...
http://www.amazon.com/Gone-with-the-...7397186&sr=1-2

But you're right, the other versions listed for a lot less money are AFAIK not something that should be up there.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:30 PM   #15
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One reason why original covers are often not available on eBooks is art rights - they often have to be renegotiated as contracts in past usually did not cover electronic rights.
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