Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pirates Get Published

If you get PublishersLunch, you might’ve seen the post on Thursday about “Plagiarized Titles Plague Kindle Stores”. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me considering I have to Google myself regularly to find pirating ebook sites giving away free downloads of my ebooks.
What’s the next logical step? Unethical people steal this material, re-title, slap a new book cover, add their name as the author and self-publish it on Amazon and on other ebook stores.

Erotica titles have been hard hit with this type of plagiarizing on Kindle.

FastCompany is investigating hundreds of plagiarized titles from Literotica, a free erotic fiction site. They found one author (thief) Maria Cruz had over 40 plagiarized titles, another Robin Scott had 31 books. Even after Amazon removed all 51 of Cruz’s titles, after all of the complaints, she posted new material days later.

Why? How? Why hasn’t Amazon and the other ebook stores banned her forever? And I do hope the money made off of those books will eventually be distributed to the rightful authors. Oh, and she is being sued right? At the very least. I have images of breaking fingers and smashing computers, and I’m not a violent person. I’m an ethical author. And any ethical author understands the hard work and time it takes to write a book.
It takes three seconds to steal one from the comfort of your laptop.

I don’t know if SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is the answer. There’s good and bad about that. But there has to be stronger enforcement.

Fast Company suggested a simple solution. Amazon would require an author to submit a valid credit card before self-publishing on Kindle. If later they’re found to have plagiarized, then $2,000 would be deducted from their CC. I don’t see that working either. For one thing, people can get debit cards with limited withdrawal amounts. And these “authors” are making a ton of money on these stolen ebooks, $2,000 is nothing. Not a deterrent. Ban them? Yes. Run content through plagiarism detectors like Turnitin or iThenticate? Yes, if they’re accurate. And legal action for theft.
I don’t mind competition with talented and honest authors, but it makes me ill to think thieves are on the Best Seller’s List with work they didn’t produce.


Karin Shah said...

I had heard there had been abuses, but this is ridiculous! I think it's important of we find one of these plagarized works, that we take the time to post a review stating the facts. This might be the best action. How many of us can afford to sue?

Karin Shah said...

that would be "when" not "of"

Rebecca Lynn said...

Forget prosecution. People who pirate the creative work of others should be drawn and quartered. Amazon, get on that.

Lisa Kessler said...

Ugh! THat is horrid and really really low...

It seems like Amazon and other eBook sales sites could run new submissions through a program to check for plagarizing. So it takes one more day for the book to go live...

It would be worth it!

They wouldn't sell stolen tvs on the site, why well stolen books?


Amber Skyze said...

OMG I had not heard of this. I'm not sure why I'm surprised, but I am. That's very scary.
I do like the possible solution though.

Gerri Bowen said...

If they don't already, Amazon should hire someone with a 'Pirate' mindset to keep one step ahead of the maggots.

Adele Dubois said...

Outrageous! The pirating is out of control. It's infuriating.


Unknown said...

This really is outrageous.But you gotta believe that what goes around comes around.
Veronica Sinlgeton

Nancy Lee Badger also writes as Nancy Lennea said...

This is very difficult to read. Imagine what these pirates could produce if they actually did their own work! How sad.

Lee Rowan said...

SOPA is a VERY BAD idea. It would allow ANY site to be shut down only on the basis of ALLEGED piracy. That means if anyone (such as a large corporation or political party) doesn't like what an indie blog is saying -- it files an allegation that it THINKS there's plagiarism -- and the site is censored.

NOT a good solution... not when it's so easy to demonstrate proof of copyright via online publishers.

Me, I curse them. May all their thefts be returned to them threefold.. in this lifetime.

Irene said...

Ah, hell. Just when I've nearly made up my mind to put one of my novels up on Amazon, I read this. Who is going to know whether I wrote the ms. or someone else? I have proof in my computer...this one isn't backlist, it's one I wrote as a sequel. How can anybody check that?
The proof it's mine is my computer but how do you check that? I'm not so sure I want to do this any more.

Cris Anson said...

Thanks for discussing this subject so vital to all authors, Kathy. The problem is worldwide and won't be easy to quash. I'm with the person who wants them drawn and quartered.


I hate Liar, and I deplore a thief.
Amazon has eough credentials and
money in place to make sure that thes people are banned and made to
give back the money.
KARMA will get them!

Anonymous said...

Anything which would STOP pirating/plagarising would be welcome!!

I feel so sorry for the authors affected, and I wish I could do something (apart from complaining to Amazon etc when I become aware of it happening); but if readers complain enough, then maybe the big corporations might take the hint :)

There MUST be some means out there to prevent this happening????


Kathy Kulig said...

Karin, it is ridiculous & frustrating to authors.

Rebecca, Amazon & other ebook stores need to introduce strict controls in their self-pub programs.

Lisa, I agree some kind of check. Good point about the stolen goods.

Amber, Hi, I had no idea it was this bad either. Very scary and sad.

Gerri, Seems like Amazon needs to hire a lot of people to handle this problem.

Kathy Kulig said...

Adele, It is insane!

Veronica, I believe that too. What goes around...

Nancy, What these pirates could produce on their own? Probably nothing. They're too lazy.

Lee, I don't know all the specifics of SOPA. It does sound extreme, but there needs to be some kind of modified version of that, I think.

Irene, Your own credibility and good writing will speak for itself.

Cris, hey, It's very frustrating to ethical authors.

StoriDiva, I'm with you. Stealing I don't understand.

Carole-Ann, I don't think there's an easy sol'n. I hope they come up w/ something soon.