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Stolen Books.

txjoe68

I am sorry to hear that some great writing by some of Ya'll have been stolen.
Wish I knew who it was so I could introduce them to the South Texas swamps.
I did have a chat with Amazon Help and informed them of waht was going on and if anyone would like a copy of it they can E-Mail me and I will send it to them.

Please keep up the good work and great stories
Joe

Replies:   Nizzgrrl
Nizzgrrl

@txjoe68

I just had a "chat" with a couple of Amazon folk about aiding and abetting fraud. They supposedly checked storiesonline and agreed with me that all of Hooriya Ahmed's offerings appeared to be plagerized.

I just asked when would Amazon remove the stolen material or would they require a cease and desist order or necessitate class action since Amazon appeared to be complicit in the fraud as they were still selling the stolen material after being informed of the intellectual theft. [Good lord, what a sentence!]

I didn't threaten, I just inquired. And as we all know, inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, I also found Ernest Bywater's work listed on ebay by Hooriya Ahmed. The sale period is closed. I always swore I would never go to ebay for anything but I hope it was worth it.

Ernest Bywater

I became aware of the issue about 6 hours ago. I don't have an Amazon Account, but my son does, so i had him act as my agent to lodge a copyright violation request with Amazon, where he quoted both the Lulu and SoL web pages for the stolen story. He also posted a review with the same information and grading the story low because it's stolen.

So far the only action by Amazon is to acknowledge receipt of the complaint.

shinerdrinker

Does it make me an ass when I wonder "Why aren't they stealing my story on SOL? Is there something wrong with it?"

Tee Hee. Just kidding, everyone. May the criminal be thoroughly flogged with a nice piece of hickory while hanging upside down in a wet, burlap sack.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Ernest Bywater

The punishment should be the continuous listening to 2,000 hours of congressional meetings so they can be bored to death.

Replies:   Nizzgrrl
Nizzgrrl

@Ernest Bywater

Make that speeches by our new noble leader and I'd agree with you. Well, maybe boring is not the best description. As much as a I cringed writing that overlong sentence in my reply above -- at least it was a complete sentence. Even with all of his money and his supposed Univ. of Pennsylvania Wharton degree no one has taught him to use complete sentences.

alchemist_uk_2000

i read some works that be stolen also discovered that he got page on another site link below hope helps get thinks corrected.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/16227249.hooriya_ahmed

p.s thanks authors for time and effort you put into writing :)

Replies:   Peter_H
Ross at Play

Attempting to think "outside the box" here ...
Doesn't these criminals' scam rely upon works being there long enough before being detected for some proceeds from sales to get through?
Is it such a burden for the payment to all new authors posting on Amazon to be delayed for six months, and then paid if ownership of the copyright is not in dispute.
It seems to me that SoL and other sites (with subscription fees) have a pretty strong prima facae case for a class-action suit - alleging complicity in and profiteering from fraud by others - with the potential for substantial punitive damages - and the certainty of substantial negative publicity.
It seems to me that it is not an unreasonable burden on Amazon that whenever money is in dispute they should ask any claimants to provide copies of identity documents that would allow the police in their country of residence to track them down. The vast majority of "disputes" would be resolved by which party was willing to identify themselves.
Is there a law firm out there, hoping to establish a reputation for taking on Big Bastard Inc., and willing to take on this case on a no-win, no-fee basis?
As a matter of tactics, I imagine the law firms opening gambit should be to begin the 'discovery phase' by asking for the first 100 words plus (purported) author details of every work of fiction they offer for sale. My guess is Amazon would be desperate to ensure that data was not compared to similar data from the claimants' sites, by plagiarism-checking software, with the results ending up in the public domain.
* * *
I would welcome any comments by Lazeez on these ideas.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Nizzgrrl

Oh, I also found Ernest Bywater's work listed on ebay by Hooriya Ahmed.


The results of his thieving are on ebay.co.uk. Does that mean I'm living in the same country as that piece of excrement?

AJ

dotB

I hope the S.O.B. is caught and charged. He and his ilk are one of the reasons I no longer post on SOL. I got tired of chasing down various sites (usually porn sites) where my stories were reposted under other "writer's" names - in other words 'theft of intellectual property,' otherwise known as PLAGIARISM.

K Pelle aka dotB

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej
Updated:

Just had a bit of fun checking into the person. I typed this as I found things so later entries may correct earlier ones. This is not everything - I just got bored!

Three sets of photos

1. a young looking Arab (?) girl playing with makeup including to look male.

2. Older (perhaps mid 20's) attractive lady

3. Same as 1 but without disguise make up - probably taken when she was young.

All photos in western clothes, no head scarf

UK resident at present but an interest in the UAE - magazine in western script (I didn't read anything but photo details)

birthday 21st July. From other evidence I would guess early twenties. Earliest social media account found was opened in 2015

Some interest in David Warburton Member of Parliament for Somerton & Frome in Somerset, UK

I wonder if he is her MP?

2 Instagram accounts, one in Arabic script but I think the entries on that have been copied from elsewhere.

Music interest; Arabic though I saw one Indian musician included

A LinkedIn account in this name indicates a Pakistani residence

Apparent interest in art, hairstyles, nail decoration

She seems to be spreading books around Amazon - Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, Japan,

I don't know the date of the following entry:

21-year-old Hooriya Khan lives in Karachi, Sindh. On the web, Hooriya goes by the alias heenaah and @Aaliprincess

Books on Amazon, Goodreads, Omorefunsticks,

It might be worth having a look at her list of interesting books on https://www.wattpad.com/list/116912077-hooriyaas-reading-list

question and her answer 4 months ago:

Q What do your teachers say about you ?

A Most innocent student of the year 😏

Vlad_Inhaler

What are the chances someone is using a fake name here?

Dominions Son

@Vlad_Inhaler

What are the chances someone is using a fake name here?


To commit mass copyright violations for profit? Who would do such a thing?

KinkyWinks

I always read direct from SOL, I have never downloaded a story. I wonder what percentage of the readers use the downloads? If it is a very small percentage, is there a way to stop the downloads?

Ernest Bywater

@KinkyWinks

is there a way to stop the downloads?


no - because save page as will still work.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

no - because save page as will still work.


I've been to sites where that was disabled.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


I've been to sites where that was disabled.


I've never seen them able to disable the facility except where they use complicated fancy scripts and not html. When using the advanced features of some scripts you can disable basic html functions, but it also means it may not display properly in some browsers and some mobile devices.

edit to add: I tend to avoid sites that have weird scripted pages, and I know many others who do the same.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

is there a way to stop the downloads?

no - because save page as will still work.

Some folks here will have seen that where contributors have already saved stories they are loath to send copies to other people because of common decency towards the original author. If only others had the same moral standards ....

garymrssn

@KinkyWinks

It is technically impossible to prevent copying of anything that can be seen on a video display. The same goes for audio. If it can be seen or heard, it can be copied.

sejintenej

@Vlad_Inhaler

What are the chances someone is using a fake name here?

Well they want to get paid by Amazon etc. who would make the cheque out to the alleged author.

In checking out the name that had come to mind but it is a rare name combination.

OTOH there used to be a thief in the Post Office who would half-inch letters to the tax man and deposit the cheques in an account in a bank in the UAE in the name of I. N. Landre Venue or something like that.

In view of current international anti-money laundering regulations banks worldwide (except a certain island in the Indian Ocean) must hold considerable proof including photograph of the identity and address and business of every account holder. A person who suddenly starts getting such cheques or transfers would be required to account for them and unless there is a very good story there is a special police division involved. Having dealt with them I know the USA authorities and those of some other countries are also red hot on this. Of course Pakistan banks ........?

docholladay

@KinkyWinks

I have downloaded stories for later reading or just to keep them available. I have seen too many disappear over the years that I enjoyed reading. However I will never sell one or claim it as my work.

REP

@KinkyWinks

If it is a very small percentage, is there a way to stop the downloads?


No. What you need to remember is when you read a chapter of a story, you downloaded the chapter from the SOL website.

For a thief, it doesn't matter if they download a story one chapter at a time, or all at once.

awnlee jawking

@KinkyWinks

is there a way to stop the downloads?


If they signed up to SOL with their real name, Lazeez can nuke their account. That will stop the downloads for about half a microsecond.

Are any of the victims British? They could complain to the police.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Are any of the victims British? They could complain to the police.


Plagiarism is not a crime.

Copyright violation is a civil matter. The victim can sue for damages, but what damages would someone occur for a story posted for free?

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Copyright violation is a civil matter.


Then why is the uS Dept of Justice stomping all over Kim Dotcom?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Plagiarism is not a crime. Copyright violation is a civil matter.

Yes, but accepting payment for something the seller has misrepresented to customers may be fraud.
That's why my suggestion above involves forcing Amazon to only send to those who provide a traceable identity. That alone should be enough to deter most of this nonsense.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Copyright violation is a civil matter.


It can also be a criminal matter under some circumstances at least under US law.

(a) Criminal Infringement.—

(1) In general.—Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed—

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

(2) Evidence.—For purposes of this subsection, evidence of reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself, shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement of a copyright.

(3) Definition.—In this subsection, the term "work being prepared for commercial distribution" means—

(A) a computer program, a musical work, a motion picture or other audiovisual work, or a sound recording, if, at the time of unauthorized distribution—

(i) the copyright owner has a reasonable expectation of commercial distribution; and

(ii) the copies or phonorecords of the work have not been commercially distributed; or

(B) a motion picture, if, at the time of unauthorized distribution, the motion picture—

(i) has been made available for viewing in a motion picture exhibition facility; and

(ii) has not been made available in copies for sale to the general public in the United States in a format intended to permit viewing outside a motion picture exhibition facility.


https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

my suggestion above involves forcing Amazon to only send to those who provide a traceable identity


I can only speak about an American author, but Amazon does require proof of identity. They report your income to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service - income tax) so they require your real name and social security number. And if you want the money deposited into your bank account, you need to give them your bank information.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

It can also be a criminal matter under some circumstances at least under US law.


I didn't know that.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Xalir

So my response from Amazon was that they would absolutely remove my book from Amazon, but I'd also asked for an accounting of how many times the seller had actually managed to sell the book and that wasn't something they included in the email. I think they want to put an end to it as quickly and painlessly as possible. I want the bastard tracked and punished, even if it's a matter of Amazon blocking him as a seller and trying to recover some of the money he stole even if they only return it to the buyers.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Then why is the uS Dept of Justice stomping all over Kim Dotcom?


Because they can.

On top of criminal copyright infringement charges, he has been charged with racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I didn't know that.


A lot of people don't know that. Again, that's just US law, I have no idea if UK copyright law carries any criminal penalties.

sejintenej

Just in case someone missed it G Younger has put some info in his blog at
http://storiesonline.net/blogentry/40403

Dominions Son

@Xalir

I think they want to put an end to it as quickly and painlessly as possible.


A couple of points on US law. Services like Amazon are protected from liability for infringing content posted by third parties. However if they do not remove the content promptly when notified they can lose that protection and become liable for the content themselves.

I want the bastard tracked and punished, even if it's a matter of Amazon blocking him as a seller and trying to recover some of the money he stole even if they only return it to the buyers.


Under US tort law (this is not specific to copyright), if you do not act promptly to minimize your damages when you become aware of them, you can under some circumstances lose the ability to recover damages at all.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Xalir
paliden

I have sent emails to Renpet and Lazlo Zalezac. Both authors have had at least one of their stories stolen and posted on amazon.com by hooriya ahmed.

https://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Dancer-Hooriya-ahmed-ebook/dp/B01MY653UR/ref=sr_1_29?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1489607535&sr=1-29&refinements=p_27%3Ahooriya+ahmed

https://www.amazon.com/Mothers-Daughters-hooriya-ahmed-ebook/dp/B01MR0XOKF/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

but Amazon does require proof of identity.

That might make finding a solution easier.
It appears to me that at present sites selling individual e-books have an interest in says there's nothing they can do to detect plagiarism, and even if found it would be a civil matter for the authors to pursue.
It also appears that sites selling subscription services have a common interest in forcing the other sites to do what they practically can to detect and deter systematic plagiarism for profit.
I am curious to know what, if anything, Lazeez has attempted to protect his livelihhod.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

but Amazon does require proof of identity. They report your income to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service - income tax) so they require your real name and social security number.


I don't know what it's like now, but years ago when I first investigated Amazon, they did not require a proof of identity if I gave an address outside of the USA. But did require I either filled in a form and proved proof of identity to reduce the tax, or let them deduct 50% withholding tax.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Under US tort law (this is not specific to copyright), if you do not act promptly to minimize your damages when you become aware of them, you can under some circumstances lose the ability to recover damages at all.

My hope there is a reasonable case that if they "do not act (before) to (prevent) (actual monetary) damages when (they reasonably could), (they might) under some circumstances (become liable for) damages (themselves)."

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

It appears to me that at present sites selling individual e-books have an interest in says there's nothing they can do to detect plagiarism, and even if found it would be a civil matter for the authors to pursue.


Not for sites with strong ties to the US.

Under US law sites that allow third party content are protected from liability for such content, and are not obligated to proactively look for copyright infringement.

However if they are properly notified of copyright infringement by third party content, they must take the content down promptly or they can become liable for the infringement themselves.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Xalir

@Dominions Son

Understandable. I really don't hold Amazon responsible for the fraud. They can't check on every ebook that gets published there. I'm just hoping that the action they take against him won't be limited to stopping him from selling my particular book. He should be frozen out and whatever funds he may have charged should be charged back to him, in my opinion. To be honest, if I'd seen the books available on a torrent site, shared freely with my name still on them, I'd have been okay with it, but to make money for a book that's available here for free? Fuck that guy.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Bondi Beach

@shinerdrinker

Tee Hee. Just kidding, everyone. May the criminal be thoroughly flogged with a nice piece of hickory while hanging upside down in a wet, burlap sack.


And flogged again for his choice of crappy cheesy smutty cover art.

bb

Replies:   Xalir
Dominions Son

@Xalir

I'm just hoping that the action they take against him won't be limited to stopping him from selling my particular book.


Unfortunately that's all they are obligated to do and, absent a court order, is probably all that they are able to do.

I seriously doubt that they have any legal ability to reverse royalty or other payments already made.

Replies:   Xalir
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Under US law sites ... are not obligated to proactively look for copyright infringement.

Is this the same US that constantly berates the Chinese Government for allowing its businesses to infringe on the intellectual property of American businesses?
Or the one where the largest campaign donors are permitted to draft laws?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Xalir

@Bondi Beach

I think I was as insulted by the cover art he put on My Journey as I was that he'd stolen the book. Who was that sad-eyed old woman supposed to be? Did he even READ it before he claimed it was his? I can't even pinpoint who that character could have been in the story. He even marked it Coming Of Age and then put the most war-weary looking woman on the cover art?

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Xalir

@Dominions Son

The money really doesn't matter, but I'd like to see him blocked from selling on Amazon again.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ross at Play

I am curious to know what, if anything, Lazeez has attempted to protect his livelihhod


Not much I can do. SOL is only a licensee of the posted material. Only copyright holders can deal with this issue.

If it weren't as such then anybody could hurt people by getting their legitimate works taken down just for the fun of it.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

Since Amazon aren't responding too quickly to most authors, how about going to the Amazon page for your stolen story and using the link near the bottom that says Would you like to tell us about a lower price? in the Product Details section. Use that to tell them about it being available for free at SoL and give them the URL of where the story is at SoL. The very least they should then do is to Price Match the book price down to zero dollars. Thus stopping the thief from earning anything from it.

Replies:   Xalir  Crumbly Writer
Xalir

@Ernest Bywater

That is an excellent idea. Thanks.

Renpet

For what it's worth, I registered a copyright infringement complaint with them this morning for Hunter and the Dancer.

This afternoon I received this reply:

Hello,

Thank you for your message. Please be advised that we are in the process of removing the following Kindle titles from sale on all Amazon sites:

Hunter and the Dancer ASIN: B01MY653UR

It typically takes 2-3 days for the changes to be reflected on the sites. We trust this will bring this matter to a close.

Best Regards,

Anne Tarpey

Copyright/Trademark Agent


The copyright infringement submission form was not easy to find, but it is accessible from every book page.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Is this the same US that constantly berates the Chinese Government for allowing its businesses to infringe on the intellectual property of American businesses?


Yes, but that's more about US IP owners having no recourse under Chinese law than lack of proactive enforcement.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Xalir

The money really doesn't matter, but I'd like to see him blocked from selling on Amazon again.


That Amazon could do.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Xalir


He even marked it Coming Of Age and then put the most war-weary looking woman on the cover art?


She came of age a long time ago? (!)

bb

Crumbly Writer

@Nizzgrrl

I just asked when would Amazon remove the stolen material or would they require a cease and desist order or necessitate class action since Amazon appeared to be complicit in the fraud as they were still selling the stolen material after being informed of the intellectual theft. [Good lord, what a sentence!]

Talking about "complicit", Amazon's official policy in cases of plagiarismis to continue to sell the work in question, but to keep the money collected for themselves. If anyone can Prove the work is theirs, they'll (supposedly) get a refund, but Amazon NEVER stops selling the works!

On the other hand, if a single person accuses your book of being 'indecent' or 'obscene', they'll flat out delete your account, zeroing out your money (which they then keep), and eliminating all history of your past sales.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Is there a law firm out there, hoping to establish a reputation for taking on Big Bastard Inc., and willing to take on this case on a no-win, no-fee basis?

The problem is, it's NEVER large corporations that initiate the actions, it's always the petty thieves who think 'who'll ever notice'. Companies like Amazon are considered to be 'innocently duped' by the courts, despite their never taking any actions to defend themselves and profiting from it. By the way, Amazon already possesses enough for a material warrant in these cases, as they have, at least, a physical mailing address, and often the users tax id or paypal account where the funds are transferred to.

Crumbly Writer

@dotB

I hope the S.O.B. is caught and charged. He and his ilk are one of the reasons I no longer post on SOL.

Normally, SOL is pretty safe since it requires a log in (verifiable) to access. The biggest culprit in these cases are typically ASSTR, who doesn't. Although my last plagerism case came from, of all places, LinkedIn. Someone saw all my comments to other writers, figured 'his writing must be pretty good' and copied a non-used but listed ISBN and my cover to produce a 'book' containing nothing more than links to a dozen more 'click-bait' sites.

By the way, when the site they posted the story too finally 'fixed' their email link, I contacted them, requesting they take down the work. They essentially said, 'not my problem' since they didn't publish the work, only profiting from it's distribution. However, when I went back to check on the site, it had already been taken down (probably because of the lack of activity it generated, rather than their 'seeing the light').

By the way, don't mention that case to Amazon, because Amazon typically freezes the accounts of the original copyright holder, also keeping ALL their money too, until they can PROVE they're the original owners (and many often get frustrated, give up, walk away and never publish again as a result).

So much for Amazon being a honest publishing house!

Replies:   Ross at Play
sharkjcw

just doubled my amazon book reviews. need to get back to it

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Are any of the victims British? They could complain to the police.

As the victim of a recent plagiarism theft, I can tell you the police (and the U.S. copyright office) simply don't care, and won't do anything. Since there isn't an 'active threat', and it requires an investigation to PROVE a threat exists, they won't even bother.

It's also a 'civil litigation' issue, not a criminal issue, meaning all you, as the victim, can do, is hire a lawyer and watch your money pour down the drain as they send letters back and forth. By the time anyone takes any direct action, the offenders will be out of the country or living under and assumed name.

Except in rare instances where you can afford to hire the best lawyers to protect your name brand, it's usually best to simply ignore these minor thefts. Send notices to remove the material, but you'll never get any money back. :(

Ross at Play

@Renpet

We trust this will bring this matter to a close.

... and the fate of the money from sales received, but not yet sent to the thief.
How long does it usually take between a sale being made and the author receiving their share?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Since Amazon aren't responding too quickly to most authors, how about going to the Amazon page for your stolen story and using the link near the bottom that says Would you like to tell us about a lower price? in the Product Details section. Use that to tell them about it being available for free at SoL and give them the URL of where the story is at SoL. The very least they should then do is to Price Match the book price down to zero dollars. Thus stopping the thief from earning anything from it.

That would only hurt those of use who sell on Amazon, and offer the same works here for feedback. Amazon allows non-Select users to 'post their works' wherever they want. If they started going after anyone who did, it would freeze us out of promoting our own works.

Switch Blayde

@sharkjcw

just doubled my amazon book reviews. need to get back to it


An author on wattpad said her reviews were deleted by Amazon because of a relationship between the reviewer and author. The reviewer friended the author on her facebook page. Friended her because she liked the book which she bought.

That's not a relationship that should cause Amazon to delete the review, but if the author is telling the truth, that's what they did.

Crumbly Writer

@Renpet

The copyright infringement submission form was not easy to find, but it is accessible from every book page.

Could you send me a quick screenshot of where the form is, as I'm sure I'll need it eventually (my works have already been stolen several times), though it's more likely to appear on ebay or another story site than Amazon.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Me : Is this the same US that constantly berates the Chinese Government for allowing its businesses to infringe on the intellectual property of American businesses?
You: Yes, but that's more about US IP owners having no recourse under Chinese law than lack of proactive enforcement.

My point was it sounds hypocritical when US laws encourage predatory behaviour by the biggest sharks in their own pond.
Good luck with those letters to your Congressman!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

... and the fate of the money from sales received, but not yet sent to the thief.
How long does it usually take between a sale being made and the author receiving their share?

It's almost impossible to get them (the thieves) to pay restitution), especially if they don't earn much by giving the material away for free. To do more, you need to pay $75 (I believe is the current price) to file your copyright so you can claim 'damages', allowing you to claim losses. However, in my case, that's $75 for every book, so $75 x 15 books so that if someone steals a single book, I might be able to drag them into court. :<

It's a losing proposition either way.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Amazon typically freezes the accounts of the original copyright holder, also keeping ALL their money too, until they can PROVE they're the original owners

Is there a government agency that will accept "Unclaimed Monies" and hold them until the rightful owner claims them?

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

On the other hand, if a single person accuses your book of being 'indecent' or 'obscene', they'll flat out delete your account, zeroing out your money (which they then keep), and eliminating all history of your past sales


Maybe someone should select a story and report it as obscene.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Me : ... and the fate of the money from sales received, but not yet sent to the thief. How long does it usually take between a sale being made and the author receiving their share?

You: It's almost impossible to get the thieves to pay restitution. To do more, you need to pay $75 ...

My point was Amazon sends a standard letter including 'We trust this will bring this matter to a close.'

NO!

Not if proceeds from recent sales will be sent to the thief in due course ... and not if keep those funds when the rightful owner does not satisfy their requirements for proof of ownership, instead then forwarding those funds to a government agency established to hold money on behalf of rightful owners who cannot be located.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Is there a government agency that will accept "Unclaimed Monies" and hold them until the rightful owner claims them?

Getting government agencies will only add another six months to the reclamation process. As it is, I can simply point to the works on SOL and their 'posting' dates. Though I've got all my emails, dropbox activity and edits to document when I did all of my work.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Not if proceeds from recent sales will be sent to the thief in due course ... and not if keep those funds when the rightful owner does not satisfy their requirements for proof of ownership, instead then forwarding those funds to a government agency established to hold money on behalf of rightful owners who cannot be located.

As I said, Amazon itself keeps all monies earned. The only way the copyright thief could claim anything is if he could document the work was his. However, the damaged author gets nothing, and Amazon keeps not only THEIR sales, but also the 'author' amount, ranging from 30 to 60% of the total sales (i.e. they easily earn double their money by not returning the money!

sharkjcw

on line with amazon now have supervisor checking on status of complaint

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

My point was it sounds hypocritical when US laws encourage predatory behaviour by the biggest sharks in their own pond.


Many would argue that that isn't what the US law does.

If Amazon's policy is what CW describes, they aren't in compliance with US law in regards to copyright infringement and would be vulnerable if someone decided to sue.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

If Amazon's policy is what CW describes, they aren't in compliance with US law in regards to copyright infringement and would be vulnerable if someone decided to sue.

They 'take action' as soon as informed, but they give everyone the opportunity to prove their bonafides, which is essential, since they restrict everyone's account, rather than the one committing the fraud. (i.e. if you file a complaint, expect them to also freeze your account too.) Chances are they won't, but that's no guarantee they won't.

Replies:   Nizzgrrl
Nizzgrrl

@Crumbly Writer

The only pubicly noticeable action Amazon has taken is to remove all of the complaints, comments and notices of plagerism and theft from the pages on which they continue to list the stolen books.

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw
Updated:

@Nizzgrrl

The reviews and comments are still there. You have to click to see all reviews. I guess with the excellent reviews of his writing no one has bought a book yet.:-)
Amazon said it would take 24 to 48 hrs to check the list of titles and authors and sites that I gave them.:-(

Replies:   Nizzgrrl  Crumbly Writer
Nizzgrrl

@sharkjcw

Appreciate your reply. I didn't recall having to go behind the Amazon list to see the comments last night. Oh well, at my age there are a lot of things I can't recall. Alas, that too.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

If Amazon's policy is what CW describes, they aren't in compliance with US law in regards to copyright infringement and would be vulnerable if someone decided to sue.

That seems obvious to me, which is why my 'out of the box' thinking came up with the idea that Lazeez and other sites get together (they may have 'standing' with a court because their income may be affected), and find some ambitious law firm wanting to make a name for themselves by taking on Asszon and force them to cease and desist their profiteering from the crimes (misdemeanors, whatever) of others.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@sharkjcw

The reviews and comments are still there. You have to click to see all reviews. I guess with the excellent reviews of his writing no one has bought a book yet.:-)
Amazon said it would take 24 to 48 hrs to check the list of titles and authors and sites that I gave them.:-(

That's what they say whenever you post something (i.e. submit a book for review). It generally only takes 3 - 5 (business) hours.

Crumbly Writer

I don't like Plagiarism so out of curiosity, I did some research. Out of the 28 stories listed on GoodReads, I found the Author and Website where `19 of the stories are posted. I just checked to see if they are on Amazon and found about 8 more stories

Send the list to Amazon in the hopes they'll do something other than halt payments to the plagiarist. Hopefully, with overwhelming evidence and multiple complaints, they'll finally take some sort of action (such as deleting the author's account, forcing her to create a new one with a new email address). :

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

Send the list to Amazon


I am planning on doing that; I'll send it to Goodread also. First I need to do a bit more research.

We can add the following to the list:

At the Maid Café, raplucknett

The Last Voyage Of The Henrietta Bone, mysteria27

My list has grown to 47 stories, and I've identified the authors of 27 stories.

Lushstories isn't my type of website. But since most of these stories seem to come from that website, I'll take their free membership so I can search for the other stories and let their authors know what is going on with this turd.

Personally, I think all of the authors he/she has plagiarized should file a class action lawsuit. Of course that would take a good bit of money and time, but it might help cleanup Amazon's attitude.

Replies:   sharkjcw
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

That seems obvious to me, which is why my 'out of the box' thinking came up with the idea that Lazeez and other sites get together (they may have 'standing' with a court because their income may be affected),


It's a nice thought, but under US law at least, only the owner of the copyright has standing to sue for copyright infringement.

Maybe if several affected authors got together and filed a class action lawsuit, that might work.

sharkjcw

@REP

Best way to talk to someone at amazon
1-go to amazon device support.
2-on left of page at bottom of quick solutions is a block titled 'contact us'
3-click 'digital services' under it is a drop down select 'kindle ebooks'.
4-at next dropdown click on anyone of the listings.
5-next dropdown click on 'something else'
6-enter short description IE stolen stories or similar
7-scrol down and it will ask you how you would like to be contacted select 'phone now'
8-takes about 2 min to receive call ask to speak to a supervisor. tell issues, have examples ready

This works good to talk to a human about any issues with ebooks.
hope it helps

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater


Stories Claimed by Hooriya Ahmed, Actual Author, Posted To


You missed my story The Day of Blood posted as

Replies:   REP
sejintenej

@Ross at Play

Is there a government agency that will accept "Unclaimed Monies" and hold them until the rightful owner claims them?

In the USA the answer seems to be yes. My son was overcharged by a hospital who sent a cheque for the difference even though he had paid with a card. Since the banks would have charged more for collecting the more than the $50 or so I asked and the hospital refused to pay any other way.
Eventually. and apparently in accordance with law, the money was handed over to the local council to be held

mysteria27

Thanks everybody for getting my story off of these websites. I really appreciate it.

Regards,
Mysteria
xo

sharkjcw
Updated:

still has 5 paperbacks for sale including

Ernest- Day of All the Blood 12-27-16

Lazlo- Mothers and Daughters 12-29-16

?? -SOS 1-2-17

?? -The Dragon of the Night 12-24-16

??- MY Cheating Slut Wife 1-15-17

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  QM
awnlee jawking

Could someone write up the process of getting stolen stories off Amazon etc and submit it for Lazeez to consider adding as a FAQ?

AJ

Replies:   Xalir
Ernest Bywater

@sharkjcw

Ernest- Day of All the Blood 12-27-16


reported to Amazon twice, once just now, and 15 hours ago.

Crumbly Writer

@sharkjcw

Best way to talk to someone at amazon

This works good to talk to a human about any issues with ebooks.
hope it helps

If it doesn't, I've found an alternative to contact Amazon directly is to go thru CreateSpace. Since they've maintained close ties (at least until Amazon came out with their own print services offering, as I don't know if that has impacted their relationship at all), the staff at CreateSpace can often intercede with Amazon on your behalf.

If you start out saying, "I'm contacting you to warn about a copyright theft of over twenty books which might affect you" and then lead into, "I'm having the same problem with Amazon, but can't contact anyone who can will speak to me," you'll probably have success.

red61544

I feel badly for anyone who has their intellectual property stolen - those are your thoughts, your ideas, your labor. Sharing them with us is one of the best gifts that someone can can give. Stealing them is, one the other hand, a violation of your mind, just as rape is a violation of a body! If Amazon can't or won't do something about it, they are complicit in the crime.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@red61544

If Amazon can't or won't do something about it, they are complicit in the crime.

They are especially complicit, when they continue to profit off of the pilfered books, even after they've been warned the books were stolen and they stop paying the cheat for the books.

Ernest Bywater

well, Amazon finally killed off the Kindle page for the thief, and ahs taken my book off their book page, but there are still four print books listed on

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nav_signin?ie=UTF8&text=hooriya+ahmed&search-alias=books&field-author=hooriya+ahmed&sort=relevancerank&amp;

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

well, Amazon finally killed off the Kindle page for the thief, and ahs taken my book off their book page, but there are still four print books listed on

Probably because, since you couldn't determine the identity of the authors, they couldn't determine the thief wasn't the original author. Again, in this one regard (where they stand to make money), their default it to leave it so legitimate authors can reclaim their money (just not for the books that were stolen). However, in every OTHER regard, such as virtually every sex book they sell, if someone complains about sex content or underaged characters, they'll yank the books without even investigating, based on a single complaint, with no appeals, and no way of restoring your account. (Talk about double standards, their ONLY exception covers their turning a profit on theft, while 'victimless crimes' get the most drastic punishments.)

REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


You missed


Sorry about that EB. The title HA used was The Day of All the Blood and I got no hit on a title search.

By the way, I just went to Amazon to check the title and found that they only have 4 of the stories HA claimed listed. One of those was Lazlo's Mothers and Daughters.

doctor_wing_nut

I was curious to know if SOL saw an uptick in new members from this fiasco. I know a lot of members mentioned SOL in their reviews and complaints as the source of many of the stolen stories. It would be interesting to know how many people were actually looking at hoo-ya's offerings, and how many came here to find the originals.

I'm also fairly sure we have not seen the end of this kind of thing. I just hope all the stink doesn't breed more copy-cats.

richardshagrin

If the mention of SOL was with just the initials, I doubt there would be any new members. I goggled (actually used BING) SOL and there were lots of definitions of Sol including the sun earth revolves around but nothing I saw led to Stories on line dot net. I have to type nearly all of it out, to at least the n in net before my computer recognizes the site I want.

Xalir

@awnlee jawking

It's actually really easy. You just fill out the form on this page:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/infringement?referral=A4O9HESM7A7FQ_A3FVIV7EEIB1BC&referral=A3JIMJDWY5BZM8_AIURKKN3GK1WN&referral=A2OKNMH0EXK0TV_AIURKKN3GK1WN&referral=A2EHFBYGJH2Q5B_A4U3MWZTEZ17Z&referral=AGGF4P3BHG4TF_A4U3MWZTEZ17Z

Once they get it, you'll get an automatic email letting you know it was received and that you'll be contacted in 12-24 hours. Once they establish that the book is not owned by the seller on Amazon, it's 2-3 days, according to their expectations, but it was just over 24 hours for my complaint to be resolved.

verybigone

Here is another seller on Amazon with STOLEN works.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Martin+Ycaza&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Martin+Ycaza&sort=relevancerank

sharkjcw

a lot of them are Argons works

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sharkjcw

a lot of them are Argons works


Is Argon still active? It would be best if the notice to Amazon came from him.

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@Dominions Son

Just sent him an e-mail, he posted in the Halloween contest and said he was writing a new story

sharkjcw

so far under name Martin Ycaza are books by Argon, Al Steiner, Amanda searve

QM

@sharkjcw

Dragons of the night is by Stultus, part of the Arc Deco series.

sejintenej
Updated:

I have no idea if this is legit or not or whether the original authors authorised this but there are a links to SOL on
https://www.reddit.com/r/noveltranslations/comments/4iw6oo/rec_do_you_want_something_new_to_read_well_then/

They include Argon's Tales of Tanitsar. No authors' names are given on reddit; I found this by checking Martin Ycaza's "offerings"

Dominions Son

Anyone with a sibling or a spouse who's a lawyer (since none of us can afford an actual lawyer, even to compose a simple letter like this)?


Another avenue to possibly pursue is if anyone lives near a law school. Faculty that are also licensed lawyers will sometimes do pro bono (free) work for something they consider a worthy cause.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

Frankly, they don't care where their submissions come from!


I think the two things that infuriate me the most are liars and thieves. A plagiarist is both.

I sent emails to Abebooks and Goodreads providing enough information to paint Hooriya Ahmed as a plagiarist. Abebooks' reply essential said they would remove individual books, but would continue to honor their contract with HA. They say they are "just" an agent. Yeah! An agent that makes a nice profit off of every sale.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP


I sent emails to Abebooks and Goodreads providing enough information to paint Hooriya Ahmed as a plagiarist. Abebooks' reply essential said they would remove individual books, but would continue to honor their contract with HA. They say they are "just" an agent. Yeah! An agent that makes a nice profit off of every sale.


The best approach to that, is to start badmouthing Abebooks for their belligerent, dishonest approach (this seems to be particularly effective on Twitter, as more readers will respond by Tweeting their friends and sending messages directly to the companies, rather than on closed forums like this).

Once the heat starts to get to them, and enough people threaten never to deal with them in the future, they'll likely back down. But they'll ignore the first dozen as being 'irrelevant'. Numbers speak, when reason alone doesn't!

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Another avenue to possibly pursue is if anyone lives near a law school. Faculty that are also licensed lawyers will sometimes do pro bono (free) work for something they consider a worthy cause.

The problem is finding the correct lawyer. While any lawyer can craft a simply 'cease and desist' letter on company letterhead, the only ones who can file a suit are copyright lawyers, who actually know how to handle such suits. Most lawyers don't have the training for it. Also, copyright lawyers normally work for the traditional publishing houses, or big name authors, and thus expect higher (corporate rate) fees.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP

@Crumbly Writer

The best approach to that


You are undoubtedly correct. The only problem for me is that this Forum in the only social media site that I post to. However, I suppose it is time for me to bite the bullet and create a few social media accounts.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Crumbly Writer

thus expect higher (corporate rate) fees.


Then there is the possibility of a new copyright lawyer who is trying to break into the business. They might be willing to take on the case for a percentage of any award plus cost for time and effort if they win.

In that type of situation, I would start with a small seller, rather than Amazon and Ebay.

P.S. I forgot to mention HA is selling works on Ebay.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


The problem is finding the correct lawyer.

Edited:

That's why I suggested checking law school faculty. A professor who teaches copyright law and has a license to practice. Law professors who also practice will often take cases pro-bono (no fee, not even on contingency)

There are a couple of legal blogs I follow. One of them most of the contributors are law professors. I sent an email to one of the lawyers who runs the blog.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

You are undoubtedly correct. The only problem for me is that this Forum in the only social media site that I post to. However, I suppose it is time for me to bite the bullet and create a few social media accounts.

The key to social media, is that you HAVE to use them, otherwise no one will listen when you finally post something (i.e. you build your audience on the site, just like you do here with readers). In other words, don't bother unless you're willing to invest the time building credibility and fans.

At the very least, authors should have a Facebook page. I had one, and used it, until Facebook figured out (due to Google linking my different IDs) that I had duplicate Facebook accounts, one for personal reasons, and one to promote my books. They (FB) combined them, eliminating the tools I used to create the book entries (and have been unable to find and replicate ever since), so now I've largely abandoned Facebook.

The other social media sites I find useful are Google+ (mainly for listing new books, so I tap more than my usual fans), Goodreads, because that's where all the regular readers reside, and it also encourages my regular fans to review my books when I post them to the site, and I've long been a fan of LinkedIn, strictly for the various author forums (since I'm not looking for a job). Since most people there know their future bosses will review their content, they don't engage in the same trollish behavior you find elsewhere (i.e. they're more polite), you've got a bigger group of authors/editors than you do here, and when you post helpful advice, multiple people will check out your website, possibly reading your stories (though you also get the "Do you need a professional editor/web design/book cover" posts.

I haven't tried Twitter, simply because I don't respond to everything under the sun, which seems to be the ONLY way to keep Twitter users engaged.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP


P.S. I forgot to mention HA is selling works on Ebay.


Of course, because Ebay doesn't hold users accountable for what they upload. The best response, on Ebay, is every time he lists something, post a comment identifying it as stolen material (so buyers know it's not legit) and identifying who it DOES belong to (so they can go directly to the source, rather than dealing with no-count bums).

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


There are a couple of legal blogs I follow. One of them most of the contributors are law professors. I sent an email to one of the lawyers who runs the blog.


Wonderful! Could you put a bug into one of their ears about one of the stories I'm working on? I need to know what's allowed on a psych-hold case, what they're allowed to proscribe and whether their decision can be appealed (I'm assuming they can't).

You can mention that I'll gladly list them as a reference in my books, or you can send me their email and I'll contact them myself (though you might want to warn them beforehand). I can also supply the chapter in question, so they can review it for obvious errors.

Replies:   Dominions Son  paliden
sharkjcw

did the amazon thing again in reporting martin ycaza 24 to 48 hours for response

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Wonderful! Could you put a bug into one of their ears about one of the stories I'm working on? I need to know what's allowed on a psych-hold case, what they're allowed to proscribe and whether their decision can be appealed (I'm assuming they can't).


Email me and I'll pass it along. It's probably mostly a state law issue, so knowing what state would make a difference.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

@CW : whether their decision can be appealed (I'm assuming they can't).

@DS : Email me and I'll pass it along. It's probably mostly a state law issue, so knowing what state would make a difference.

At the risk of pissing off a few people ... I thought we figured that one out. The only state that does not allow it is Guantanamo Bay.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

At the risk of pissing off a few people ... I thought we figured that one out. The only state that does not allow it is Guantanamo Bay.


1. Guantanamo Bay is not a state
2. The only people on Guantanamo Bat who aren't already prisoners are military personnel.
3. A Psych Hold on a prisoner is kind of pointless.
4. Military Personnel are subject to an entirely separate set of legal requirements.
5. The prisoners at Guantanamo can (and have) appealed issues to the federal courts.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The only state that does not allow it is Guantanamo Bay.

I know you were teasing, but if 'civil confinement' allowed appeals, anyone with a good lawyer would NEVER be confined, since they could keep appealing on different bases (plural of basis, not military bases) each time.

paliden

@Crumbly Writer

Wonderful! Could you put a bug into one of their ears about one of the stories I'm working on? I need to know what's allowed on a psych-hold case, what they're allowed to proscribe and whether their decision can be appealed (I'm assuming they can't).


In Florida this is covered by the baker act.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Mental_Health_Act

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@paliden


In Florida this is covered by the baker act.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Mental_Health_Act


Thanks, that was helpful, but it also gave me the necessary search terms "involuntary commitment". I found the PA commitment laws, though it doesn't address my questions since the request is to perform necessary surgery, with a corresponding lack of decision making and threats of injury to himself and others.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

The mental health laws are very vulnerable to abuse. Under most of them all the judge has to decide on is whether the individual is a risk to others or him/her self. At which point the judge can order the commitment of the individual until whatever conditions the judge sets for release. Sometimes that release also requires the judge or others to sign the release.

Doctors are not allowed to order the release of the individual. Individuals as a rule will only get legal services if they or someone else pays for them. The court and other laws do not require legal representation except for the Georgia laws (as far as I know) which were changed to require that representation around 1969-1970 (not sure of the actual date).

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

New protection option is available:

http://storiesonline.net/d/s1/t2144/new-option-for-authors

REP

I did some research yesterday on Martin Ycaza (YA). From what I found he is selling 48 stories on-line, and 41 of those stories were downloaded from SOL. I notified: 8Seconds, Al Steiner, Any Pseudonym, Argon, Aroslav, and Barneyr about their stories being stolen and sold on Amazon. A few of the stories are also being sold on Goodreads, which I have been told is a subsidiary of Amazon.

I sent Lazeez an email about the thefts last night. He told me that he can't find out who is stealing the stories since they are probably using a Free membership. His suggestion was to force Amazon to give the authors the person's real identity.

This is unlikely without a lawsuit. However, public pressure may be a possibility. I have avoided social media other than this Forum, but I broke down and followed CW's advice. I joined Facebook to the shock of my wife and family. They have a Group function for causes, so I plan to create one called "Down with Plagiarists and Those Who Profit from Plagiarism".

My intent for this Group is to publicize the pennames of the Plagiarists to see if anyone knows anything about the real identity, identify other active Plagiarists, and bring consumer pressure to bear on booksellers who sell plagiarized books. If you would like to participate in the group, send me a friend request. My email is dparsons1000.hotmail.com.

As for YA, I have been unable to identify the actual authors of the following stories. Do you recognize any of these titles, if so let me know.

A Birthday Wish
Cant Pick Your Family
Domestic Discipline
Don Martin de Ycaza
Hard Times
Taking Advantage of Opportunities
The Art and Science of Love

Replies:   sejintenej  Peter_H
ustourist

I haven't checked the content to see, but similar named stories are:
Can't Pick Your Family - Argon
Hard Times - Amanda Serve (story in progress)
Taking Advantage of Opportunities - 8 seconds

You have notified two of those, and Amanda Serve stated she is aware of it (and asked for help) in her blog a few days ago.
Sorry, I don't recognize the others

Replies:   REP
sejintenej

@REP

{Lazeez} told me that he can't find out who is stealing the stories since they are probably using a Free membership. His suggestion was to force Amazon to give the authors the person's real identity

I had a look but there are a lot of people with the same name so Amazon seems to be the only possibility unless Lazeez has some way of identifying the one person who downloaded all those stories and no more

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@sejintenej

unless Lazeez has some way of identifying the one person who downloaded all those stories and no more


As per our privacy policy, the site doesn't track users' download habits, so no data exists.

We only have emails and there are tons of accounts with emails provided by one of the many temporary email address companies out there. So nothing in SOL's database could be used to track the perpetrator of these copyright violations.

REP

@ustourist

I updated my list.

Amazon now lists only 22 stories for sale by Martin Ycaza; yesterday I had 48, but today I found a few that I missed listing yesterday. The following stories are still listed as for sale by Amazon:

Don Martin de Ycaza ?
Manipulating the Neighbors-8Seconds
Taking Advantage of Opportunities-8Seconds
Miss Darling-Al Steiner
Doing It All Over-Al Steiner
Flirting with Death-Al Steiner
Going to the Shrink-Al Steiner
North of the River -Al Steiner
Overcome by Lust-Al Steiner
Pretend-Al Steiner
Rental Agreement -Al Steiner
Stacy-Al Steiner
The Shaver-Al Steiner
The Teaser-Al Steiner
Life With Alpha-Any Pseudonym
A Christmas Story-Argon
Nosy Witch-Argon
One Gold Eagle-Argon
All About Gisele-Argon
His Lucky Charm-Argon
A Rose by Any Other Name-Barneyr
Dear Vickie-Barneyr

Replies:   Switch Blayde  sharkjcw
Switch Blayde

@REP

Doing It All Over-Al Steiner


Didn't this story have underage sex? That would be against Amazon's rules.

Replies:   REP
sharkjcw

@REP

Don Martin de Ycaza was published in 1958 so it is probably where he got the name

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

I don't know. I haven't read it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@sharkjcw

Don Martin de Ycaza


From what I've found the name appears to be fairly common in countries south of the border.

Switch Blayde

@REP

I don't know. I haven't read it.


You should. It's good. And unless the thief edited it, the content should ban him from Amazon. The codes are

mt/ft, Ma/ft, mt/Fa,

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde


You should.


I'll give it a try. I've read some of his things.

sharkjcw

I have emailed all Authors I could find and posted negative reviews and where stories can be found. I think now it is up to the Authors to contact amazon to resolve the rest of this.

docholladay

As a reader I can't help but wonder how dumb those purchasers are not to check both the title and the writer before spending their money.

Replies:   Grant  Switch Blayde
Grant

@docholladay

As a reader I can't help but wonder how dumb those purchasers are not to check both the title and the writer before spending their money.

Why would they?

Switch Blayde

@docholladay

As a reader I can't help but wonder how dumb those purchasers are not to check both the title and the writer before spending their money.


How would they know it exists on SOL? And I'm assuming he changed the author name to be his.

docholladay

It was just an idea however you both were right. I tried it with one title and it came up with a quote from one of Shakespear's plays. So it looks like I was very wrong.

Peter_H

@alchemist_uk_2000

I wrote to Goodreads and asked them to de-list this "author".

B.t.w. they seem to have been removed from Amazon - I was not able to find them there any more.

Peter_H

@REP

"Can't Pick Your Family" is by Argon. don't think I've come across the other titles.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Peter_H

by Argon


Thanks. Doing a search using the Advanced Search function is that it is very literal. The title I found online did not have an apostrophe, so I didn't include it in the search. I've researched over 50 of HA's titles and got a bit careless about title variations.

One of the reasons some of these titles are no longer listed is the actual authors have been informed and they have contact the book sellers and complained.

The bigger problem is two fold: 1) Amazon will remove the book from its site, but continues to sell the other books that HA claims. 2) Amazon owns several subsidiaries and hasn't taken the books off of those sites.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP


The bigger problem is two fold: 1) Amazon will remove the book from its site, but continues to sell the other books that HA claims. 2) Amazon owns several subsidiaries and hasn't taken the books off of those sites.


a bigger problem is Amazon will only remove the specific book you complain about. If they have a kindle version and a print version you must lodge two formal complaints to get them taken down. Also, if they post them again a month later under a new name Amazon makes you go through the whole process again. Amazon makes no effort to protect anyone's copyright, heck, their terms of use force you to give Amazon the permanent use of whatever you directly post on their site, plus the right for them to on-sell the material.

Ross at Play

I do not accept the protections in copyright laws protect Amazon and others from law suits in the way most seem to assume.
Yes, the copyright laws state they are not required to actively check whether submissions to them infringe copyright.
However, I would seem a relatively easy task to demonstrate to a court the limited actions they do take when notified of an infringement are intended to maximise their profits from the crimes of others. I think it likely a strong case exists that their policies on what actions they take after notifications are in breach of other laws regarding business practices.
The maim problem is single authors have nowhere further they can go if Amazon, etc. take something down promptly whenever notified.
I think only a class action questioning whether Amazon is in compliance with other laws can be sufficient for them to reconsider their practices.
Does the copyright law explicitly state they have the right to keep their share of all profits before they were notified of an infringement ... not to mention all proceeds from further sales after being notified? That is one thing I think probably makes them vulnerable to a class action law suit alleging they are in breach of some other laws.
If the costs of returning ill-gotten gains to their rightful owners become too great they'll become willing to consider preventative measures.
I expect computer speeds and the costs of storage have moved on so far since the law was written that systematic detection before criminals receive any proceeds is now the cheap and effective solution - but that would require Amazon and others to like them to cooperate with SoL and other like them.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I do not accept the protections in copyright laws protect Amazon and others from law suits in the way most seem to assume.


I actually agree with you. While the law gives some protection to web site operators for content provided by third parties, this protection is not provided without any duties/obligations on the part of the web site operators.

Assuming that what other's have said on this thread about Amazon's actions/policies are true, then it is very much questionable whether or not they are in compliance with the relevant safe harbor provisions.

They are vulnerable to a law suit. And with the number of authors involve, a class action is may well be possible. Another advantage with a class action is that while the normal rule under US law is that both parties pay their own legal fees, class action law allows for a one way fee shifting so that a losing defendant pays the plaintiffs legal fees and class actions are almost always done on contingency.

At a minimum, a "John Doe" suit could be initiated allowing the use of court orders to force Amazon to divulge what ever information that have that could be used to uncover the true identities of known story thieves.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Thanks. :-)
I was expressing a gut feeling, but I think you have the knowledge to express an opinion.
* * *
Does anyone have any ideas how to find a law firm willing to take on a class action law suit?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Have you considered the consequences of such an action?

Amazon would have to employ more people to confirm that would-be-authors were the rightful copyright owners, and they'd have to take a bigger cut to pay for them. Self-publishing would become more laborious and expensive.

I can't see a win-win scenario :(

AJ

docholladay
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I would guess in something like this. There will be no real winners. The biggest win would be that they would be forced to respond faster and more stringently to the reports of a copyright violation. As it stands now they make more money by delaying and allowing sales to continue. Those sales cost the writers but not Amazon or other major outlets online. A side effect might be that the other outlets like ebay among others will also start reacting to reported copyright violations faster.

But like I said its just a guess on my part.

edited to add: It looks like their policy is to make more money. A lost class action suit would potentially cost them major bucks in penalties among other things. In other words hitting them in the wallet.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Amazon would have to employ more people to confirm that would-be-authors were the rightful copyright owners


Complex topic that I am not going to fully address in this post.

What most authors want is for Ebay, Amazon, and their affiliates to remove a story and stop selling it, regardless of the title and author it uses (see EB post above). It would also be nice if they removed all of the plagiarists works.

Secondly, Amazon should be responsive to ANY and ALL claims of Plagiarism that are backed up by the original author's penname and site the story was posted to.

Thirdly, the Publishing/Printing Industry needs to held accountable. Currently, their basic claim is "I didn't know" or "I'm just an agent for the author; not my responsibility".

A class action law suit might make a change if it has enough publicity. Some of the positive outcomes could be:

The original authors receive monetary compensation for the theft of their works.

The industry establishing a clearing house for identifying plagiarized literature.

The names and addresses of the plagiarizers so a personal lawsuit and possible criminal charges could be filed against them.

edited to correct typos

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Amazon would have to employ more people to confirm that would-be-authors were the rightful copyright owners, and they'd have to take a bigger cut to pay for them.


Amazon already take 70% on most self-published books, while most others only take 30% or less. So they rip off enough to at least put in a simple system that can do basic checks on key words and text groups on the Internet. Heck, even a basic google search on the book title will identify a lot.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Those sales cost the writers but not Amazon or other major outlets online.


That's very true. Some of the other on-line publishing houses put an immediate hold on a book as soon and a complaint is received, regardless of who from. They investigate and take action, but while they check it out sales are stopped. Mind you, Amazon has two different responses going on with regards to their book sales.

An independent author lodges a complaint and it take Amazon 12 to 36 hours to take action. But let a big company lodge a complaint and the book is pulled within minutes of it reaching Amazon - the case on the term 'Space Marines' is a classic example of that.

The only time I've seen Amazon react to a non-corporate complaint is when someone lodges a complaint about a book being obscene, then Amazon shuts the author page down real quick.

So the situation at Amazon becomes a question of choosing to take the proper action for the proper reason, or take the wrong action to get a fast response out of Amazon! That's something for each individual to answer.

madnige
Updated:

Just reported two items on ebay as fake/stolen:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Junior-Year-Fall-A-Stupid-Boy-Story-Story-of-stupid-boy-Hooriya-ahmed-/142304407700?hash=item212200f094:g:tgQAAOSw2gxYvmp6

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mothers-and-Daughters-hooriya-ahmed-/162420366683?hash=item25d1021d5b:g:4XYAAOSw~AVYvN-z

though the seller appears to be a real business, but maybe a bit dodgy (http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3280022) The books appear to have been delisted by Amazon, but do appear to have ISBNs: 1520256612 & 1520264968 rsp. Two other items are also on ebay, SOS and ..Cheating... ( 1520293429 & 1520390157 ), also delisted by Amazon, but not reported to ebay due to lack of info. Anybody in Exeter able to go and knock on doors?

2017-03-21t18:30Z ETA: The MSE forum refers to an address which matches one I found searching from the ebay reference data, but a different company name. It looks like there are a few companies registered there, which smells fishy to me; they may, however, have no connection with the fake authors (especially if they're just grabbing ebooks and selling print copies)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP  ustourist
Ernest Bywater

@madnige

Just reported two items on ebay as fake/stolen:


If someone is in the UK they can report them to the UK police dept for copyright infringement like they do the people who film movies in theatres. The seller is a registered UK business.

Ernest Bywater

also check here

https://www.google.com.au/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=inauthor:%22hooriya+ahmed%22

REP

@madnige

Anybody in Exeter able to go and knock on doors?


If someone does go to Exeter, stop by Redemption Books. They are reselling Hooriya Ahmed's books on Abebooks.

I sent Redemption Books 2 emails today. So far, no response.

I can send anyone who can go my spread sheet which lists HA's book titles, original author's penname, site the story is posted on, and other information.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@madnige

I reported them to ebay on the grounds of:
'This "author" is a known copyright thief and it is improbable that they have rights to distribution'

Since ebay will have several other reports under the same author name for the other books (which I also reported) they will find it difficult to deny reasonable doubt of authenticity - though somehow I doubt they care.

Replies:   REP
ustourist

@REP

It is a Sunday, and in a small city like Exeter I would expect a bookshop to be closed, so no reply yet isn't surprising.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Have you considered the consequences of (a class) action?
... I can't see a win-win scenario

My first post on this tread began with "Attempting to think "outside the box" here ..."
At present the only losers are authors.
I would agree taking a class action to trial is unlikely to benefit authors in the long run.
Beginning a class action seems like the only way authors can shift a currently intolerable situation for them. Without that there is no incentive for Amazon to consider any alternative.
The result I would hope for is Amazon seeking to settle by offering to establish a limited system to check for plagiarism prior to any payments being received by the criminals.
Do authors who post on SoL need anything more than an assurance they will be notified if a new work offered for sale on Amazon failed some automated similarity-checking process when compared to their preexisting work.
I think advances in computer-processing speeds and reduced costs of storage now make that a low-cost, practical option Amazon should consider, in cooperation with other sites.
The potential of a class action suits seems the only way to make it in their interests to consider that.

REP

@ustourist

I reported them to ebay


I just sent my spreadsheet to copyright@ebay.com. It lists the titles of 40 stories HA is selling and provides the actual pennames and story sites of 34 of the stories.

I am sure they would just LOVE to get more emails complaining about Hooriya Ahmed.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Amazon already take 70% on most self-published books,


Amazon pays the author 70% of any book sold for $2.99 or more so Amazon takes only 30%.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Amazon pays the author 70% of any book sold for $2.99 or more so Amazon takes only 30%.


That only applies if you sign up with them on exclusivity and it's limited to sales in some countries.

From - https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2MLJ06E7JKXLN

Choose Your Royalty Plan
Under Royalty & Pricing, select your preferred royalty option (35% or 70%) and your list price. Check the list price requirements by royalty option on our List Price Requirements page. You can select your royalty plan on a per-title basis.


Please Note: The 70% royalty option applies only to purchases of qualifying Digital Books by customers in certain territories. For sales to customers in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India, Digital Books must also be enrolled in KDP Select to be eligible for the 70% royalty option. See the Pricing Page for more information about the Available Sales Territories.

Oh, and that royalty is not on the whole list price, it's:

70% Royalty Rate x (List Price – applicable tax - Delivery Costs) = Royalty

Delivery Costs are equal to the number of megabytes we determine your Digital Book file contains, multiplied by the Delivery Cost rate listed below.

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A29FL26OKE7R7B

70% Territories - not the whole world.

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A30F3VI2TH1FR8#70
......................................................................

However, if I sell through Lulu only I get 75% of the list price.

But if I sell through Amazon via Lulu I get only 32% while Amazon takes the rest.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

However, if I sell through Lulu only I get 75% of the list price.
But if I sell through Amazon via Lulu I get only 32% while Amazon takes the rest.

... And nobody's EVER attempted to organise a mass boycott of Amazon by authors???
* * *
OBVIOUSLY, nobody who may need them in the long term for an income could risk having their name connected to any such attempt.
I know I will die before I write anything which could be posted there. My name is available if someone needs a ventriloquist's dummy to make public statements.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

And nobody's EVER attempted to organise a mass boycott of Amazon by authors???


The Amazon terms of use are frightening in you have to give them permanent and irrevocable rights to what you put up. That's why I don't use them. They can take a dislike to someone and refuse to pay them while still selling the work, as has happened.

The argument put up by Amazon and their supporters is Amazon sells a lot more copies, so you can make more by having less per sale. I did have a few books with Amazon, and they did sell a couple, but it's been over 3 years now and I'm still waiting for the money. Also, despite the books having been withdrawn from them they still advertise them as being for sale. But some people love Amazon, danged if I know why.

Replies:   Grant  Switch Blayde
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

But some people love Amazon, danged if I know why.

Cheap and easy.
That's what it comes down to; people say they want quality, but when it comes down to it the majority of people will go for cheap. And if they don't have to leave their house, even better.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
sharkjcw

It looks like the books listed by martin ycaza have been taken off of amazon

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Grant


Cheap and easy.


OK, I'll rephrase that to But some people love Amazon, danged if I know why they love to sell through Amazon as an author.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

That only applies if you sign up with them on exclusivity and it's limited to sales in some countries.


You do not have to be exclusive to get the 70%. However, there are 4 small countries that you won't get the 70% if not exclusive.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


But some people love Amazon, danged if I know why they love to sell through Amazon as an author.


The self-pubbed authors on wattpade who aren't exclusive to Amazon (they also sell at B&N, Apple, etc.) all say the same thing. They don't know why they bother because almost all of their sales come from Amazon.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

The Amazon 70% isn't on all sales due to any special deals Amazon decides to apply, or it's in a country they don't provide the 70% on. You have to set the list price within the range they give you, and it would seem it has to end in .99 or they drop it down to the next value ending in .99 - that's what they do If I approve Lulu to on-sell through Amazon the Amazon price drop from the $5.95 I set to $4.99 because they insist their price can't be higher and it must end in .99. Also, I see they now insist all books in the 70% have to be available through the Kindle Lending Program. And the digital price has to be 20% or more less than any print book offered for sale.

We reserve the right to set the retail price we charge for books you publish with us. - from - https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2MLJ06E7JKXLN

I wouldn't call Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India small countries either - KDP Select required for 70% royalty there, and KDP select has to be exclusive to them.

...................

I think I'll settle for the 75% of what price I set at Lulu, they don't arbitrarily change the prices on me, either.

BTW. I did have some books for sale through Amazon some years back, and they haven't yet paid me for the few sales they made. But they did allow someone a refund against the payment 18 months after the book was withdrawn from Amazon. And they still advertise my books on their websites - nothing I can do can get it removed, because they claim their terms give them a permanent right to carry it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


it would seem it has to end in .99 or they drop it down to the next value ending in .99


Apple does that, but not Amazon. My book in U.S. dollars ends in .99 because I chose that price, but the ones in other currencies do not end in .99 so Amazon doesn't change it.

I consider those four countries small countries because of where I get my sales from. So it's all relative. But since I'm in the KU program (i.e., exclusive, lending), I get the full 70% from those 4 countries.

However, there is one way I don't get the 70%. I don't really understand it, but it has something to do with someone outside the U.S. buying in from the U.S. Amazon site (amazon.com) or something like that. I think I get 30% or 35% instead of the 70%. I think it only happened to me two or three times.

Some of your experience with Amazon is tainted by going through Lulu. I believe, if you go direct to Amazon you'll get better terms.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

My attempt to find a pro-bono lawyer came up with bupkis.

However, there was some mention of doing a class action. I would be willing to help with finding a law firm for a class action, but I would need identified named plaintiffs along with their locations to make it worth doing.

Potential named plaintiffs need to be authors whose works were stolen and sold on Amazon.

IF any of the affected authors actually want to pursue this, let me know.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

IF any of the affected authors actually want to pursue this, let me know.


Not to be the pessimist, but why would a class action lawyer take this case? How much can they earn from it?

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Not to be the pessimist, but why would a class action lawyer take this case? How much can they earn from it?


Unlike normal cases, Class actions allow one way fee shifting from the plaintiff to the defense. So if the case were settled or won on the merits, Amazon would end up paying the lawyer's fees.

It's not unusual in class actions for the legal fees to dwarf the value of the settlement to the class members.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Some of your experience with Amazon is tainted by going through Lulu. I believe, if you go direct to Amazon you'll get better terms.


Switch, the first time I tried Amazon was years ago, and it was direct with Amazon with two of Cazna's books. Nearly a decade ago, and we still haven't seen a cent from Amazon from the few sales there were. Amazon had about a tenth of the sales on Lulu for the same period.

The last go round was via Lulu, and the same problems occurred. Rough Diamond was listed for sale on Amazon through Lulu but the agreement I had to authorised for a sale via Amazon had the phrase about the pricing ending in .99. Yep, have to give a special agreement to sell via Amazon. I listed at $5.95, they cut to $4.99 three months later they had it listed as on special for $3.99, the next month they sold 2 copies at $2.99. That was nearly 5 years ago now, and I've not seen a cent out of Amazon, but 3 years ago they gave someone a refund on a sale of the book.

All the books involved have been heavily revised since then. The ISBNs for Power Tool and Star performance on Amazon are no longer valid, and Amazon has Rough Diamond listed with an ASIN and not the ISBN I have for it - they still list Rough Diamond as available on Kindle despite me pulling it over a year ago.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me - no chance to fool me a third time.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

IF any of the affected authors actually want to pursue this, let me know.


Although I'm, in Australia and it's hard to be involved in a US legal action from here, if you need an extra hand int he air, I'm in. Heck I even have some book on Amazon as well - all my freebie's and one I asked them to stop carrying is still advertised for sale.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

It's not unusual in class actions for the legal fees to dwarf the value of the settlement to the class members.


Aren't those the punitive damages? I don't see much of that in this case.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde


Aren't those the punitive damages? I don't see much of that in this case.


No, an award of legal fees is separate from any of the damages. And while awarding legal fees to a plaintiff in a normal case is rare, it is SOP (standard operating procedure) in class actions.

Actual damages would be small, but punitive damages are meant to punish / dissuade the defendant. There is no hard upper limit on punitive damages, though in some cases punitive damages awards have been reduced by courts of appeals on the grounds that the jury award of punitive damages was so excessive that it violated the eighth amendment.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Actual damages would be small, but punitive damages are meant to punish / dissuade the defendant.


A major reason they're different between a single case and a class action is a single case is seen as the defendant having done something wrong to a single person or a small number of people, while a class action is seen as an operational culture issue attacking a large number of people. Thus it needs a bigger stick to cause the defendant to change how they do things.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

How much can they earn from (a class action case)?

Reputation!
What firm would you want representing you in a future copyright infringement case? ... The one which took on Amazon, and won something real for authors?

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Amazon would have to employ more people to confirm that would-be-authors were the rightful copyright owners, and they'd have to take a bigger cut to pay for them. Self-publishing would become more laborious and expensive.

Amazon has been ripping off authors since they started, so I'm opposed to finally making them pay, even if it (marginally) affects their profitability. In fact, the entire site is designed specifically to benefit those with few scruples (ex: higher pay for 10,000 word 'novels', no venting of authors, allowing users to create a new ID, even when being paid using the same tax ID).

The plagiarists wouldn't have a leg to stand on if it weren't for sites like Amazon and eBay, but at least eBay is more receptive to defending their reputation. Amazon users are too used to getting everything they want for free (small monthly payment to Amazon, as opposed to paying for content).

Crumbly Writer

@REP

The names and addresses of the plagiarizers so a personal lawsuit and possible criminal charges could be filed against them.

That's the main reason for hiring a copyright lawyer (you can find them for any area via a Google search). They have the wherewithal to subpoena the information from sites like Amazon, whereas the average user can't. Most sites have rules for 'anonymous uploads', but the laws require them to respond to requests about specific users of interest to law enforcement, so it's not that difficult for a lawyer to access.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Amazon already take 70% on most self-published books, while most others only take 30% or less.

Old information. Most authors earn 70%, however they select to post, except for certain markets (like Japan) where they're caped at 30% (and how many of us on SOL are actually selling to Japanese readers, anyway?).

Amazon's game is convincing authors that they have to do whatever Amazon demands if they want to succeed. But giving books away for free doesn't benefit authors, it benefits Amazon. Paying fractions of a penny of hundreds of pages doesn't benefit authors, it benefits Amazon. Giving everyone's books away for free ... you get my drift.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

That only applies if you sign up with them on exclusivity and it's limited to sales in some countries.

Wrong! They stopped doing that a couple years ago. You're relying on out-of-data information.

The reason you only get 32% is because lulu is taking the other 32% (i.e. you're sharing your royalties from Amazon with lulu, not receiving them directly).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer


The reason you only get 32% is because lulu is taking the other 32% (i.e. you're sharing your royalties from Amazon with lulu, not receiving them directly).


Actually, the system for putting it through Lulu to Amazon shows the actual cuts by all the partners. And Lulu takes the smallest cut of all while Amazon takes the biggest. E-book listed at $5.95

sold via Lulu only I get $4.46

sold via the partnership via Lulu
sold by Lulu I get $4.46
sold by iBooks I get $ $3.14
sold by B&N I get $2.25
sold by Kobo I get $2.01
sold by Amazon I get $1.92

Lulu gets just $0.21 out of an Amazon sale, but gets $0.50 from a lulu sale. Amazon takes most of the money. I'd rather get the bigger cut from Lulu.

I keep hearing people say you get more sales from Amazon, but I've not seen it for any small authors. Twice I tried selling through Amazon, once direct and once via Lulu, and although they registered some sales, I've yet to see a cent from them after years of waiting.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej

Madnige;
Being a subscriber I have forwarded a copy of your post to Moneysavingexpert.
Although they appear not to be directly involved they are pretty "straight" and may themselves take action either to post a warning to the general public or against the firm concerned.

DB

REP

I thought I would share the following with you:

From: buyertech@abebooks.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:38 AM
To: DPARSONS1000@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: AbeBooks Inquiry ARN - 54959833


Hello,

Upon review of the information contained in your request, I am pleased to report that access to the listing(s) in question are no longer available on AbeBooks. The link(s) that you've included may remain active for up to 30 days, however when added to the shopping basket, the item(s) are no longer available for sale, and are no longer searchable on AbeBooks.

Sincerely,

Josh G.
Security & Trust Department
AbeBooks | Passion for books.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Lulu gets just $0.21 out of an Amazon sale, but gets $0.50 from a lulu sale. Amazon takes most of the money. I'd rather get the bigger cut from Lulu.

I'm sorry, but do the math yourself. If you only earn 32% (selling to Amazon via Lulu), and everyone else is getting a full 70%, where do you think the other 38% is going? Both you and Lulu are sharing Amazon's standard 70% rate (which is typical of all third party arrangements), so you're actually both receiving 35% minus Amazon's expenses and/or withholding taxes (which can amount to a full 50% if you don't file taxes in the specific country).

As far as your 'poor sales' via Amazon, I've mentioned this before, but readers typically purchase books through whichever is the author's main outlet. Thus you sell almost exclusively through lulu, I used to sell almost exclusively thru SW, but after jumping ship, I'm now selling mainly through Amazon, but haven't sold diddly thru lulu. Thus, don't blame Amazon for your poor sales, blame your readers for giving you the most money possible. You don't sell to Amazon to make less money from your regular customers, you sell via Amazon to attract new readers, who'll then hopefully purchase your other books as well (multiple sales via the same small number of customers).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I thought I would share the following with you

Good job! May I suggest, as a reward for decent behavior, that we all write AbeBooks a letter (email at least) of thanks. It helps keep people on the straight and narrow when people recognize when they do the right thing (such as alcoholics passing up drinks at a party, by offering them other things to drink).

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

May I suggest


Today, I sent a message to Goodreads providing them with the title HA uses, the original author's penname, and website where the story is listed. Their automatic reply asked for several days to respond.

I am also slowly working my way through the listings rating them as 1 star. My message tells them the original author's penname, the website were the story is listed, and original post date. It then tells them to go to the website and read the story for FREE. Hopefully, Lazeez will gain some Premier members.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Today, I sent a message to Goodreads providing them with the title HA uses, the original author's penname, and website where the story is listed. Their automatic reply asked for several days to respond.

I can see Goodreads being more cautious about taking action, as the majority of book reviews/listings are created by users, rather than supposed authors. And that relationship predates the takeover by Amazon, as Amazon rarely changes the basic user relationships when they take over a company. Instead, they typically leverage their other services by linking Amazon membership and services with the other companies services (i.e. "publish on Kindle" on CreateSpace).

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I'm sorry, but do the math yourself. If you only earn 32% (selling to Amazon via Lulu), and everyone else is getting a full 70%, where do you think the other 38% is going?


It's going to Amazon because they will not pay more than 35% to anyone who doesn't register with them direct. As I stated Lulu only gets $0.21 out of any sale via Amazon and I get only $1.92 while Amazon keeps the rest. It appears Amazon only pay 35% royalty on partner sales, not the 70% you claim. Since Amazon is supposed to pay via Lulu they Amazon should be taking out any withholding tax at all, but Lulu should take it out of what payments they send me each month, and that's calculated after the royalties are all paid to them - in short, withholding tax is not part of the equation at this point.

BTW: Lulu does have the relevant forms for me in regards to US taxes.

I mention the poor sales at Amazon because people keep saying Amazon have higher sales, yet the two times I tried them that wasn't proven to be true. Even when I registered the book direct with Amazon it didn't sell well there at all.

Another aspect is Amazon's predatory actions against the authors by arbitrarily dropping prices without approval of the author or telling them about the drop - which happened to Rough Diamond while it was on Amazon. Lower price means I get less royalty, but they still take their standard charges and cuts

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

I've never seen them able to disable the facility except where they use complicated fancy scripts and not html. When using the advanced features of some scripts you can disable basic html functions, but it also means it may not display properly in some browsers and some mobile devices.


Which isn't to mention that disabling JavaScript is trivially easy for someone who bothers to spend about 5 minutes to figure out how to do so.

It should also be noted that Amazon's send to Kindle browser plug-in also ignores such JavaScript and will happily "scrape" the page and make a kindle file out of it for your Kindle documents folder. If you get the right utilities, you can then pull those files out of your kindle documents library and do as you please with it.

But running NoScript on your browser and hitting Save Page is much easier.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Not_a_ID

But running NoScript on your browser and hitting Save Page is much easier.


ayep.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Lower price means I get less royalty, but they still take their standard charges and cuts

Again, you've got your facts all wrong. Amazon does temporarily offer discounts, but the absorb all the discounts, the author doesn't lose any income from them. It's an internal promotion by Amazon, completely funded by them, as a way for boosting sales to lesser known authors like us.

I understand your frustration with Amazon, but the next time you start spouting off, go back and read their TOS. Otherwise, you're spreading falsehoods, confusing those legitimately interested in their alternatives. P.S. I asked an Amazon rep (actually a CS rep) the first time I noticed that happening, and they related what actually takes place. When I checked my payments, I realized their claims are valid.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer


I understand your frustration with Amazon, but the next time you start spouting off, go back and read their TOS.


CW, stop thinking Amazon does everything right and read their TOS yourself. They make it clear they don't even pay you 70% even when they say they do. I've yet to receive any payments from Amazon for books they sold, so I don't know if the price drops were a perceived price matching or special they were running or what royalty they claimed they were paying. I only ever saw the price being shown as lower than I listed, and nothing was said to me by Amazon, and nothing on the page indicated a special deal at the time. My comments below are in the bold, the rest is from Amazon's own website.

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A6KILDRNSCOBA

KDP Select

Enrolling your books in our optional KDP Select program gives you the opportunity to reach more readers and earn more money. You can enroll a single book, your whole catalog or anything in between. Enrolling in KDP Select makes your book eligible for 70% royalty earnings on sales to customers in Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

If you're ready to enroll, select "Enroll in KDP Select" from the Book Actions menu next to your book on your Bookshelf. For more information about KDP Select Enrollment, visit our Help page.

If you make your book exclusive to the Kindle Store, which is a requirement during your book's enrollment in KDP Select, the book will also be included in Kindle Unlimited (KU) and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL). You can earn a share of the KDP Select Global Fund based on how many pages KU or KOLL customers read of your book (learn how payments are calculated).

When you enroll a book in KDP Select, you're committing to making the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP while it's enrolled in the program.

That's where I get the exclusivity part from.

............................

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A30F3VI2TH1FR8

Royalty Options

To qualify for the 70% royalty option, books must meet these requirements:

The author or publisher-supplied list price must satisfy list price requirements
The list price must be at least 20% below the lowest list price for the physical book
Titles must be made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights

This puts a minimum price of $2.99 and a maximum of $9.99 on the book IF you qualify for the 70%

...................

If we sell your digital book at a price below your list price without VAT in order to match price with a third party selling any digital or physical edition of the book, or to match Amazon's price for a physical edition of the book, you will receive 70% of our sale price for each eligible book sold to customers in the 70% territories, less delivery costs, and less any applicable VAT. For additional details, see the Pricing Page and Terms and Conditions.

.....................

70% Royalty Rate x (List Price – applicable tax - Delivery Costs) = Royalty

Delivery Costs are equal to the number of megabytes we determine your Digital Book file contains, multiplied by the Delivery Cost rate listed below.

We reserve the right to set the retail price we charge for books you publish with us.
https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2MLJ06E7JKXLN

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

The list price must be at least 20% below the lowest list price for the physical book


I didn't know that.

This puts a minimum price of $2.99 and a maximum of $9.99 on the book IF you qualify for the 70%


Where did you get the maximum of $9.99?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Where did you get the maximum of $9.99?


The List Price Requirements Page

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A301WJ6XCJ8KW0

The first block is for USD and the bottom line of the block is for the 70% royalty option. Far right column is maximum list price and it reads $9.99 for the 70% royalty option. If you list anything above it I gather it falls out of the 70% and into the 35%.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

The List Price Requirements Page


I never knew that either (never published a paperback). I wonder why.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I never knew that either (never published a paperback). I wonder why.


the two limitations I mentioned applied to the e-book versions, so the $9.99 price limit is on the e-book price.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

the two limitations I mentioned applied to the e-book versions, so the $9.99 price limit is on the e-book price.


Oh.

It's still strange that you can charge $200 for an ebook under the 35% plan, but only $9.99 for 70%.

Doesn't affect me, though. I would never sell an ebook for $9.99.

Ernest Bywater

Acting as my agent my son lodged a complaint with Amazon for both the Kindle and print books of my stolen story. Today he received an email from someone with the same first name as the plagiarist asking if he owned the book. A response about the copyright and him being my agent was sent. It'll be interesting to see what they have to say. I'll post more if and when it happens.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

More on the saga:

1st email

On 22/03/17 22:48, hooriya hussain wrote:

hello there THE DAY OF ALL The BLOOD (ASIN: B01MZ40GE9) THE DAY OF ALL The BLOOD (ASIN: 1520248997) is this is your book?

Reply

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:09 PM, allyn wrote:

The story's real title is 'The Day of Blood' and was written by my

father under his pen name of Ernest Edwards. I have an Amazon account, so he made me his agent to deal with the plagiarism for him. He has the book available for reading for free at two websites:

http://finestories.com/s/10650/04-the-day-of-blood

http://storiesonline.net/s/13472/04-the-day-of-blood

as well as selling it in an anthology of the series it's part of at:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/ernest-edwards/clan-amir-the-falcon/ebook/product-22716628.html

Because he sells it as well as making it free he strongly objects to

other people trying to make money off his work.

Are you the person who posted his story as your own under the title 'The Day of All the Blood' on Amazon? If so, why did you do it?

Allyn

Response

On 22/03/17 23:25, hooriya hussain wrote:

i extremely apologize for that and i can understand your hard work for the book but the problem was when i started working on amazon kdp so i hire people from upwork i paid them to write the stories i did not know that the book they will write is easily available on internet and trust me i did'nt get paid not even one cent of your book i dont know how to check it and if you would directly mail to me at that time i easily remove the book without any problem therefore can you please give me little bit favour i ll grateful and thankful for you.

.............................

Not sure how to take this.

edit to add I just sent her this reply:

G'day,

Allyn responded to your last email from my computer for the email to have my email address, since the book is mine. He handed this email to me to reply.

I don't understand why you paid other people to write for you when it isn't a biography being ghost written. However, there are about 40 stories listed under the same author name which are stolen, one isn't even complete yet. They were posted at Amazon, Goodreads, and a few other sites. Most were stolen from the website storiesonline.net, and the authors there are very angry about the thefts. At the same time you did this another person did the same with a bunch of other stories. Attached is a spreadsheet one person put together on all the stolen stories for you to see the extent of this issue at the moment.

At this point in time I don't know if you did all this or paid others to do it. However, it all happened in your name under your account, and thus you're responsible for it. I very strongly suggest that in future you only post what you have written yourself. If you do wish to check a story conducting a search on Google for a section of several words of text on something that shouldn't be common will usually find any existing story available on the internet, especially if you use an odd name. I ran a search on "View Port Internet" and got four books in the Clan Amir series from my own website. There are ways to run more detailed text searches and software specially designed to check for plagiarism you can buy.

Regardless of whoever did this, because it happened on your account, you are responsible for it. When someone does something for you it is your responsibility to check it was done right.

Regards,

Ernest Bywater

aka Ernest Edwards

2nd edit addition: This just received - not sure what it means or what they want.

ok now i understand the plagiarism but one thing i want to tell that if you hire someone from freelancer sites you can also get fraud that does not mean your are responsible for that May you right Because of this totally i get puzzle of having this issue please give me little favour only write the sentence to the email account i will provide you reinstating for my account As your book has already been removed so there is no other things is left Please Sir collaborate with me There is a huge pleasure from your side Thank you

Michael Loucks

@Ernest Bywater

Sounds like he's the front for a plagiarism ring...

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

It implies that the account they want reinstated is linked to Paypal or similar and with the account suspended they can't get any money from anywhere.

They have admitted plagiarism, but denied responsibility. Since they are blaming other people they 'paid', are they prepared to give the names, addresses, method of payment and details of amounts paid so you can take further action?
I feel that this could be difficult for fictional people. :)

PS: Let Lazeez have the email address directly so he can check if it is related to any site visitors. If there is a tie up then the person is lying and the address flagged or otherwise highlighted in the event of future use, or for other reasons.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

not sure what it means or what they want

May I suggest a reply of ...
The reinstating for your accounts is not my decision.
I will write honestly to sites on which stolen copies of my work have been offered for sale.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

The latest round in this is below:

On 23/03/17 00:45, hooriya hussain wrote:

i from pakistan Only you need write This on this email ip-inquiries@amazon.com "confirms that hooriya ahmed have the necessary rights with (ASIN: B01MZ40) (ASIN: 1520248)"Only write no need provide anything after that of your book

and this is my own commitment to you that you will not find any book again your copyrights my side

regards

hooriya ahmed

G'day Hooriya,

Were I to say that to Amazon I'm saying you have the copyright of the story. Regardless of if you re-post it or not, I lose my copyright by saying that. Also, it means Amazon then has a legal right to keep selling the book without my permission because when you approved it for sale at Amazon you gave them that right. They don't have the right because you had no legal right to do so, but anything that legitimises you use of the copyright also legitimises their use of it.

I am prepared to state I'm happy the matter is finalised with the removal of the book, but am not prepared to assign copyright authority in anyway.

Regards,

Ernest

edit to add the latest response

you dont need to transfer copyrights amazon kdp allow third party you book is already remove try to understand my point you will not find your book only they need statement only take you claim back if you find your book live on amazon then take action against me Please Help me iam in trouble try to understand that becuase only your book my other legal books will be removed and i cant get it back Amazon Kdp give me your email to contact you regards hooriya ahmed

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


my other legal books will be removed


Did any of the searches on Amazon ever show any 'legal books' that this so called author had on there? I think in the end there were a couple of unidentified ones - but they were written in proper English, not fractured - and the 'legal books' referred to may be where other authors have fallen for the transfer of rights.

Edit to add... So Amazon passed out YOUR address to someone? Even less reason to trust them as a posting on the blogs suggests they also gave out G.Younger's as well. Is it part of their terms and conditions to give out an authors address without it being approved by the author (on the basis you are a registered Amazon author and not just someone who complained)?

Ernest Bywater

There is definitely something involved somewhere, because they keep pounding me to write Amazon to have their account released - ain't gunna happen in the way they say. I wonder if a lot of money is tied up due to this.

ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

Yeah. As if you would take action against them in Pakistan if they started selling them again.
Something stinks here and as you suggested, it may be a little bit larger than it appears.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

because they keep pounding me to write Amazon to have their account released - ain't gunna happen


Great

Ernest Bywater

@Ernest Bywater

I've sent an email to Amazon, copied the thief, that I regard the issue as resolved and am happy with how Amazon resolved the issue. That's all I said, and am prepared to say. I wonder how they'll react to that, because I doubt Amazon will change the actions they've taken.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

This is great news.

One thing about this conversation is that nowhere does it mention the 4 books being sold on Ebay and it doesn't mention the 20 books being sold on Goodreads.

I think I will send some of Hussain's words to these two book sellers.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

20 books being sold on Goodreads.


Goodreads is really a review site, not a sales site, which is why they have to list the publisher and website for the books.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks EB. In my zeal, I missed that fact. I will continue adding reviews on that website.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


I've sent an email to Amazon, copied the thief, that I regard the issue as resolved and am happy with how Amazon resolved the issue.


I just got a reply from Amazon which states:

Dear Allyn,

Thank you for your message. We appreciate your confirmation that the issue was resolved. However, it's clear from your response that this party was not authorized to publish your father's work, so we will not reinstate this item in the catalog.

Best Regards,

Anne Tarpey

Copyright/Trademark Agent

Amazon.com

edit to add: Don't die of shock, CW, I finally have something nice to say about Amazon. They did good, this time.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

They did good, this time.


I would also add that Amazon also removed all of the books, printed and Kindle, that were posted on their site by Hooriya Ahmed and Martin Ycaza.

When I get the chance, I think I will email Anney Tarpey and thank her for her efforts. I will be sendind out a group email shortly and will make that suggestion of the other plagiarized authors.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I've yet to receive any payments from Amazon for books they sold, so I don't know if the price drops were a perceived price matching or special they were running or what royalty they claimed they were paying.

I have, multiple times. Also, your responses from Amazon are dated (from before they changed their 70% restrictions), so is no longer accurate.

Also, why the hell are they charging a 'delivery charge' on megabytes? :

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

It's still strange that you can charge $200 for an ebook under the 35% plan, but only $9.99 for 70%.

There's also a 'maximum' you can charge for Kindle ebooks too, plus they all have to end in $.99! :

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Also, why the hell are they charging a 'delivery charge' on megabytes? :


Damned if I know, but that's what they say in their pricing page.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Sounds like he's the front for a plagiarism ring...

Sounds like he's blowing smoke up your ass!

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

plus they all have to end in $.99! :


That's what Ernest said. But my book in non-U.S. currency does not end in .99

ETA: I just scanned Amazon for Kindle books not ending in .99. The Kindle edition of Robin Williams' biography costs $7.55.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

It's still strange that you can charge $200 for an ebook under the 35% plan, but only $9.99 for 70%.

I can see some logic for that policy.
The sensitivity to price changes by readers is very different for ebooks than with other products.
I recall CW noting that reducing the price of an ebook from $5.99 to $2.99 does not tend to increase the volume of sales, rather it seems to create an impression of lower quality.
I don't think readers' willingness to pay the amount asked for extends too far. Readers know anything they select will be less than $10, and are then willing to largely ignore prices and choose what they want most. That effect might not be the case if readers did not know the effective maximum price was within their tolerance level.
I expect this policy would tend to increase the total value of sales for authors with the nerve to price their book at $5.99 instead of $2.99.

ezrick

@Ernest Bywater

Wait, what?

Didn't the last plagarism scam we went through go exactly like this.

"Well I had this company, you see. So my employees were writing these things, and OMG they REALLY stole your stories. I'm so sorry!

It was several years ago, but same shit.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
EzzyB
Updated:

If you have printed books watch for this scam.

The company is a reseller of "used books" on the "marketplace" of a major retailer (external sellers paying a fee to sell things).

What they do is scrape the data from booksellers online. When they find a mismatch, i.e. a printed book on Amazon that's not available on Barnes and Noble, they advertise your book for sale on the other site for a ridiculous price. (Anyone want to pay $46 for a printed copy of Rebecca Danced?)

When challenged they claim it's a used book in "like new" condition. When further challenged they claim that because it's a used book the have "right of first sale" allowing them to resell it.

In reality if you really want to pay that price they will take your order (this is the real first sale and makes them a copyright infringer) order it from the other site, and ship it to you.

I've had this happen twice now.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@ezrick

It was several years ago, but same shit.


It could've been, I don't remember it if we did.

Ernest Bywater

@EzzyB

I've had this happen twice now.


I had someone try this a couple of years ago. I contacted the site where they're selling the used book and got permission to leave a comment on the site stating a new book is available at a fraction of the cost. The item was soon withdrawn from sale.

I even had someone try to sell one as being signed by the author until i pointed out to the selling site I've never signed any print copies. The site management canceled their account for misleading advertising.

EzzyB
Updated:

In my case B&N removed the listing at my request. Was an interesting e-mail conversation with the reseller though. I even looked at the address of the company on Google earth.

Looked like a two or three bedroom house in Mass. The company, at the time, had over 5000 titles of "used books" listed on Amazon alone all that I checked urged me to buy now because there were "only 5 left in stock!" Must have been a very crowded little house.

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