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Amazon Plagiarist: Veronica West

Not_a_ID
Updated:

Didn't turn up anything doing a forum search for her name, so I'm presuming this is a new account/previously unknown incident. Most of the publications dates being between June 22nd and 27th of this year would also tend to suggest the same as well.

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

Spotted several SOL titles among their number. Not even going to try to list them all, I'll let you guys sift through that mess and ensure the various concerned parties are alerted to their IP being pilfered.

Although I'm not sure who can stand in for what I think is a pilfering of a few cmsix titles. I guess it could be reported as available for free elsewhere(as well as it being plagiarized, even if the reporter isn't the author/holder of the IP rights).

edit: I'm currently having fun going through and reporting a number of them as having lower prices available on SOL. I wonder if they'll be smart enough to catch on to the differing author names. }:-)

I'm guessing they won't.

edit 2: of course the complicating factor is trying to steer clear of any stories I suspect the author may want to sell on Amazon themselves, where pointing them(Amazon) at SOL isn't going to work out well for them. :/

Not_a_ID
Updated:

So far, I've identified stories by:

cmsix, carniegirl, Daddycums, BarBar, Brendan Buckley, Al Steiner, Cold Creek, CWatson, Darkniciad, Barneyr, bluedragon, colt45, Argon, and Dark Vision.

I've come up with a hit on SOL for every story checked so far. Some stories have slightly altered titles, but text seems to be unchanged within the story itself, although cast lists and whatnot may get dropped.

edit: I didn't check every story, and I'm calling it a night, there may be a few more authors involved yet to be identified.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

I've lodged a DMCA request for the one I can identify as mine 'Come the Dawn' and did 1 star reviews with a note about it being stolen for those I recognise the titles of.

If we all do that to the ones we recognise, potential buyers will be turned off.

edit to add: Amazon has rejected all the reviews reporting the story as stolen.

further edit: Found another of mine 'Breeder Ships'

Interesting they don't try to steal my no sex stories.

Replies:   garymrssn
monbade

reported

BarBar

Same author, same list of books at Goodreads

Replies:   REP
shinerdrinker
Updated:

There's one in there she actually called

Al Steiner Pretend (Erotic Story): Full Adult Erotic Classical Story & Novel

That's just straight f'd up!

Not_a_ID
Updated:

Looks like aroslav is also on the list of victims on this going by his recent blog post.

Found this part to be of note:

What gets me about this one is that she has taken old material which was obviously in someone's collection. I posted "A Painful Silence" here on SOL in November 2012, but was displeased with the story and the writing. I took it down a year later. Yet that is the story she has posted. She also grabbed "Art School", the second story I posted on SOL back in January of 2012 and recently retitled "Welded Together" to make it distinct from the Strange Art stories. One of my least successful stories.


So this particular fraudster is evidently using scans/skims of SOL from a few years ago.

Which in some ways is almost clever, in a diabolical way. Even if Amazon did check SOL for the stories, chances are at least a few of them would have changed in the interim, making them "not match" for the search algorithms. It also adds overhead for Amazon as it means time potentially spent by a human trying to parse differences between the versions until the human is satisfied it's a copy.

REP

@BarBar

Same author, same list of books at Goodreads


Goodreads is a story review site. A good place to post reviews.

Anybody check Ebay yet?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@REP

Goodreads is a story review site. A good place to post reviews.


It also is owned by Amazon since 2013, so its hardly surprising that a book listed on Amazon is listed on Goodreads. How else is Amazon going to get people to buy seemingly obscure e-books from their catalog?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Malitron

Isn't this interstate trafficking of stolen property?
When would it become Grand Theft (a felony)? Or would that be GTA Grand Theft Author?
And aren't the sites complicit? Especially after they are notified of the theft? Shouldn't ALL of Veronica West's et al be removed?

docholladay

@Malitron

I would think that because its considered porn. Most DA's will not bother to prosecute the theft, not enough publicity for them. Now distribution might be another story, but they would have to be able to both identify the person as well as serve the required warrants locally (in other words arrest) the perpetrator.

Dominions Son

@Malitron

Isn't this interstate trafficking of stolen property?


No. Copyright is strictly federal law, so there is no interstate transaction requirement for federal jurisdiction.

When would it become Grand Theft (a felony)?


Never.

1. Copyright is primarily a civil matter. While it can become a criminal issue under some circumstances, that is part of the federal copyright act, it is never treated as theft, grand, petty or anything else.

And aren't the sites complicit? Especially after they are notified of the theft?


Under US law, no. Web sites that allow third party content are shielded from copyright liability for third party content by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, provided they comply with the requirements of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA.

Shouldn't ALL of Veronica West's et al be removed?


Morally, probably.

Legally(per US law), they might be obligated to remove individual items if they are notified of a copyright violation. However, that obligation is only triggered if the notification is made in writing by the copyright owner (or a legal agent of the owner).

Even then, there are specific legal requirements for the form of the notification and if the notification does not meet those requirements, the legal obligation to take down the violating content is not triggered.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

I would think that because its considered porn. Most DA's will not bother to prosecute the theft, not enough publicity for them.


It's not theft it's copyright violation, and while that may be criminal under certain circumstances, it's Federal, not State so no DA would ever have jurisdiction to prosecute.

Criminal prosecution if it occurs will be handled by an AUSA (Assistant US Attorney).

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

Technically the US Dept of Justice could get involved, but without MPAA and RIAA pushing them for violation of their copyright it's unlikely they will.

Edit to re-add the rest of the truncated post which had ended at the word 'their.'

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Technically the US Dept of Justice could get involved, but without MPAA and RIAA pushing them for violation of their


Your comments are still getting cut off.

The AUSA I mentioned above would be a DOJ lawyer.

No, you don't necessarily need the *AAs pushing it. While there are exceptions for cases that are political hot buttons or that have a bug up someone influential's ass, generally the AG and/or mid level management at the DOJ does not control what cases individual AUSAs do and do not prosecute.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

No, you don't necessarily need the *AAs pushing it.


DS,

The only cases of copyright theft like this that I've heard of being dealt with by the US feds were where the the double AAs (as in arrogant assholes) got involved and applied political pressure to get it done. Little guys like us will be ignored.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

It also is owned by Amazon since 2013, so its hardly surprising that a book listed on Amazon is listed on Goodreads. How else is Amazon going to get people to buy seemingly obscure e-books from their catalog?

Once they bought it, any book published via Amazon is automatically listed on Goodreads, which is annoying, since I post to Goodreads on my own, so end up with duplicate Amazon listings. I wish there was a way to prevent Amazon from listing my books there, since they don't list as much information as I do, or list to my other books.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I would think that because its considered porn. Most DA's will not bother to prosecute the theft, not enough publicity for them. Now distribution might be another story, but they would have to be able to both identify the person as well as serve the required warrants locally (in other words arrest) the perpetrator.

I think that's part of what we're seeing. No one seems to be stealing the non-porn material (except someone stole my least successful story, "The Zombie Leza"), instead they're focusing on primarily stroke material, or at a minimum "much sex".

Replies:   Joe Long
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


The only cases of copyright theft like this that I've heard of being dealt with by the US feds were where the the double AAs (as in arrogant assholes)


It happens, it just doesn't get the publicity that the cases that the *AAs have a bug up their buts over.

In fact most of the criminal copyright cases by number are over counterfeit books, and there is no *AA for the print publishing industry.

ETA: Probably the only criminal copyright case in recent decades that has gotten any international press has been the Kim Dot Com case.

These types of cases don't even get a lot of national press in the US, much less international coverage. White collar crime in general doesn't get a lot of press coverage unless the case involves at least one of: millions of $, A major corporation(high name recognition), or a public figure as either defendant or victim.

The lack of press coverage doesn't mean that they don't happen.

REP
Updated:

I put together a spreadsheet of West's stolen stories – 49 on Goodreads. I also saw some on Amazon that I didn't see on Goodreads. Sent a message giving actual authors to Goodreads. I'll let you know what happens.

One interesting thing I noted was all of the Authors on that site had names starting A to E, Ernest was the only E. Seems like this person is going down the list of authors alphabetically.

A second interesting thing is a used paperback of Bluedragon's Revenge is being sold on Barnes & Nobel; new price is $21.29. I don't know if it will help but here are a few details.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781413733679
Publisher: Publishamerica Inc
Publication date: 10/30/2004
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.46(d)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

A google search on the ISBN also turns it up on e-bay.

Odd dimensions for a paperback, isn't it? Sounds like she is printing it herself, 4 pages to one sheet on 8.5x11 paper and doing her own binding. Probably crap quality.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

I took a look at the company yesterday. It is one of those "We will print your book" companies.

I tried the isbn but no hit on Ebay, will try again.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

I took a look at the company yesterday. It is one of those "We will print your book" companies.


Even for a vanity press, exactly one half a standard sheet of paper (8.5x11) is an odd size for a professional book press.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

Found an other name being used by the same group

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

They even have a couple that have been pulled from Sol in recent years.

Replies:   REP
Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

So there's little chance that my 'some sex' epic made it to Amazon

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Dominions Son

One other thing I noted was this book was printed in 2004, so this shit head has been doing this for a long time.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

Does Amazon sell anything other than stolen erotic stories? :(

I suspect that I know the answer to this already but - Is there anyway for an Author who has been plagiarized to get the name and banking information of a Plagiarist from Amazon, Ebay, or other bookseller, Publisher, etc?

Ernest Bywater

@REP

I suspect that I know the answer to this already but - Is there anyway for an Author who has been plagiarized to get the name and banking information of a Plagiarist from Amazon, Ebay, or other bookseller, Publisher, etc?


I doubt it, but if Amazon get enough complaints the account gets closed and Amazon keep the money, thus the thief gets nothing for their work.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@REP

Is there anyway for an Author who has been plagiarized to get the name and banking information of a Plagiarist from Amazon, Ebay, or other bookseller, Publisher, etc?


Maybe.

You would need to consult a real lawyer to be sure, but AFIK, a plagiarized author could file a law suit against the john doe plagiarist (and maybe Amazon as a secondary defendant) and as part of the discovery process, you could get a court order to force Amazon to provide any information that they have on the plagiarist.

Replies:   REP  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

So there's little chance that my 'some sex' epic made it to Amazon

They grabbed my no-sex "Zombie Leza", which sold only a couple of copies, so apparently 'they'll' grab anything. However, that case was tried to my postings on LinkedIn (someone was casing author discussions looking for books to rip-off). Veronica West and her ilk seem to be focused exclusively on porn and stroke stories, though it also sounds like she's going down the SOL list alphabetically, so they just may not have gotten to everyone yet. :(

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

CW

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073PJRZHS/ref=sr_1_51?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1499286354&sr=1-51&refinements=p_27%3Ak+sanche

edit to add, sorry, just hit it with 1 star to discourage readers.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I suspect that I know the answer to this already but - Is there anyway for an Author who has been plagiarized to get the name and banking information of a Plagiarist from Amazon, Ebay, or other bookseller, Publisher, etc?

The only way to get that information is to hire a professional copyright lawyer (someone who specializes in copyright law for large publishing companies). They can file the proper paperwork with both Amazon and the relevant judges and get their identities revealed, allowing you to privately sue them for damages.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I doubt it, but if Amazon get enough complaints the account gets closed and Amazon keep the money, thus the thief gets nothing for their work.

Nope. The copyright thief keeps everything Amazon paid them up until the point they got caught, and you, as the legitimate author, gets zip. What's more, if they offer it for free, you get nothing unless you file for a copyright yourself (which is somewhat pricey for each book (separate copyrights for each different version of the same book), however that would entitle you to sue for compensatory damages. :(

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

Interestingly they've hit just about every book originally posted by Cazna, but nothing I posted as Ernest Bywater.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The copyright thief keeps everything Amazon paid them up until the point they got caught,


You're right in any payments made they get to keep, but what we've reported should be too soon for any payments to have been made yet, due to the time gap between when Amazon get paid and they pay the author. All the money Amazon collects during that time Amazon keeps. Which means the thief gets screwed by not getting anything for the work.

now if we can get people like cmsix etc to lodge complaints we can really cut into the thief's income.

Replies:   docholladay
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

CW

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073PJRZHS/ref=sr_1_51?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1499286354&sr=1-51&refinements=p_27%3Ak+sanche

edit to add, sorry, just hit it with 1 star to discourage readers.

Thanks for the notice. Since no one has had any luck with Amazon so far, I went though createspace, who have been able to intervene with Amazon when Amazon won't respond otherwise. Hopefully they might get it into the correct hands, but only time will tell.

It seems Amazon has all but abandoned trying to police their copyrighted works (it's always been impossible to contact anyone at Amazon for any reason whatsoever).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer


It seems Amazon has all but abandoned trying to police their copyrighted works (it's always been impossible to contact anyone at Amazon for any reason whatsoever).


It does take time, but I have had some success with the form at

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/infringement

usually 3 to 7 days, or more. But gets the story taken down.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

t does take time, but I have had some success with the form at

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/infringement

usually 3 to 7 days, or more. But gets the story taken down.

Thanks for the link, Ernest. I filed the form (though I clicked the "seller" link, and it wouldn't recognize my Amazon ID, though it did work when I filled in the information on the page listed, however.

We'll see how quickly they resolve it.

Now that I know someone pilfered my other works, I'll have to start searching for my own stories more often, as I have a hell of a lot to check!

Dark_Vision

FYI

I filled a complaint on 7/4 with Amazon using their form.

I received this today;

Dear XXXX,

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:

Lady Guinevere (Adult Novel): Full erotic adult Classical novel, story & vintage adult pulp fiction ASIN: B073DRJ7QQ

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

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

now if we can get people like cmsix


Unless his health has taken a major change for the better. The odds are slim. As far as I remember he has never mentioned giving the right to represent him about copyright issues to any member of his family. I do admit I scrolled through the lists a little bit as the links were posted. I think they stole the majority of his work, some with the same title.

Of course my looking really didn't help, since there is no way I could afford to purchase the books in any form.

But I agree it definitely shows the lack of ethics for the Amazon company.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Unless his health has taken a major change for the better. The odds are slim. As far as I remember he has never mentioned giving the right to represent him about copyright issues to any member of his family. I do admit I scrolled through the lists a little bit as the links were posted. I think they stole the majority of his work, some with the same title.

I hate to impose on his already limited time, but what about if Lazeez were to contact them, stating that he's represented the artist's works since 19xx, knows the works are stolen and that the artist in question is no longer able to either post or publish anything? He can surely document the date of the first posting, as well as offering proof of who cmsix was (based on his email address, at least), even if he isn't authorized to speak for him.

The form that Ernest provided offered a 'reader' copyright complaint. In this case, as long as the thiefs don't collect anything, I really don't care whether Amazon keeps the money or not (normally, in a copyright dispute, they're supposed to pay the rights holder any outstanding balances, rather than keeping it themselves).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

hate to impose on his already limited time, but what about if Lazeez were to contact them, stating that he's represented the artist's works since 19xx, knows the works are stolen and that the artist in question is no longer able to either post or publish anything?


Unless Lazeez can produce a legally valid power of attorney or other agency document it might not be enough to trigger a legal obligation to take his stories down.

However, it's worth trying as even if they aren't legally obligated to take it down, they might anyway.

Another point to stress in complaints is that our community has now found several mass copyright infringers going through Amazon self publishing.

Ethics and human decency aside, it will hurt their bottom line if their self publishing arm gets associated with mass copyright infringement.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
REP

@Dominions Son

I sent off a list of the plagiarized stories to Amazon's legal department. Asked them to notify the group that is supposedly vetting stories for copyright violations. Didn't do any good based on their reply. Apparently, they will only respond to the copyright holder, and then only for that book.

Now it seems to me that Amazon cannot be held accountable for selling plagiarized stories up to the point where they are notified that a person is a plagiarist and is given a list of the plagiarized stories. However, after that point Amazon is aiding and abetting a thief in selling stolen property. I wonder what would happen if a someone were to file a charge like that against Amazon.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP

Edited:

However, after that point Amazon is aiding and abetting a thief in selling stolen property. I wonder what would happen if a someone were to file a charge like that against Amazon.


If you try to file such a charge with your local US Attorney's office, you will get laughed at. They are immune from civil or criminal liability for any given work unless they are notified in writing by the copyright owner (or a legal agent there of).

On the other hand, every corporation is susceptible to public pressure.

The people here who use other self publishing sites and other independent author forums need to start putting this out in those forums, and let Amazon know that they are doing so.

User's here have caught SOL stories that they are familiar with. How many cases have we missed because those stories aren't from here?

Spread this to as many amateur and independent authors, and more stories will start turning up.

Put this out on as many forums as we can, spread it as far as we can.

Even if Amazon is on solid footing legally, if the general public starts seeing Amazon as complicit in mass plagiarism, Amazon has a problem.

Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

Another point to stress in complaints is that our community has now found several mass copyright infringers going through Amazon self publishing.

Ethics and human decency aside, it will hurt their bottom line if their self publishing arm gets associated with mass copyright infringement.


If nothing else, post to as many social media outlets as possible that plagiarized stories are being sold on Amazon.

REP

Veronica West has been at this for at least 13 years (i.e. "Revenge" was published in 2004. I saw a listing of places selling used copies of Revenge and there must have been close to 100 used copies for sale/trade.

There were about 49 stories on Goodreads for review. I am posting negative reviews to Amazon, 21 posts so far, and only finished page 3 of a 20 page listing. So far the list has grown to 67 stolen stories.

There are 2 oddities. So far, the pennames are limited to the range of A to E. The most recent story was posted on 5/19/13.

Has anyone notified the following authors that their stories have been stolen and are being sold on Amazon.

A Strange Geek, Al Steiner, Allen Wilson, Argon, Azil, BarBar, Barneyr, Bluedragon, Brendan Buckley, Carioca, Carniegirl, CMSIX, Cold Creek, Colt45, CWatson, Daddycums, Dark Pen, Dark Vision, Darkniciad, and Ernest Bywater.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

You would need to consult a real lawyer to be sure, but AFIK, a plagiarized author could file a law suit against the john doe plagiarist (and maybe Amazon as a secondary defendant) and as part of the discovery process, you could get a court order to force Amazon to provide any information that they have on the plagiarist.


That is my understanding. Amazon isn't going to just give you the information. You're going to need a court order before they turn any data over about the author in question.

Your complicating factor is the offending party probably isn't even in the United States and likely has moved what money they did obtain to somewhere you won't be able to get to it through the US court system alone. Particularly after they've seen Amazon pull down your stuff that they posted due to DMCA takedown requests. The moment that happens, that money's going to disappear from any bank account Amazon knows about.

Not_a_ID

BarBar replied in this thread and blogged about it. CWatson has also blogged about being aware of it. Ernest Bywater has also been very active in this thread. :)

Can't speak to the other author's offhand.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Your complicating factor is the offending party probably isn't even in the United States and likely has moved what money they did obtain to somewhere you won't be able to get to it through the US court system alone.


There are global (or nearly global) treaties for copyright reciprocity.

If there were enough money involved to justify the expense of pursuing this that far and you could track down the person behind it, that wouldn't be that big of an obstacle.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

There are global (or nearly global) treaties for copyright reciprocity.

If there were enough money involved to justify the expense of pursuing this that far and you could track down the person behind it, that wouldn't be that big of an obstacle.


Only way it'd stand a chance of being even remotely viable is as part of a class action lawsuit brought forward by ALL of the affected authors. But once again, I'd strongly suspect that Amazon probably won't be able to "properly identify" the person(s) in question, and the information Amazon would be able to provide would be next to useless in terms of obtaining any compensation.

Basically, the undertaking would be a net loss for the people pursuing the class-action lawsuit, even with the courts finding in their favor, and full support from the national jurisdictions it may cross into(which I doubt).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

That is my understanding. Amazon isn't going to just give you the information. You're going to need a court order before they turn any data over about the author in question.

You'd be surprised. The guy who stole my Zombie Leza was operating a website full of stolen copyrighted books right in downtown Pheonix. If they have a website, you wouldn't need a court order, a copyright lawyer can access the owner of the website (even if it's hidden) to identify who to serve papers on. Plus, a cease and desist order always sounds more impressive when it's served by a law firm specializing in copyright law, vs. some average Joe who knows nothing about the law or publishing.

Between eBay, Amazon, createspace and other sites, you can figure out who's who without a major court fight with a juggernaut like Amazon.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Only way it'd stand a chance of being even remotely viable is as part of a class action lawsuit brought forward by ALL of the affected authors.

It's virtually impossible to enter into a class-action copyright lawsuit, as you need to document individual losses, plus that's the way copyright law was written. The mainstream publishers used to fight these battles, but no longer do because they no longer have the cash-on-hand to justify it. That's why most small-time independent publishers simply don't bother filing a lawsuit, simply because they'd never recoup enough expenses to justify the initial investments.

Lapi

This may help put Amazon as the responsible party but the Authors mentioned, if able to, could submit the stolen stories as free and if Amazon indicates a duplicate refer to the SOL date for them.

I think getting them to the Paid side might help too; just like aechiving stories from old times.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Lapi

if Amazon indicates a duplicate


Not likely to happen unless the stories are reported and they check on them. The latest thief stole Power Tool which has had an Amazon lsting for some years - despite all my efforts to get it removed.

Lapi

You're probably correct. Putting the story as free might do them some damage though.

Laz's use of the Paid option and the archive will help possibly.

I has 120 or so stories here but left many unfinished or just deleted, no easy way to keep a free site going with the pirates around. Even the temp upgrade lets them pirate stories and from what has been said it has been going on a long time.
Wayne

Sorry, I don't know how to post in Australian-ese though I did some work for the ADF long ago and some in the UK (Canada and England) as well, like 4 years worth even though I am American. Got to get those 'blokes' to start spelling things the right way!

The 'Kiwi's' are even worse. (New Zealand)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

The idea of reporting plagiarised stories as 'cheaper than Amazon's price' is playing with fire, since many of us do exactly that, with Amazon's blessing, to promote our stories. We sell the stories online, but then post here for free to boost sales when they begin to lag.

It's easy enough to post them as being copyright violations, though the problem remains about what to do about the authors who can no longer object themselves. There's got to be some solution to shutting down these copyright thieves in those cases.

Replies:   Lapi
Ernest Bywater

@Lapi

The 'Kiwi's' are even worse. (New Zealand)


Tell me about it.

In the USA a chilli bin is where you store your vegetables called a chilli, while in NZ a chilli bin is plastic cube you put ice and drinks in to get them cold (we in Australia call it an Esky, after the first company to make and sell them here).

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Lapi
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

In the USA a chilli bin is where you store your vegetables


If there is such a thing as a "chilli bin" it's probably in and around Texas, and it's unlikely to be cold.

Now if we're talking about a "chill box"(or bin) then we're talking about a box-like object used to keep things chilled, and it may not be only vegetables in there.

Lapi

@Crumbly Writer

You point up some valid things. When I read through some forum posts I can't complain much to Lazeer.

Lapi

@Ernest Bywater

Each place has some unique terms and customs. I still haven't figured out wht those drivers in Boston kept referring to me as 'Chowdah Head' or why CHPD threatened to pull me over for only going 10 mph over the speed limit in LA.

Switch Blayde

@Lapi

why CHPD threatened to pull me over for only going 10 mph over the speed limit in LA.


For driving too slow

Ernest Bywater

@Lapi

why CHPD threatened to pull me over for only going 10 mph over the speed limit in LA.


you didn't have a studio sticker on the windscreen, so you shouldn't have been in the area.

docholladay

@Lapi

CHPD threatened to pull me over for only going 10 mph over the speed limit in LA.


they have some of the strangest speed laws I have ever run across. Under good conditions it means you must be driving at the speed of the traffic around you. At the same time if conditions are bad you are supposed to drive accordingly so you could be ticketed for speeding when going at the posted speed limits.

Replies:   wayne123  Not_a_ID
wayne123

@docholladay

LA has traffic jams even at 3:00 am. Chicago, New York and Washington are close. Bangkok, Tokyo, and maybe a few more like Seoul are even worse at least over those bridges. Of course it could be I was a bad driver. Nah! Maybe though.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@docholladay


they have some of the strangest speed laws I have ever run across. Under good conditions it means you must be driving at the speed of the traffic around you. At the same time if conditions are bad you are supposed to drive accordingly so you could be ticketed for speeding when going at the posted speed limits.


Not just LA, it's the entire US in reality. California just tends to be blatant about it on the lead-foot side of things... When they're not locked up in grid-lock.

It's called "obstructing traffic" and it makes for an entertaining adjunct to the "basic speed law." Edit to add: In the case of my home state, the very specific criteria for an "obstructing traffic" citation there is having "3 or more following vehicles" wanting to pass. So by law, you either speed up(risk a speeding ticket), or get out of their way(I then call the people that pass me "bait"). /end edit

If the posted speed limit is 55MPH, and traffic is moving at 80MPH while you're going 65MPH, you may be in violation of the posted speed limit(going too fast), but you're also simultaneously "obstructing traffic," AND violating the basic speed law by "driving too slowly for traffic conditions" and "creating a traffic hazard" by obstructing the flow of traffic.

Lapi

Thanks
What y'all have said makes a lot of sense. Never thought of it that way. I spent some time from San Fran to San Diego CA but never was there for more than a week or two at a time. Worked on Wiltshire for a bit but hated the traffic.

Not_a_ID

Update: Looks like the Amazon cleanup has hit in force, but not completely. She still has 4 titles to her name at present. Haven't bothered to check for a match on SOL. If someone else is curious I guess they can dig into it.

I'm guessing that if they were SOL titles, they've since been deleted.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

Has everyone been following up on the other name I posted about on the 6th

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

Replies:   docholladay
Ernest Bywater

Just an odd question, has anyone had a story plagiarised by these people that was only ever posted on SoL?

A lot of what I'm seeing in the titles are older stories that had also been posted on ASSm, ASS, or ASSTR as well.

Replies:   BarBar
REP

@Not_a_ID

I found 5 stories:

KindaSortaMaybeNerdBoy - Bluedragon
Revenge - Bluedragon
Life After Love - Bluedragon

Kathy Learns - Dark Vision

Kampars Wand - Darkniciad

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@REP

KindaSortaMaybeNerdBoy - Bluedragon
Revenge - Bluedragon
Life After Love - Bluedragon
Kathy Learns - Dark Vision
Kampars Wand - Darkniciad


Other than Revenge, which isn't showing on my search for her, that matches what I'm seeing.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Not_a_ID

I did an advance search using her name and the romance category.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

In scrolling through the titles. I found several that were probably by cmsix. One of them even used the title "Nanovirus" definitely one of his titles. Several others definitely look like illegal copies of different writers although that was the most blatant one. Other titles looked like variations on original titles if not out right copies of the original titles. That is about all I can guess at from a reader's lousy memory.

Ernest Bywater

Where I recognise a title name I post a one star review saying the story is plagiarized. The system is accepting them today - mind you, I log on using my son's account as I don't have one.

The second thief has a number of the Cazna stories which have been reported to Amazon and should vanish over the next few days.

Switch Blayde

Assuming it's one person that uses a new name when Amazon shuts down their account, I wish Amazon would keep track of the person's bank info and not give them a new account with the same bank account.

BarBar

@Ernest Bywater

Just an odd question, has anyone had a story plagiarised by these people that was only ever posted on SoL?


Yes. My stories are only posted on SOL and not on those other sites. This is the first time my stories have been stolen, in previous efforts mine got left alone -- maybe because they are all low sex stories.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@BarBar

Yes. My stories are only posted on SOL and not on those other sites.


This is about the fifth time for me, and always by some grub on Amazon using crap images that have no bearing on the story for their cover art.

In this round the first one (veronica) hit all my Cazna initiated stories in the first half of the alphabet, while the second grub (sanche) hit the rest of the alphabet of Cazna stories - I'm waiting to see what happens when they get to the authors with the letter E because it seems they've only hit A, B, and C authors.

garymrssn

@Ernest Bywater

Amazon has rejected all the reviews reporting the story as stolen.


I wonder if you could word the review in a way that doesn't flag Amazon's rejection algorithm? Such as, give it 2 or 3 stars and say;
"It's a great story but I found it for free by the real author on another site."

REP

@garymrssn

I wonder if you could word the review in a way that doesn't flag Amazon's rejection algorithm?


He who sits in the driver's seat controls the car.

The only way to get beyond their censorship is to go public on social media, and you take a major risk in doing that. Furthermore, most people in the Public don't care about this issue.

There is a large segment of people in our society who say it is okay to commit an unethical act because the odds of them getting in trouble are non-existent.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@garymrssn

I wonder if you could word the review in a way that doesn't flag Amazon's rejection


I found out the reviews I first posted were rejected because I put a URL in them - but later ones without a URL and simply state "Plagiarised story stolen from storiesonline' with a title of 'Stolen story' were accepted by Amazon.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@garymrssn

Amazon has rejected all the reviews reporting the story as stolen.

I wonder if you could word the review in a way that doesn't flag Amazon's rejection algorithm? Such as, give it 2 or 3 stars and say;
"It's a great story but I found it for free by the real author on another site."

Amazon has a policy, instituted years ago in response to author abuse, which prohibits authors from posting claims against other authors (presumably to benefit themselves). That's why, on the Report Infringement form, there's a field where you're forced to acknowledge that you can be banned for "making false claims against another author".

I'm guessing, each time to downvote a story this way, your account is getting another black mark from Amazon. It's not an effective strategy!

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I found out the reviews I first posted were rejected because I put a URL in them - but later ones without a URL and simply state "Plagiarised story stolen from storiesonline' with a title of 'Stolen story' were accepted by Amazon.

Good to know (and you can ignore my previous rant on the subject, based on this newest observation).

Ernest Bywater

@REP

There is a large segment of people in our society who say it is okay to commit an unethical act


There's a very loud piracy lobby group who claim copyright is unethical because it means they can't steal it and use it. They feel all stories, films, and music should be public domain as part of a country's culture. You can check out the most virulent rectums at a site called Torrent Freak (torrentfream.com). The site admins are OK, but one of their big contributors is a guy named Rick Falkvinge thinks everything produced that isn't a physical item you can use (such as a chair or tool) are part of culture and should be free to all to use and copy as they like - this includes stories, paintings, movies, songs etc. There's also a large group of people on the site who post comments that support the same view and abuse the hell out of anyone who supports copyright in any form.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

There's a very loud piracy lobby group who claim copyright is unethical because it means they can't steal it and use it. They feel all stories, films, and music should be public domain as part of a country's culture.

There are multiple stages to this movement, as much of it is based on honest anger over the abuses of the U.S. copyright offices extension of a copyright's duration. However, instead of arguing against 75 year or and indefinite duration, they instead argue for completely ignoring copyrights across the board.

The entire torrent movement has prospered, partly because it's difficult to shut down, but also because it's seen as self-defeating to go after them. The MIAA targeted them heavily, and got repeatedly attacked for it, and saw their movies copies MORE often the more they objected to it. Similarly, most authors who find their works 'stolen' in this way (on torrent sites) report that it doesn't really 'steal' any sales (since torrent users rarely pay for anything at all), but that they tend to generate additional sales from users who discover their works this way. In fact, many authors frequently release the first book in a series to torrent sites simply to generate free exposure.

As such, while I think the claim that 'all copyright is bogus' is disquieting, I personally don't see torrent sites as that dangerous in itself.

Switch Blayde

@garymrssn

"It's a great story but I found it for free by the real author on another site."


Actually, Amazon won't be undersold. There's a link to report a book you found at a cheaper price. If these stories are reported as being free, Amazon should make them free on its site which would mean the crooks aren't getting paid and therefore it's not worth their while.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

There are multiple stages to this movement, as much of it is based on honest anger over the abuses of the U.S. copyright offices extension of a copyright's duration.


It was the US Congress that extended the duration of copyright not the Copyright Office.

Copyright duration in the US is and always has been fixed by statute (Congress) not left to the discretion of the Copyright Office.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

As such, while I think the claim that 'all copyright is bogus' is disquieting, I personally don't see torrent sites as that dangerous in itself.


CW,

I agree with your comment on the torrent sites themselves. However, what is a real worry is the rabid attack attitude of people like Rick and his supporters who want everything they have an interest in handed to them free on a platter. They're pushing to have political groups ban all copyrights. They want all electronic media and files to be free (that includes all software, digital films, music, and stories), all stories, all music and recordings, all films, and anything else you that isn't a useful tool of some sort to be totally free for people to do with as they want.

They think it's a good idea to go to a concert, record the concert, and put up free on a torrent site so no one else has to pay to go to the concert. If insufficient people pay to go to concerts then the concerts aren't organised - so who wins out of that issue. I saw a report where one band who makes most of their income from concerts have paid a large sum to have special signal included in the signal to the speakers at their concerts - it's reported the signal adds a sound the human ear can't hear directly, but it causes a screech sound if you record it - wish I knew how that works. I can see more of this sort of problem arising.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I saw a report where one band who makes most of their income from concerts


Every band makes most of it's money from touring and merchandise. Even the big names don't make much from record/CD sales, the labels eat it all.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Actually, Amazon won't be undersold. There's a link to report a book you found at a cheaper price. If these stories are reported as being free, Amazon should make them free on its site which would mean the crooks aren't getting paid and therefore it's not worth their while.

Grrr! Or, alternatively, if the legitimate author charges $5.99, and the copyright thieves, not having invested any time or effort, only charge $.99, then it's the original author who loses, since his price will be cut, rather than the thief's.

You're only playing Amazon's game by trying to play by their rules. If you report price violations, you end up hurting everyone, by reducing the value of a work to it's lowest price.

Better quality work should be priced higher than random crap. I post here for free, because it helps my stories, and also helps move my older stories. Don't ask me to choose between posting for free or receiving money for my efforts!

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I saw a report where one band who makes most of their income from concerts have paid a large sum to have special signal included in the signal to the speakers at their concerts - it's reported the signal adds a sound the human ear can't hear directly, but it causes a screech sound if you record it - wish I knew how that works. I can see more of this sort of problem arising.

Maybe we can add some screechings to our books?

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son


Every band makes most of it's money from touring and merchandise. Even the big names don't make much from record/CD sales, the labels eat it all.


Not true, some bands make their own recordings and sell them. However, the point of the post was they seemed to have found a technical way to stop people recording their concerts, but it cost them a lot.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Maybe we can add some screechings to our books?


The only way I can think of to do that is:

1. Lazeez remove the story download links that allow a reader to download stories to their personal devices.

2. Add a "No Copy" characteristic to all story files during translation to SOL format.

Unfortunately, that will make life harder on those who want to read a story without going to the SOL website to do so. That is the only viable way that I can think of to protect future stories from being stolen from SOL's website. :(

ETA: If Lazeez were willing to do that, then it may be possible for him to add the No Copy feature to the current stories. One problem with my solution is a reader couldn't cut and paste a passage into a feedback message. :(

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

some bands make their own recordings and sell them.


Mostly at concerts. The few who sell their own recordings beyond that, either can't get a deal with a record label or have cut ties with the record labels, because they can't make any money going through the record labels.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Grrr! Or, alternatively, if the legitimate author charges $5.99, and the copyright thieves, not having invested any time or effort, only charge $.99, then it's the original author who loses, since his price will be cut, rather than the thief's.


As the author/rights holder, I think there would be grounds and some means for an author to counter such a price drop by Amazon... Basically get them to explain why they dropped the price. At which point the onus is on the author to initiate any needed action to remove the "free" or reduced price content. Once that stuff is removed, or confirms to your desired price point, the price should be able to returned to its initial price.

Reality is, Amazon should be sending automatic notifications with such information, but not being published on Amazon or otherwise subjected to that system, I don't know what if any notification they provide.

I just know it would suck if a pirate/porn site was mirroring your stuff without your knowledge or consent and that is what someone did a price match against.

The free on SOL, but paid content on Amazon is another matter.

BarBar

Both Veronica West and K Sanche pages seem to have completely disappeared from both amazon.com and amazon.co.uk when I checked this morning.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

As the author/rights holder, I think there would be grounds and some means for an author to counter such a price drop by Amazon... Basically get them to explain why they dropped the price. At which point the onus is on the author to initiate any needed action to remove the "free" or reduced price content. Once that stuff is removed, or confirms to your desired price point, the price should be able to returned to its initial price.

Except, the price restriction is considered a private contract between the publishing author and Amazon, and if break it, they'll terminate your contract (i.e. remove all your books).

Thus, you're not punishing the copyright thieves, you're instead publishing the legitimate right holders to the story, which is the wrong approach, since it penalizes an innocent party.

There IS no contract not to charge more than someone else's story!

Crumbly Writer

@BarBar

Excellent, though I suspect they'll pop up again in a few days under a whole new name.

Ernest Bywater

@BarBar

Both Veronica West and K Sanche pages seem to have completely disappeared from both amazon.com and amazon.co.uk when I checked this morning.


I just checked and Veronica West still has 6 novels on amazon.com while sanche has 71 listed on amazon.com

Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID

As the author/rights holder, I think there would be grounds and some means for an author to counter such a price drop by Amazon...


It's in their T&Cs under pricing. So, as an author, you agree to it.

Vlad_Inhaler

@REP

1. Lazeez remove the story download links that allow a reader to download stories to their personal devices.

2. Add a "No Copy" characteristic to all story files during translation to SOL format.


At that point, Premier Membership becomes a thing of the past. The main advantage of P M is the ability to download stories and read them later.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Vlad_Inhaler

The main advantage of P M is the ability to download stories and read them later.

That is just one of many advantages to paid membership. It may be important to you and others, but not to everyone. I see little difference between reading while logged in and not logged in. You would still be able to access the website on your mobile devices.

For me, the question becomes - Do we support the rights of the Authors who post stories to the website or do we risk losing the Authors and their stories. I doubt you will be hurt by having to access the website to read the stories, but perhaps it might be an inconvenience to you.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

1. Lazeez remove the story download links that allow a reader to download stories to their personal devices.

2. Add a "No Copy" characteristic to all story files during translation to SOL format.


The first isn't possible to do properly, because your system has to download the file in some format to be able to display for you to read. At that point there's a number of ways you can save the downloaded file or files if you want to.

The second may be possible, but may not be worth the effort - I don't know enough about how to code it to ensure such an action would always be activated. I suspect it just isn't possible to do, like the first action, and for similar reasons.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater


The first isn't possible to do properly,


What I referred to was the links at the bottom of the story description that allow a paid member to download the entire story as a single download.

The second item is done on some websites, I don't know the mechanism but it works. Yes, a knowledgeable person may be able to get around that roadblock, but I suspect most of the plagiarists aren't that knowledgeable.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

The second item is done on some websites,


There are a couple of ways of making it hard to download, but there's already software available to allow you to do with one click. Video streaming is hard to save to a local file, but there's now a whole pile of programs that will capture the stream and save it for you to watch later.

Even if Lazeez spent a lot of time , effort, and money in providing some sort of technical answer it would soon be beaten and he'd have lost a lot of income, which could jeopardise SoL's long term viability. And it may not do the job, because the files they already have copies of will be available for them to repost time after time. Most of the stories of mine they posted are about all they'll steal of mine and what i could see of them they were older versions they downloaded some years ago, and they also included some stories that were only ever posted at SoL and were removed over a year ago. So we're in a situation where the horses have bolted, so what we do about the open barn door isn't going to make much effect on the overall situation.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

The second item is done on some websites, I don't know the mechanism but it works. Yes, a knowledgeable person may be able to get around that roadblock, but I suspect most of the plagiarists aren't that knowledgeable.

Yeah, but again, you'd be hurting the few paying customers who keep the site afloat (only 2%, max). By limiting what they can do, they'll begin to abandon the site, turning it from a self-sustaining site to one losing money hand-over-fist (like ASSTR, at the moment). What's more, the current band of copyright thieves won't be impacted, as they'll continue to sell the same stories they stole years ago (there's no evidence they're still visiting the site).

In short, your 'solution' is a lose-lose for the site, it would take a considerable investment to implement, it wouldn't pay for itself and would limit the site's existing source of income, while not limiting the effects of the thieves.

Frankly, I'm not sure there's anything we can do to stop them, other than to continue reporting them every time they pop up. With luck, if they get enough complaints, Amazon might start deleting accounts, but until they tie it to tax IDs, it's unlikely to have any effect even then. And since Amazon continues to make money from those same copyright violators, they're hardly motivated to take a definitive stand against them. :(

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I'm not sure there's anything we can do to stop them


Maybe those who have published on Amazon can send them emails bringing up the subject and suggesting Amazon keep track of the bank info being used and not assign any new accounts with that bank account. I think it's one person using different names each time Amazon deletes his "caught" account.

Maybe if enough people complain they'll put a procedure in place.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Maybe those who have published on Amazon can send them emails bringing up the subject and suggesting Amazon keep track of the bank info being used and not assign any new accounts with that bank account. I think it's one person using different names each time Amazon deletes his "caught" account.

I've mentioned the ongoing problem with the same individuals doing nothing other than marketing others work (including stealing the works from a public site), after documenting that the work they were marketing was clearly mine, but I doubt it will have any effect.

Amazon makes it's money by pushing Billions of books offered by Millions of different authors, so they frankly don't care who gets hurt, as long as the money continues to roll in. Just look at Facebook and Twitter. They're fully aware they're promoting 'fake news' for dubious hate groups and foreign governments trying to undermine our rule of law, but as long as people keep tuning in (even if most are simply bots purchased to artificially boost numbers), they don't care. They measure success by numbers, rather than the good they do or how satisfied anyone is. :(

Twitter was close to folding, until Trump started using to attack everyone at three in the morning. Now, everyone avoids the site, but they've never gotten as many page hits as they do now, so they simply don't give a shit!

REP

@Crumbly Writer

but again, you'd be hurting the few paying customers who keep the site afloat (only 2%, max).


I doubt most paid members download a story to read it off-line. There are a few but having to log in to read the story wouldn't hurt them, especially if they understood that Authors, especially professional authors, may not want to post their new stories to the website plagiarists seem to prefer. That would be bad for everyone.

Replies:   MrWolf_UK
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


keep track of the bank info being used and not assign any new accounts with that bank account


Good thought. Unfortunately, they can open new bank accounts just as easily as they open a new Amazon account. :(

The key to this problem is Amazon. I suspect they know it is a problem, but they don't want the problem to go away if they can make money off of it.

We could probably come up with a way to keep a plagiarist from opening an account with false information, but I doubt Amazon would be willing to implement such a method. Bottom line seems to be Amazon has a system that works for them and they don't care if others get hurt.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP

Good thought. Unfortunately, they can open new bank accounts just as easily as they open a new Amazon account. :(

Not true. Each bank account requires proof of a legal tax idea in whatever country the individual resides. By blocking that ID, they could limit the creation of new accounts.

Unfortunately, that can be easily bypassed by producing a fake ID/passport or other documentation, but these are low-level pond scum, simply trying to garner as much money as they can with the least amount of effort, so I seriously doubt they'd expend that much work.

Besides, they really don't have to. Amazon makes it incredibly easy to just create one account after another. That's why there are SO MANY erotic books featuring kiddie-porn and incest on Amazon, which bans ALL such books. They know that, if their account is deleted, they simply open a new one, using the exact same account, and start all over again. They may lose a few loose dollars each time, but it's a fast money-making enterprise with few risks since Amazon isn't interested in stopping it.

@REP

We could probably come up with a way to keep a plagiarist from opening an account with false information, but I doubt Amazon would be willing to implement such a method. Bottom line seems to be Amazon has a system that works for them and they don't care if others get hurt.

Sorry, it seems we were both making the exact same argument. I was reacting to the first line of your response about their being nothing they could do about opening new accounts.

BarBar

For some reason, I am longer seeing Veronica West on Amazon.com at all. It may be because I am looking from Aus and their system which locks Aus viewers out of parts of US Amazon in an attempt to force us to use the Aus based Amazon. I don't know (I was able to see Veronica West earlier so its a mystery) Regardless. Could someone with access please check whether my works have been removed from Veronica West's page. Much appreciated.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

The k sanche account no longer shows on Amazon.com, but Veronica West still has 4 novels showing:

Kathy Learns which is by dark vision
Kinda Sorta Maybe Nerd Boy by blurdragon
Kampar's Wand by darkniciad
Life after Love by bluedragon

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde

@BarBar

locks Aus viewers out of parts of US Amazon in an attempt to force us to use the Aus based Amazon


Is that new? Like as of July 1?

Amazon, ebay, Alibaba, and others threatened to block Australian users if the law requiring them to collect GST went into effect on July 1.

MrWolf_UK

@REP

I doubt most paid members download a story to read it off-line. There are a few but having to log in to read the story wouldn't hurt them, especially if they understood that Authors, especially professional authors, may not want to post their new stories to the website plagiarists seem to prefer. That would be bad for everyone.

I purchase SOL membership so that I can download the stories to my e-book for when I'm not near my computer (which is reasonably frequently), however as some have already mentioned, with a little bit of technical knowledge, you can quite easily save the stories to a file.
Even if you remove the Copy functionality, being IT savvy, I can think of at least 4 other ways that I can download the stories for offline reading, but they require some effort on my part, which is why I pay for membership.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Kinda Sorta Maybe Nerd Boy by bluedragon


That's currently the Random Story ;)

AJ

Switch Blayde

I thought I'd inform Amazon about the abuse. This is what I wrote:

I didn't know what category to put this under, so I chose this one. I have an account with Amazon and two novels on KDP, but this isn't about them.

I'm in an author's forum and people keep bringing up that stories are stollen from a story site and sold on Amazon. They notify the affected authors who contact Amazon and then Amazon removes the novels and eventually the crooked author's account. But as soon as that happens, a new account is created with Amazon and the same novels are once again put up for sale. The last time it happened it was around 70 titles.

Is there anything Amazon can do to stop this? My guess is it's one person using different names each time they open an account. However, I bet the banking information is the same each time (I doubt they'd open a new bank account each time).

The most recent crooked author name was Veronica West. Another time it was K. Sanche. I think the first time it was discovered was under the name Hooriya Ahmed (which I believe was from Pakistan).

So can Amazon do anything to stop this theft/copyright infringement?

Thank you.


This is their response:

Hello,

We thank you for your effort in taking time to contact us about the platform abuse. You have also provided valuable suggestions to stop such fraudulent activities in future. Your concern in this regard is deeply appreciated.

Let me assure you that we take any manipulation of the system very seriously and work hard to protect the revenues of our authors. We've forwarded your concerns to the appropriate department to investigate possible violations of our policies.

Although we can't disclose the outcome of any investigation, we appreciate your role in maintaining the integrity and security of our website.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Thank you. But I'm suspicious you may have just been given a corporate-speak brush-off :(

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Although we can't disclose the outcome of any investigation

I suggest a follow-up question:
I understand you cannot advise me about the result of a particular investigation, but surely you can promise to advise when your investigation is complete and what, if any, changes to your procedures resulted from the investigation.

EDIT TO ADD: Ask them to state 'and we changed nothing', rather than 'we might change something', as part of their corporate-speak brush-off.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Although we can't disclose the outcome of any investigation, we appreciate your role in maintaining the integrity and security of our website.

Translation: Although we refuse to tell you diddly, please leave us the FUCK alone, as we know all and control all, and whatever we say goes!

I'd take a statement like that more seriously if they ever took corrective action about anything!

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@MrWolf_UK

I purchase SOL membership so that I can download the stories to my e-book for when I'm not near my computer (which is reasonably frequently), however as some have already mentioned, with a little bit of technical knowledge, you can quite easily save the stories to a file.


It wasn't, and isn't the only reason I typically retain an active paid SOL membership. But it certainly is a major consideration. I spend a LOT of time on the road, and I doing text-to-speech on a single file is a LOT easier than setting up and operating a text-to-speech web browser... Which I wouldn't to be "operating" while driving down the road for other reasons that should be self-evident.

The bookmarking, and other such features are nice though. But if the e-mail to Kindle via SOL went away. I'd just do what I do on other "copy protected" (via javascript) sites and use the Send-to-Kindle browser plugin that Amazon provides, and have it process and forward the story to my kindle, one pageload at a time.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I'd take a statement like that more seriously if they ever took corrective action about anything!


The problem here is that creating bank accounts can be trivially easy depending on where you are, or who you know.

Fake identities are likewise very hard to spot in an international online context.

I actually do think the piracy of stories is something Amazon would rather not contend with. Sure they may profit on some of the titles that were thefted, but the reality is more often than not, handling the DMCA takedown requests and disputes probably consumes enough manpower and other resources on their end that it likely is a net loser for them depending largely on how fast the complainant is in detecting the theft and reporting it.

Switch Blayde

I received a second response from Amazon. Wow, I just sent my question out last night.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us as customer feedback like yours is always important.

We'll consider your feedback as we plan further improvements. We will investigate for possible violations of our policies.

For account security reasons, we are unable to disclose the outcome of any investigation. We appreciate your role in maintaining the integrity and security of our website.

Thanks for your interest in Amazon Publishing.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I received a second response from Amazon.

Yeah, a second corporate-speak brush-off. :-(
You weren't asking them to investigate a particular case; you were informing them of a systemic failure in their system.
An assurance they'll look into it, but tell you nothing about the outcome, is totally meaningless.
I would still be asking to be advised, not about the result of this investigation, but whether any policies or procedures are changed as a result of the investigation.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Yeah, a second corporate-speak brush-off. :-(


They didn't need to send a second response. They said they'd look into it and that I won't be informed of their findings. That's all they had to do.

Evidently, the first person forwarded it to another department. That means it simply didn't go into the trash can.

I guess I'm more trustworthy. If someone is abusing their system they will try to stop it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I guess I'm more trustworthy.


More trusting, not trustworthy.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

More trusting, not trustworthy.


LOL yeah

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