Too Many Cheaters Online Stealing Content and Selling It in E-Books

As a prolific online article writer, I am very upset that so many folks are so lazy, that they’d attempt to cheat and steal content, rather than do it right. There have been numerous cases where folks had found information in the public domain, compiled it into e-books, and then sold those e-books digitally online. Many of the old works which were scanned by Microsoft and Google and are now public domain, some of them 50 years old or more, have been repackaged and sold on e-book selling platforms.

The other day, I found some e-books that I had produced, and was giving away online at my website, and someone else had converted those PDF files into a format that was then loaded onto one of the most popular e-book selling websites. It still had my name on it, as the author, but of course the copyright was missing, and there was that e-book for sale, although someone else was getting money for it.

There was an interesting article in Fast Company titled; “Unmasking A Digital Pirate On Amazon,” by Adam Penenberg published digitally on January 25, 2012.

“A Kuwaiti national using fake names and selling others’ copyrighted stories in the Kindle Store sheds light on black hat hacker forums–and the theft, taboo sex, and swindles festering in the recesses of Amazon.”

The article talked about how online marketers were discussing the ways to manipulate the system at the Warrior Forum. There were folks who were selling e-books for $20, and then allowing people to put their name on it, change the title, and put it onto Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any of the other e-book websites and sell it in very specific and limited niches.

There was another article recently in the New York Times talking about a similar situation where someone was lifting paragraphs and pieces out of other very popular e-books changing the character names and what have you and reposting them. Obviously that is in violation of copyright law, but one of the biggest challenges with copyright law, or patent law is that it is up to the holder of the copyright or patent to enforce it.

However, with all of this fraud running rampant it’s almost impossible to spend all of your time trying to enforce copyright violations and still concentrate on creating new literary works whether it be fiction or nonfiction.

As an online article author, and an author of a good many e-books, I am concerned for other authors who are doing it legitimately, as well as the e-book industry as a whole. The e-books have overtaken the printing industry, and tens of millions of e-readers are sold each month, but it is like the Wild West in the e-book industry.

Eventually the readers of these e-books will no longer trust the system, at that point everyone loses, and the print industry and publishing sector have already been all but destroyed. These cheaters, and lazy online marketers out to scam the public are going to ruin it for everyone. This is very upsetting to me, if you have any questions or comments please shoot me an e-mail, this is a problem we must solve.