E-Book Content Farmers Harvest Bumper Crops of Ill Gotten Gains

No matter how high and thick we build them and assiduously we police them, the barriers against content theft are crumbling as unscrupulous marauders find new and daring ways to rob authors. As overwhelmed carriers and retailers lose the struggle to screen their sites, an army of “content farmers” pours through the breaches, packaging and selling copyrighted works on a gigantic scale.

That’s the essence of a report posted on Publishing Trends on the great “Kindle Swindle”. It describes research by Impact Media’s Mike Essex.

“The Kindle Store allows anybody to upload identical content under multiple user names. Many ebook vendors don’t check copyright on works that are submitted, and Essex noticed that people are stealing content from the web, quickly creating ebooks about the same topics from multiple angles in order to target different keyword variants, and publishing them—some Kindle authors have ‘written’ thousands of books in a single year. The Amazon.com domain name gives these books an added boost in search results; royalty payouts are high even when a book is priced at $0.99, and reviews aren’t a surefire solution to combating the problem.”

Essex says that readers don’t know if the e-books they buy and read are legit or stolen.  But because the stuff is so cheap they’re not inclined to look too hard at whether it was written by the true author or someone who just slaps his name on the true author’s work. Screening content should really be the job of the carrier or retailer, but few of them bother. “If content holders like Apple and Amazon spent even one hour a day searching,” says Publishing Trends,”they would save customers a lot of money by removing bad content.”

Read Essex’s complete article  here.

Richard Curtis

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