From The Digital Reader:
A reader has tipped me to the news that Amazon’s own website is a great source of pirated books.
Scot Schad discovered that pirates had been ripping off freely available and open source digital textbooks, and then using Amazon’s POD service to sell print versions on Amazon.
Here’s how it works.
The scammers identify a popular textbook, copy the name, and then start selling the paper copy of a pirated book under that name.
They’re hoping to sell the pirated book to an unwary buyer who might mistake the knockoff for the legit textbook, and it must be working because they keep doing it.
. . . .
Three pirated textbooks might not sound like much, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Schad identified a half-dozen other pirated POD textbooks on Amazon, and I found at least dozen other titles sold by the same “authors” of the pirated books.
For example, there’s a copy of Linear Algebra and Its Applications by the aforementioned Ben Ward. This book was pirated from a Linear Algebra textbook published by Bookboon.
I also found dozens of books from those “authors” which were no longer available but also showed every sign of having been pulled because they were pirated.
. . . .
It is difficult to say how long this operation has been going on (months? years?), but I would say that we are looking at industrial scale pirates second only to the ones that used to infest Google Play Books (it looks like Google has fixed the problem).
The only real difference is that these scammers are targeting POD textbooks, rather than ebooks, and that the POD scammers are going after even the most arcane title.
. . . .
This isn’t just a problem with pirated books on Amazon. What you see here are signs of a fundamental problem with one of Amazon’s platforms.
All of the textbooks mentioned above, as well as all the other textbooks published by these scammers, were distributed through Createspace.
And that is a huge problem for everyone because Createspace doesn’t just distribute to Amazon’s website.
Link to the rest at The Digital Reader and thanks to Stephen for the tip.