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From Publishers Weekly:
Twelve of the Authors Guild’s biggest names are serving as marquee plaintiffs on a new court action filed Tuesday (July 7) along with Amazon Publishing and Penguin Random House in Seattle at the US District Court for the Western District of Washington. The complaint names Kiss Library as a “book piracy entity” and asks that “its operators be enjoined from illegally copying, distributing, and selling works written or published by the plaintiffs.”
Plaintiffs from the Authors Guild include its president, Doug Preston, and members and board members Lee Child, Sylvia Day, John Grisham, CJ Lyons, Jim Rasenberger, TJ Stiles, RL Stine, Monique Truong, Scott Turow, Nicholas Weinstock, and Stuart Woods.
The problem this legal action is meant to address is easy to find. On Reddit, a user writes, “I found a site called ‘KISS Library’ selling one of my ebooks that I had uploaded to Amazon. However, they are selling it for more than Amazon, and they are selling it in EPUB and PDF. Is this site somehow partnering with Amazon, or is this book piracy? Has anyone heard of this site?”
As that message from a year ago indicates, many authors have heard of the site and have been struggling to deal with what is widely seen by writers as a relentless piracy mill.
In its media messaging today, the Guild writes that KISS Library–doing business as Kissly.net, Libly.net, Cheap-Library.com and other domain names–”is a pirate online bookstore based in Ukraine.”
The outfit, according to the Guild’s staff, illegally sells pirated ebooks at discounted prices to unsuspecting American consumers. “The defendants dress their sites up to make them look like sophisticated, legitimate sites,” the Guild reports, “intentionally deceiving consumers who are unaware that authors, publishers and legitimate booksellers are being denied their legal share of the sales price.”
Clearly, one of the most interesting elements of this effort at litigation is that Amazon Publishing is working in concert with the United States’ premiere author-advocacy organization, the Guild, and the largest of the Big Five publishers, Penguin Random House. While the retail powerhouse is not always spoken of by many in publishing with fondness, this is a moment in which a common enemy, piracy, has brought together authors, big book business, and the biggest of sales points.
In a statement issued by an Amazon spokesperson to Publishing Perspectives, we read, “Combatting piracy requires collaboration across the industry and Amazon Publishing is glad to join together with Penguin Random House and members of the Authors Guild in this suit against book piracy entity KISS Library.
“We are committed to holding bad actors accountable.”
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives
PG says three cheers! Make that 153 cheers!
PG thinks bringing back the days of chaining prisoners in their cells and recruiting rats to run around on the floor is an appropriate punishment for book pirates.
He does draw the line at beheading, however.
Except for repeat offenders.