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Authors up in arms as Amazon scammers pirate published book covers for notebooks - Mobilemall

Authors up in arms as Amazon scammers pirate published book covers for notebooks

Authors up in arms as Amazon scammers pirate published book covers for notebooks

Amazon has its justifiable share of issues with scammers. Most of us have most likely come throughout suspicious-looking knock-offs, or merchandise at costs that look too good to be true – don’t get us began on a microSD card scams – however the newest racket to be uncovered is one thing somewhat completely different.

Authors have reported that the covers and art work of their books have been pirated, and used because the covers for notebooks which are then handed off as the unique ebook, full with the writer’s identify, however with the content material changed by clean pages.

We have been alerted to the rip-off once we got here throughout a thread on Twitter began by writer Rob Manuel detailing his latest expertise. Manuel noticed a clone of his ebook The Very Better of Fesshole: Britain Confesses Anonymously round 24 hours after it was revealed on Amazon. This cloned ebook was listed at a less expensive value than Manuel’s unique by an ‘writer’ going by the identify of ‘Rachid Zrika’. 

What an odd factor. My ebook we revealed yesterday has been cloned on Amazon. OF COURSE I’VE ORDERED IT. Cannot wait to learn Rachid Zrika’s model. pic.twitter.com/iN4LIxR4r8October 28, 2022

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Manuel found that ‘Rachid Zrika’ had a web page on Amazon – it’s now been taken down – that includes a handful of books underneath that identify that have been very clearly cloned. Books on Amazon’s bestseller lists, together with Cat Woman by Daybreak O’Porter and a Ballet of Lepers by Leonard Cohen, have been each listed as being written by and obtainable from ‘Zrika’, and have been being bought at a fraction of the worth of the originals. 

Manuel ordered a duplicate of the pretend model of his ebook, and shared a video of what he obtained. 

So I ordered the pretend rip-off model of my very own ebook so I might personal this distinctive piece of memorabilia pic.twitter.com/fX3eas4brhOctober 30, 2022

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Whereas this pretend ‘author’ just isn’t promoting precise copies of those books, they’re passing off what are nothing greater than low-cost notebooks as the unique works – and anybody who unsuspectingly bought one, whether or not for themselves or as a present, can be paying good cash for what’s – nearly actually – a hole facade of the real article.

We reached out to Rob Manuel, who informed us that Amazon had deleted the clone of his ebook after he made “a little bit of a fuss on Twitter”. He added: “I used to be anxious that it’d begin showing within the bestseller lists, because it’s cheaper than the true ebook, so individuals trying casually would select a budget one. And people individuals can be disillusioned with a garbage pocket book.”

One other author replied to Manuel’s Twitter thread to say that the identical factor had occurred to him, and added that when he reached out to Amazon UK for assist he was given no help as a result of he “was solely the writer, and never VAT registered”.

The verified Amazon account @amazonhelp then replied within the thread, and included a hyperlink to a web page the place authors might report any infringement – however that was the extent of Amazon’s response. We requested Manuel if he’d obtained any direct communications from anybody at Amazon, and surprisingly he had not, though Amazon did no less than take down the clearly fraudulent ‘Rachid Zrika’ web page.

We don’t know the way widespread this problem is, however it wouldn’t be shocking if different scammers are doing one thing just like ‘Rachid Zrika’, and have their very own pretend writer pages.

We reached out to Amazon for remark, and a spokesperson informed us: “Nothing is extra vital to us than buyer and writer belief and guaranteeing titles are genuine. We’ve got zero tolerance for plagiarised titles or content material, and we spend money on individuals and know-how to guard our retailer from abuse. The merchandise flagged have been eliminated.”

Evaluation: do higher, Amazon

Scams akin to this one are at all times troubling, and much more so right now of yr, within the run-up to Black Friday and the pre-Christmas buying season. Within the rush to snap up a discount, buyers don’t at all times cease to verify the small print, and might simply be taken benefit of and discover themselves out of pocket.

On condition that Amazon began life as a bookseller, it’s not unreasonable to count on that while you’re searching for books you need to be getting precisely what you’ve paid for. And whereas it’s reassuring that Amazon has acted swiftly on this case, it’s additionally troubling that it solely did so when the matter was dropped at its consideration – who is aware of what number of unsuspecting buyers have already fallen sufferer to this explicit rip-off, or related ones.

The same old recommendation applies while you’re buying on-line: no matter you’re in search of, do your analysis, verify the small print, and be cautious of any Black Friday offers that look too good to be true.


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