Self-publishing News: Are Piracy Sites the Reason Amazon is Removing Authors’ Works Without Warning? — Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center

In this week’s self-publishing special, ALLi News editor Dan Holloway asks why Amazon is removing writers’ books without warning.

Dan Holloway is ALLi’s News Editor

A very happy new year to all. I very much look forward to seeing many of you at #indieauthorchat tonight at 3pm ET, 8pm UK time as we look forward to what 2022 may bring. In the meantime, tune in to the dossier The last podcast of last year Howard and I as we reflect on last year’s Futurebook conference.

Legal victory over hacking site kiss library: but will it make a difference

Piracy has been a problem for writers ever since Homer began excavating the works of his poetic predecessors. Printing certainly had its problems as a medium vulnerable to piracy. Cameras have long been a pirate’s best friend. But in the digital age, the problem has taken on an entirely different texture. The fact that many people have access to the Internet has increased the volume that can be done.

And this week’s case truly brought back one of the most intractable problems in trying to tackle piracy in a world with the Internet. Kiss Library was a somewhat cookie-cutter hacking site that offered free pdf downloads that were obtained and then viewed without consent. The DMCA provides a mechanism to issue takedown notices for such material and, eventually, to prosecute the hackers behind these sites. And this week, the courts found the people behind Kiss Library guilty of piracy in a lawsuit brought by the publishers and Authors Guild of America, and fined them $7.8 million.

This is where the problem comes in. Because the accused, who is believed to be a resident of Ukraine, was tried and sentenced in absentia. Which means that the US courts that issued the ruling cannot do it to enforce it. So affected authors are unlikely to see a cent of $7.8 million. There is not much anyone can do to prevent the offenders from creating another site that does the same. And when that site is removed, do the same again. and so on and so on. This is how the Internet makes it very difficult to do anything about copyright infringement.

Amazon removes KDP authors’ books without warning: Hacker sites to blame?

It was a bad time for the KDP’s relationship with independent authors who are their lifeblood. There are some suggestions that this story, too, may have a connection to hacking. Specifically, Amazon’s excessive suspension of books and even entire accounts has been in the news. The root cause appears to be a suspicion of hacking. But Amazon does removes before it investigates or gives authors a right to respond.

This issue surfaced on social media when bestselling author Robbie Dixon published those books in it Barbarians in Ice Planet The series has disappeared. Thanks Tiffany Roberts Whose tweet contributed to highlighting this issue greatlyHe drew my attention to him. Amazon has not commented (as usual). But what appears to have happened is that Dixon’s work was identified as available elsewhere on the Internet, and thus marked as possibly pirated. The irony, of course, is that they could have been reported because they were, in fact, hackers. Which is why they appear elsewhere, on a site like Kiss Library.

An intriguing speculation in response to Tiffany’s thread is that Dixon may have gone wrong with a very strict new Amazon bot, built as part of its Kindle Vella program and now being implemented by KDP. Kindle Vella, the serial fantasy app, checks all requests from writers by searching as many corners of the web as possible to ensure the material is original before it’s published.

Amazon’s communications with authors remain less transparent

Two things stand out in this case. The first is that Amazon’s Creator Services teams have once again woefully failed in a way reminiscent of Audiblegate. The lack of transparency, consultation, or a right of reply is troubling. And secondly, it seems once again that overzealous platforms are targeting romantic authors, who often lead the way for the rest of the independent community.

Fortunately, Dixon’s books are now back. But concerns about how Amazon will treat its creators remain.

A new development in the e-book battle between libraries and publishers

It seems that the battle between bookshops and publishers tends to heat up on New Year’s Eve. Two years ago, this issue came to the head first. This week, Maryland’s bid to give libraries a legal right to obtain e-book licenses on fair terms fluctuated. New York Governor Cathy Hochhol vetoed a bill that would have included a similar provision. She explained that states did not in fact have the right to pass such legislation. She claimed that the bill violated US copyright law. In the meantime, the Maryland bill will be considered next month.

Amazon removes authors’ books from KDP without warning and other news stories from #selfpub by #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Hollowayagnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click to tweet

Upcoming conferences and events

Help us fill this with great online events in the coming weeks and months. I highly recommend this great list of online book conferences from Nate Hoffelder, some of which are comprehensive as independent.

Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) – Zoom meets on the second Saturday of every month

I’m done with you

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