May 13th, 2011

I’m reposting here information from an article from Tracy Ames’ blog about a case of plagiarism (ha ha — obviously with her permission!). I highly recommend you follow the link and read the article in its entirety there, and follow her links as well. But in a nutshell, one DamonX posted a bunch of erotic stories online at literotica.com. For those who don’t know the site, it’s a vast repository of user-contributed erotica, available to readers for free. Some of it is kind of meh, some of it is excellent. I haven’t read any of DamonX’s stories (yet!), so I can’t tell you where he falls — but someone liked them well enough to not only read them, but to download them and then — hold on to your hats, good people — upload them in their entirety to Amazon under another name. That’s right, DamonX’s stories, word for word, got ‘republished’ by the name Elizabeth Summers. The same name took stories from other writers as well.

Unless you too are some sort of petty (or major) criminal, you should find that shocking. I don’t need to tell you why it’s wrong. But I think a good question is, What can you do about it? You personally, I mean. You don’t know Elizabeth Summers (who doubtless doesn’t even exist). Nor do you know DamonX. You don’t work at Amazon. (Please disregard this last point if you do work at Amazon.)

The obvious thing is a thing not to do, which is “buy a book by this Elizabeth Summers,” or any of the other names (possibly the same person?) listed in Tracy’s article.

But I think another good thing to do is to complain to Amazon. Now, I get why Amazon can’t check the content of every e-book being uploaded to make sure it’s not made up of stolen content. However, if a case of plagiarism is brought to their attention, then I think they need to investigate it. If the plagiarism can be proved, then they need to pull the book. I’m guessing that if one person complains, they might not pay attention. Tracy’s article explains why they are not holding themselves accountable. But what if a lot of people complained? Would they at least look into it? Well… we’ll never know till we try.

Finally, I’m all for giving DamonX his due. He’s apparently not after any money, because he’s already been posting his stories for free. I assume, therefore, that what he wants is to entertain people with his stories. So if any of his titles grab you, then read him! If you enjoy his stories, leave him a nice comment and let him know. Writing is hard work, and good writers deserve a return on their investment of time and energy, whether in the form of money or the satisfaction of knowing their stories reached the right audience.

Plagiarizers, though, they deserve a swift kick in the ass. And possibly a lawsuit.

Go here! Read all about it!

http://www.interracialerotica.net/erotica/articles/334/1/Plagiarism-is-the-New-Black/Page1.html

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 13th, 2011 at 3:41 pm and is filed under • Plagiarism: But What Can I Do about It?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Plagiarism: But What Can I Do about It?”

Jeremy Edwards Says:

I have personal experience with both the Internet Archive and Scribd in the area of their removing unauthorized content when notified by the rights holder (after some sort of process to assess the claim, obviously). If they can do it, Amazon can do it.

Shar Says:

Of course they can. And they should! Otherwise, who’d trust their content? A lot of independent authors publish there. I want to know when I’m purchasing a book that I’m not receiving stolen goods.

Jeremy Edwards Says:

Not to mention YouTube–how many times have we all seen that, right?

Savannah Chase Says:

Thank you for posting this…I have posted the link to the article on my own site that will go up this weekend..I have had work stolen from me and so I know how the original author feels. It makes me sick that we fight piracy now we have to fight this. This is why I now copyright all my work. I learned a hard lesson…

Fulani Says:

This has become a common practice in the last few months, and probably earlier than that except the practice hadn’t generated much attention.

I recently came across a WordPress blog set up by someone who’d self-published a novel and provided it free on their own website, then discovered someone else had ripped it and was selling it on Amazon. I can’t instantly find the URL but will comment again if I can locate it again. The blog is now accepting notifications of such books and is publishing listings.

From what I’ve read, Amazon is now alert to this practice and allegedly responds to digital rights violations notices within a reasonable period of time.

Fulani Says:

Found the site I mentioned: it’s the obvious URL, http://theystolemybook.com/

Shar Says:

Ha ha…. that is a great url indeed. Says what it needs to!

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