All Your Books Are Belong To Pirate Translators

How Three Germans Are Cloning the Web

Bamarang is the creation of Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer, a trio of German brothers who have a wildly successful business model: Find a promising Internet business, in the U.S., and clone it internationally. Since starting their first dot-clone in 1999, a German version of EBay, they’ve duplicated Airbnb, eHarmony, Pinterest, and other high-profile businesses. In total, they’ve launched more than 100 companies. Their Zappos clone, Zalando, now dominates six European markets and is estimated to be worth $1 billion by Financial Times Deutschland. Through their venture capital firm, the European Founders Fund, they also invested in European knockoffs of Facebook and YouTube, which sold for $112 million and $36 million, respectively.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me. Do they have a book business too?

And if they do, is it filled with unlicensed translations of popular American, British, French, Swedish, and other books? And especially ones that have been self-published? How hard would it be to rip off the Top 100 of each Amazon category?

That day is coming: Writers: It’s The INVISIBLE Piracy That Will Kill You. And that Businessweek article has put that day even closer.

It’s already here just in the English language alone:

So an RWA member, the treasurer of the Kiss of Death RWA chapter no less, is found to be plagiarizing. Name is Kristal Singletary aka Kay Manning | K.S. Manning | Payton Bradshaw. The first signs were revealed by a fan of Liz Fielding who reported to her that “La Maison Romance” by Kay Manning, a free download on Smashwords, appeared to be a copy of Liz Fielding’s story “The Cinderella Fantasy”.

How much easier it will be to get away with in another language!

1 Comment

  1. Chad3 March, 2012

    “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” by Chris Anderson provides a great case study comparing the music industry in China and in the US. The legitimate Chinese music industry has realized that piracy is a fact of life and they have found ways of capitalizing on what it provides – mass distribution. Instead of futile efforts of trying to stamp it out, they have embraced it and profit in its wake.

    In the same way, authors, publishers, and distributors are going to need to find ways of adapting to capitalize, or they will find themselves extinct. I am speaking individually here – there will be some that adapt and succeed, and there will be those that hang on to the old ways like grim death and thus fade from existence.

    And to anyone who hasn’t read Anderson’s book, I highly recommend it. The Kindle version was free when it came out, although not it is no longer. But the audio version is still available free.


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