Over the past three years I have reported no fewer than four times about Amazon’s ongoing problem with counterfeit and pirated books in its POD service, Createspace.
Here is report number five (and six).
Ars Technica brings us word of Bill Pollock, a technical publisher who discovered earlier this month that Amazon was selling pirated POD copies of The Art of Assembly Language, a book published by No Starch Press, Pollock’s company.
Just discovered today a new case of copyright infringement directly by AMAZON'S CREATESPACE. Not the first time! This is obviously NOT printed by No Starch. Kindly report any other cases to us. Please RT and share. @amazon @nostarch pic.twitter.com/ayjebwTiOI
— Bill Pollock (@billpollock) February 2, 2019
— Bill Pollock (@billpollock) February 12, 2019
As Pollock explained, these fakes were relatively easy to spot: “On Amazon fakes: I’m a bit in the dark here but I know that all fakes so far have used a glossy cover; we use matte. All have been 8″ x 10″; we use 7 1/4″ x 9″ size. All have a barcode inside the back cover,” he tweeted.
After Pollock’s tweet on the second, other people tweeted photos of other No Starch Press books that had been pirated through Createspace, And to make matters worse, this isn’t the first time this has happened to Pollock.
Back in 2017, Pollock discovered Amazon selling counterfeit copies of Python for Kids and four other No Starch Press titles. Like the Assembly book mentioned above, the books were easy to distinguish from legit copies of No Starch Press titles thanks to the obviously poorer quality of the paper, binding, and design.
— Bill Pollock (@billpollock) March 21, 2017
Previous examples of pirated and counterfeit books on Createspace included a book that was distributed through CS and then pirated through CS as well as a money laundering operation; a publisher who spammed the market with POD versions of every book they could, including a bunch of titles in copyright; and in 2015, a massive textbook piracy scam.
I guess that old canard is true; the more things change, the more they stay the same.