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CD-ROM Copyright Infringement

So a CD-ROM version of my novel showed up on Amazon a day after I placed the book on Feedbooks and Manybooks.  It’s listed as published by “The Again Shop” so be on the lookout.  A Google search just came up with other examples of this. The novel is protected by a Creative Commons No Derivatives license, which reads:

You are free:

  • to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work

Under the following conditions:

  • Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
  • Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
  • No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

In other words: they can’t do this.  As this is a self-published work, they are getting 100% of the profits in a format I have yet to release. I contacted Amazon and they sent back this letter:

If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide Amazon.com’s copyright agent the written information specified below.

Please note that this procedure is exclusively for notifying Amazon.com and its affiliates that your copyrighted material has been infringed.

- An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;

- A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed upon;

- A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the site;

- Your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;

- A statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;

- A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf.

Amazon.com’s Copyright Agent for notice of claims of copyright infringement on its site can be reached as follows:

Copyright Agent
Amazon.com Legal Department
P.O. Box 81226
Seattle, WA 98108-1226
phone: (206) 266-4064
fax: (206) 266-7010
e-mail: copyright@amazon.com

If you wish to contact us for any further assistance, here are our customer service phone numbers:

— U.S. and Canada: 1-866-216-1072
— International: 1-206-266-2992

For more on copyright infringement, see Cheryl Gardner’s post: When a CC License Becomes a PITA, or worse, a Pain in Your Bottom Line…

  • http://ipadtest.wordpress.com Mike Cane

    Sorry, but you put it up for FREE. Despite the CC, that’s a signal to people on eBay to throw it on a CD with other FREEbies and make a few bucks from the suXXorz. You can’t prove economic harm here at all. In fact, under the law, I don’t know what frikkin recourse you’d have.

  • http://podpeep.blogspot.com Cheryl Anne Gardner

    This is like the zillionth incident [slight exageration] of piracy for money I have heard of recently, and the common denominator was Feedbooks [not an exageration]. I refuse to list there because of their language in the Intellectual property Rights Section, which states: FeedBooks being registered in France, the content of the Website is subject to the French legislation on copyrights and other intellectual property rights. However, the electronic books offered for reading are free from copyrights as, in accordance with the legislation of France, the said books fall in the public domain.

    Its vagueness gives the impression that anything listed there is public domain.

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/henry-baum/ Henry Baum

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t care that much about the CD-ROM. The 200 downloads I’ve had in two days on Feedbooks is worth it to me compared to the nothing I’d probably make if I released my own CD-ROM. In effect, I’m losing money on ebook sales by releasing the book for free, so the CD is not that much of a loss, and actually increases the number of ways people can read the book. If it was another Kindle edition, that would be something else. I’m protesting this mostly on principle – I’ll see what happens.

  • paseasholtz

    Wouldn’t this have been the license to use, with the key part being the “Noncommercial” clause? That said, at least someone thought highly enough of your work to do this. As I read somewhere once: piracy is not the issue, obscurity is.

    “Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

    You are free:
    to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
    Under the following conditions:

    Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

    Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

    No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.”

    • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/henry-baum/ Henry Baum

      The noncommercial part should be the protection – they’re profiting and I see none of it. They’re free to distribute, just not free to charge for it. But I’m not exactly a lawyer.

  • paseasholtz

    But I think that is maybe the issue. It looks like the license you used doesn’t have the “Noncommercial” clause, just the “No Derivative” clause. I think there are different licenses to choose from if memory serves. I’m no lawyer either, so I’m working through this the same as everyone else, but I’m pretty sure I cut and pasted my license text in from Creative Commons web site, and that there were different versions to choose from.

    • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/henry-baum/ Henry Baum

      Yeah, I think I screwed up. Manybooks lists Noncommercial, Feedbooks doesn’t. I may edit this site, but I’m still learning. But like I said, I don’t entirely mind the CD version being up there. Until the CD-ROM book revolution starts, I’m not losing out on much.

    • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/kelindk/ James Ashman

      Actually, it does appear to be a derivative, since it’s in a different format. It’s not an ebook anymore, it’s a physical product. Doesn’t even matter if the product inside is just a copy, it’s still been transformed and being sold. It’s complicated legalese, from what I can understand, but end-case it looks like they can’t do this.

  • Andy

    I looked it up, the CD maker is selling the disk for 5 dollars, I am sure he is making a killing and the Amazon ranking shows ZERO have been sold. Really worth your time?

    • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/henry-baum/ Henry Baum

      No, not really worth my time, which is why I haven’t pursued getting it removed. If the .000001% of readers who want the CD-rom version can find a copy, I’m actually OK with it if I don’t make this negligible profit. But thought people should know that this is how books can be scraped or pirated.