Saturday, April 28, 2012

Amazon Takes New Position on Selling Plagiarized Books

Before reading this, please remember that the noted aboriginal psychic Sven Heruingal predicted last Thursday before breakfast that without more signatures on the petition in the upper left hand corner of this blog, your chances of being plagiarized might be increased.


I had my notebook out and my Montblanc pen balanced on the edge of my salad bowl.  It was my way of telling her that I was ready to take notes at a moment's notice, although Tahini sauce tends to smear the ink.

Before arriving, I'd clipped my press pass to my collar so she'd recognize me.

"So, as someone who looks like a celebrity lawyer but isn't,"  I said,  "can you confirm to this reporter beyond a shadow of a doubt that the serial plagiarist David B. Boyer from Vincennes, IN and Amazon are in a way business partners?"

"No," she said.

I wanted to eat some of my tabouli, but didn't want to spend hours flossing the little parsley flakes out from between my teeth.

"But doesn't Amazon publish a lot of plagiarized material through CreateSpace?"

"Define a lot," she smiled, and for a moment I thought she looked like Nancy Grace would if she were attractive.

"Too much?"  I offered.

She adjusted her glasses to look down her nose.

"According to Judge Judy, the phrase business partners can mean many things."

"Try this,"  I said,  "David B. Boyer and others like him steal the copyrighted work of other writers. He and the other sleaze-buckets send this stolen work to one of the Amazon owned companies who then turns this digital theft into a hard copy product called a book.  Then the main Amazon company sells the stolen content which is also now a physical product through its main outlet and gives it to a bunch of distributors to sell so more innocent people are implicated in this crooked operation.  All because Amazon, with their massive computing powers, doesn't even check whether the stuff is stolen.  They do the Wink Wink."

She put down her falafel sandwich and stared at me.

"The what?"

"The Wink Wink," I said.  "That's where even though Amazon has all the computing power in the world to see if the submitted work is stolen, they ask the plagiarist to sign a document that it's not and that way they don't have to check it themselves and find out for sure it's stolen.  That way Amazon can still go on making money on stolen product, they can still pay the thieves to keep on providing stolen product and if anyone complains about it, they say they didn't know."

"You should start your own online bookstore," she said.  "You're pretty good at this."

"I was born to report, ma'am,"  I told her.  "News is in my blood.  Selling stolen product like Amazon does and pretending they have no responsibility for their involvement might make them money, but I still have my own press pass.  You have to be an ace reporter to get one of these."

I thought she'd be impressed.  Instead she made me an offer that shocked me.  When a woman in a low cut red dress makes you a shocking offer, you pay attention.

"Hypothetically, and with no basis in reality, if Amazon made their plagiarized book sales into a separate division or company, would a good looking reporter like you be interested in running it?"

I thought about it.  If she would have said hot looking reporter, I might have taken the bait.

"No, ma'am," I said.  "It's not the fact that it would be sleazy but profitable, it's just that  Amazon's logo is embarrassing.  It's not relevant to their pretend-they-don't know-they-publish-plagiarized-writing business model."

"And what would you propose?"  she asked.

I shoved a photo across the table at her.  Our fingers brushed as she stared wide-eyed at the picture I've posted on this blog.  It could easily be made into the new Amazon logo and she knew it.

Thing is, when a company's executives stick their head in the sand while their operating units are buying and selling stolen material, the Federal Trade Commission can come along and kick them in the ass.  Maybe I should let the FTC know about this scam.

Maybe I'll just stick with being a reporter.  MySpace Tracker


mafarivar said...

Have you thought of contacting 60 minutes??

Rick said...

Now there's an idea!