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Blogs About Copyright > Stolen Ebooks On EBay Discussion

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message 1: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
I thoroughly enjoyed Jim Edwards's blog and highly recommend reading it and the comments.

Do post whatever you'd have liked to say to Jim here.

message 2: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 24 comments Mod
Most helpful, thanks! going to explore how to set up ebay alerts on my name. I get some through google alerts, but those all seem to be used copies of my books.

message 3: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod

You could also try the title of your book, or e-books.

Used copies are absolutely legal, and I am always delighted to see that someone who bought the paperback is able to sell it. I often wish I could send the vendor a little smiley face to thank them for the initial purchase.

Sometime, I must see if I'd be able to Tweet a legal auction of my books. Do you think that would look self-serving of me? After all, there's no financial benefit to me at all from a used book sale.

I should like to see good resale values though.

message 4: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
Someone asked me off group how prevalent the problem is. This was my reply.


These are just a few of hundreds of such listings every day. Some of the larger infringers bundle hundreds of e-books together in a single sale. Worse, some of them are selling multiple copies of the same packet of hundreds of e-books, which is blatantly illegal; one such infringer a few weeks ago was selling 650 or so books in the packet and had six or more listings (current ones...she had hundreds more that had already sold) running of that packet at once.

Beyond the fact that first sale doctrine does not apply to e-books, as it does to print books, because reselling means making unauthorized copies and distribution channels (speak to Patrick Ross at Copyright Alliance for more information on how the laws apply).... Beyond the fact that even infringers outside the US may be breaking the law due to the Berne treaty, many of these sellers claim ridiculous things about the e-books. Among them:

"They are public domain." No, they aren't, in most cases. Public domain (in the US) comes 70 years after the death of the author. A current NY Times bestseller is not public domain. My books are not public domain. Finding someone else pirating them does not mean the books are public domain.

"I have resell rights." No, they don't. One pirate chieftain lies and says he has resell rights, and then gets the dominoes falling in line. Some know it's a lie and still claim it. Some are really uneducated enough to believe it. No author or publisher is blithely selling resell rights that way. Think about it. Someone is buying a bulk collection of 500 novels, a third of them NY Times bestsellers, and they believe the author has willingly sold someone this right and is allowing them to sell hundreds or thousands of copies of the same book over and over with the author getting not a dime of a single sale? Why? It doesn't pass the common sense test.

"It was a free e-book anyway. I can sell it, if I want to." Actually, most free reads out there have a Creative Commons statement on them that they can be passed for free as far and wide as you want to but cannot be used for commercial use. Even if they don't, copyright law applies here. It's covered, just like so many other things. Giving a free read does NOT invalidate copyright protection or allow someone else to make money from it without the permission of the author. Besides that, it's tacky. If I give a free read, it's a gift to the readers. It's not for someone to pilfer and cheat some unknowing reader into paying for. Send readers the link to the free read as much as you want. I've personally dealt with one that was selling free reads from one of my publishers. You wouldn't believe the idiotic statements coming out of this woman's mouth.

"eBay no longer allows selling electronic ebooks, so I have to deliver them on CD." As if burning them to CD makes the illegal copy legal? What is wrong with these people?

How prevalent is it? VERY!

Oh, and a side note. I found one in that group this morning that not only claimed all of her books had either resell rights or were public domain...NOT...but had heisted the author's picture from her site to make her illegal auction seem sanctioned by the author...hence adding yet another layer of infringement to the mix.

message 5: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
And, still, I receive emails every day from EBay announcing more ebooks for sale.

I know EBay appears to try, and at least has the VERO program for authors, but EBay could do so much more to help, for instance by blocking use of such tags as "EBook" and all permutations of the spelling thereof.

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