Plagiarized Books Remain A Huge Problem on Amazon

Publishers Marketplace provided this link concerning the plagiarized self-publishing of e-books on Amazon.   The article initially appeared on June 5, 2016, in “The Atlantic” magazine.  I’ve consistently (tragically) pointed out instances of prolific offenders who take advantage of bona fide authors by placing plagiarized works via Amazon.  The company in my opinion doesn’t do nearly enough to rectify these wrongs documented by the legitimate authors.

As the article in “The Atlantic” points out, Amazon earns 30 percent for any e-book sold.  So there’s hardly an incentive to pull the plagiarized material.  What’s particularly disgusting, the thief’s other stolen material–and there’s usually an abundance of additional copied works–remains on the site.  This is beyond a “go figure.”

An odd dichotomy is that some sites encourage authors to post material so other would-be writers can spin off stories from the original.  This is how Erika Leonard (a.k.a E.L. James) got her inspiration for GREY, as she acknowledges using TWILIGHT as a template.  I’m not listing the site that encourages this.  My reason is because I believe it fosters a sense of entitlement that’s as wrong as wrong can be.  However, regardless of my opinion, the opportunity exists to plagiarize someone else’s material as a template.

And anyone can generally, legally copy portions of whatever is extant in any medium.  But encouraging plagiarism isn’t a healthy means for getting the creative juices flowing.  I’ll be more than happy to publish other views on this, so please feel free to weigh in, and of course don’t worry if you disagree with my contention.  I’ll gladly offer opposing opinions–and without dissenting comment on my part.

My primary argument pertains to authors’ rights, which are losing more ground every day it seems.  If Congress doesn’t enact serious legislation to protect writers, and soon, dire consequences are assured.


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