It's hard to believe Amazon lets merchants have "Amazon" in their name, but there it is.
If you don't get a reply from someone at AZ in a timely manner, I imagine you could go ahead and file a DMCA takedown as the copyright owner. They're making your copyrighted material available for download without your permission— This is exactly what it's for.
What's happening here is that someone took the freely available book and published it via Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing, http://kdp.amazon.com/). Violations like this happen all the time and Amazon hates them. Simply contact them with a DMCA notice and they'll remove it right away.
It used to be common for people to publish no longer copyrighted classics and other freely available content through KDP. Nothing illegal about it, but people were so eager to make a quick buck for no work that it quickly got out of hand. The Kindle Store was inundated with such content, so Amazon had to become much more selective about it.
PRO Tip: Always include a message in your free ebooks (unless you allow commercial use) that if the digital copy of the book was sold, and not obtained for free, the reader should ask immediately for a refund and let you know about the violators. Most scammers are too lazy to go into the book and change it.
I did send a takedown notice on the 6th and haven't heard anything back.
Re the pro-tip..I did stick the license at the top..but, ya, that isn't very clear. In The Little MongoDB Book, I very clearly state that "You should not have paid for this book"
I'm a little surprised you'd write a blog post and get HN involved before picking up the phone.
"2.4 stars over the past 12 months (16 ratings)"
"Amazon Digital Services, Inc. US has not provided return and refund policies for display on Amazon. Please contact Amazon Digital Services, Inc. US to request a refund or get information about policies that may apply"
You need to email firstname.lastname@example.org
The template to use is something like this:
You need to sign it, either physically or by dropping an image into the claim document (do it as a Word document or Google doc). Remember that it is a legal document, so you must be sure ('in good faith') that the claim is accurate, which may require that you either purchase a copy of the infringing book or downloading the sample to confirm that it is your content.
You can get more information at the bottom of this page:
(note: while I have sent out DMCA requests previously, I have never had to send one to Amazon, but the process is similar to dealing with other service providers)
More than once in the past, I've seen Amazon sell things on its own store using its own merchant "seller" accounts. This is a convenience for smaller divisions within amazon that want to sell using Amazon.com without setting up custom code on the Amazon.com store system (presumably.)
For instance, here's the page for the Kindle:
Which contains the text:
Ships from and sold by Amazon Digital Services. Gift-wrap available."
Here's a kindle game they developed, with Amazon Digital Services as the creator:
Delaware lets you search corporations online:
This let me confirm they exist (file 3892327) but doesn't show ownership or other info about them.
There's a telephone number there-- I imagine you should be able to get this cleared up quickly.
This could be interpreted, as there is no contradictory license statement on that page, as "this book is free-libre".
If "Amazon Digital Services" (which, if not originating with Amazon, has to be a Trademark violation that could lose Amazon their Trademark right if not challenged) counter the DMCA notice with such a statement I think that would leave the matter unresolved and Amazon wouldn't, IIRC, be obliged to take down the material. You'd have to lawyer up instead.
IA(quite obviously I'm sure)NAL.
>if the general term fits the case//
The general term "completely free" means that I'm able to do absolutely anything with it without paying.
The general term "completely free" means that I'm
able to do absolutely anything with it without paying.
That's why there's a copyright law that is applied implicitly and that's why releasing works should be accompanied by a real license that explicitly says what you're allowed to do.
The reason "completely free" does not mean anything is because it is ambiguous. If it refers to price, that doesn't mean you can redistribute it.
that it could be sufficient defence against a DMCA
This is more or less what I've been saying.
>because it is ambiguous //
Ambiguity was my claim initially if you read back.
Clearly you have a handle on DMCA take down notices that I don't. How, if an ambiguity in license isn't sufficient, does the DMCA protect from malicious take down notices. If what you say is true then it appears that one can simply submit a DMCA take down notice and the carrier is always required to remove the content without and need to demonstrate that it is infringing.
Obviously it's fine to remove content that is questionable, within ones ToS, but we're not looking at that.
2. Amazon would not bother to challenge the DMCA over that license. This is getting attention because Amazon refuses to take any action.
First thing I did was dl it to check the license given in the book after I noticed there was none given on the web page other than "completely free".
He muddies the water further in your quote, "free to copy, distribute and display the book. However, I ask that you always attribute the book to me, Karl Seguin, do not use it for commercial purposes". So I can't use it at work but I can sell it. Of course that wasn't what he meant to say but that's what he did say. So which license applies "completely free", "NC use, but otherwise free" or NC-BY-SA?
2. As I understand it a DMCA take down notice is only effective if it is unchallenged, if there are some grounds to challenge it then there is no need by the receiver to take down the material. Lawyers then earn money arguing the legal niceties and a judge decides and if necessary injuncts the service provider to remove the material.
Amazon may of course choose independently to take the material down but I don't think they are obliged too. If they were then any challenge, even one that was clearly bogus would require material to be taken down.
Do you think these reasons are reasons for me not to have posted? Downvotes should be used to show that a comment isn't furthering the conversation or adding to it any way.
Did I not, by pointing out potential problems with licensing, further the conversation.
It's kinda orthogonal to the discussion but I think Amazon and "Amazon Digital Services" have acted very poorly, just in case you felt my comments endorsed them in some way.
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 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, including the auction ID number, if applicable;
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 Legal Department
P.O. Box 81226
Seattle, WA 98108
phone: (206) 266-4064
fax: (206) 266-7010
Amazon.com Legal Department
410 Terry Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109-5210
You might want to consider creating a blog post outlining carefully the situation, the steps you've taken, and the responses you've had. Be careful to state only what you have concrete evidence for, and/or mark very clearly bits that are supposition or deductions.
Mark things clearly with the date and time - make your records of the progress (or otherwise) public. After a few days, start to publicize the page.
When the whole episode is over you will have a documented story of your interaction with Amazon - this could be priceless to those that follow.
Not sure what the purpose of waiting a couple days are to be public about it.
Thanks for the suggestion.
"Not sure what the purpose of waiting a
couple days are to be public about it."
But I'm not in the USA.
Includes suggestions to file DCMA takedowns, and generally how much amazon doesn't care.
I wonder, in idle speculation, if a three strikes law would remove their internet connection for three instances of trying to sell a copyrighted work where they don't have a license to distribute it.
Surely you know better than to think that corporations are held to the same standards as individuals ;).
I also found a number of article suggesting that Amazon has ignored DMCA notices in the past, which is what caused me to escalate it.
So it seems that Amazon is aware of the problem and is deliberately continuing to distribute his book while concealing any information about the copyright challenge.
Some publisher downloaded it, slapped on an ugly cover, and started selling it on Amazon.
We talked about whether to do anything about it, but in the end decided not to. At this point, the details are a little hazy, but it was some combination of "meh", "we did the research on the public behalf, so as long as the information is available, we're happy", and "our legal advisor says it would cost more to pursue than this rinky-dink report can justify".
PDF of the work in question:
Seems like Amazon needs to get their systems together to deal with this stuff quicker, much like YouTube.com.
Available for Kindle on Amazon but no mention on the official site?
No, seriously, I have a Kindle, and I would much rather pay $0.99 for a nicely formatted book managed by their backend than hunt down a poorly formatted free version. Plus it is easy for you to update the book.
$0.99 is hardly profiteering, and I feel like in standing on principal you eliminate a possibility everybody would be happy with.
Of course, if they provided it for free, I'd be happy, too :)
The charity idea is a good one too. Or you could create a beer fund for your fan base. :-) Or follow Knuth's example for people who find errors.
I suspect this will all be resolved to your satisfaction shortly. Please keep us informed.