If e-books getting pirated, sometimes within just hours of those getting listed online, isn’t enough for the authors to deal with, many of them reported their titles have been removed from Kindle Unlimited citing a breach of exclusivity terms with the online retailer, TorrentFreak reported. All of it can be considered a fallout of a larger issue, that of piracy. In removing the titles from Kindle Unlimited, Amazon is well within its right in doing so considering that both the authors and Amazon have agreed to keep the particular title exclusive to the Amazon platform. However, the tragedy is that the onus, as Amazon sees the issue, is on the authors to ensure their titles don’t get listed on not only competing sites but on pirate sites as well.
Authors said they are helpless against piracy which seems to have attained menacing proportions in recent times. The biggest publishers too have echoed a similar line, with even a concerted effort on part of the US law enforcement agencies failing to bring down Z Library. As per a recent report, the popular pirate site is back in action all over again. However, the authors said they have been left appalled with how Amazon has responded to the issue knowing fully well how piracy continues to be rampant in spite of efforts to keep it otherwise. After all, no author would willingly allow its title to be listed on a pirate site.
“Copyright infringement is outside of my control. Even though I pay a lot of money to a company to file takedown notices on my behalf, and am constantly checking the web for pirated versions, I can’t keep up with all the intellectual theft,” said Raven Kennedy, best known for The Plated Prisoner Series. “And rather than support and help their authors, Amazon threatens me. The ironic thing is, these pirates are getting the files FROM Amazon.”
Interestingly, Kennedy seems to have been able to resolve the issue with Amazon given that her titles are back online again. Most authors too won’t mind agreeing to the exclusivity terms considering the manner Amazon supports even amateur authors via its KDP program. In return, Amazon makes it legally binding for the authors not to publish the title on competing sites though unfortunately, pirate sites too are included in that list.
Broadly speaking, it’s something that Amazon too can’t help with. Any title that is available for free in the open market won’t serve the prospects of the same when it is listed on Amazon. The retail giant however stated they are aware of the problem as well as the plight of the authors. It said notices, when served are done well in advance for the authors to make their responses. It also stated the contentious titles continue to be sold via Amazon’s regular e-commerce site even if it is taken down from Kindle Unlimited.
While all of this is fine, a concrete solution to the issue of piracy remains elusive. Till that time, it is going to be a bumpy ride ahead for the authors, publishers, and retailers.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. The motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot, and I'll likely make a film sometime in the future.