Bill Schneier has highlighted two types of fraud currently occuring on the Amazon Kindle Marketplace due to lax copyright enforcement.
The first type of fraud stems from content farm behavior moving onto Kindle – with scammers sucking up content across the internet, uploading the content as Kindle eBooks to Amazon and then using fake accounts to review the books to obtain a good rating. Unsuspecting readers discover these books via search (because they are stuffed with keywords) and end up buying dud content. This is discussed in more detail over on Publishing Trends.
The second type of fraud involves eBooks uploaded to the Kindle Marketplace by people who do not own the copyright – which apparently is a growing trend given the prevalence of PDF based distribution by independent authors and those signed to more progressive publishers.
When it comes to resourcing copyright enforcement within it’s Kindle Marketplace, I think it is a shame that Amazon continues to prioritize on penalizing its customer base while practically ignoring the rampant content abuse and fraud that is going on further up the chain within its own house. Authors are even complaining that Amazon is ignoring their reports of copyright violation and even DMCA take-down notices.
Instead Amazon would much rather stop readers from exercising their full right to copyright (such as being able to loan a book or even sell it on) by implementing such ‘protections’ into their software and devices, and even shutting down websites such as Lendle that try to facilitate the token limited degree of ‘loaning’ that is possible with some Kindle books.
The Kindle is a beautiful device and Amazon is doing some amazing things with content consumption and distribution elsewhere within their business. Their Amazon Cloud Drive which allows you to store and stream your MP3s is game changing stuff. But until they resolve these issues with the Kindle, I continue to be put off from buying one.