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So what did we learn from all this?

1. Amazon posted a stolen copy of Darkside to their website. Believe it or not, I can understand how that might happen. What I can't understand is how they allowed me to upload another copy of the same book by the same author. Even a cursory search of their own database should have told them something was wrong.

2. It took nine days, several emails, and a DMCA takedown notice, but Amazon did take down the stolen copy of Darkside.

3. They also applied all the reviews on the stolen copy, stating it was a stolen copy, to the authorised copy when they took it down.

4. When contacted to correct this problem, they took down all reviews, even the legitimate ones.

How did this hurt me?

Potentially it could have cost me every sale the stolen copy made had I not found out about it. Maybe a lot, maybe a little--you never know what book will catch the public's attention.

Adding the reviews claiming the book was stolen to the authorised copy probably wasn't good for sales either, at least in the short term.

Removing all the reviews? I have no idea what effect that did or didn't have.

How did this hurt Amazon?

Not one bit. They get sales from the stolen copy. They get sales from the authorised copy. They weren't punished in any way, shape or form, and it didn't cost them a cent.

How did this hurt the thief?

Not one bit. To my knowledge. I have no idea if any sales they might have made would have been paid out to them. Maybe Amazon just keeps the money. Heck, they applied the stolen reviews to my account; maybe they applied the stolen sales, too.

But again, there was no punishment involved--no deterrent, no punitive damages. There is nothing to stop the thief from doing this again, to someone else.

So in the end the only one possibly hurt by all of this was me.

Amazon, and the thief, are free to carry on as usual, with no incentive to change the way they do things.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Tyler Whelen
Apr. 8th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Well summed-up on your events. Raw deal for you, but glad it was sorted out. Goes to show what can be 'pulled off' on the facelessness of the internet.

Hopefully this will be an eye opener to others that cruse in cyberspace... not only are there spam emails, and flashy 'You are the 1,000,000th visitor' scams, BUT haunting discrepancies in MAJOR sites like Amazon, eBay, FB etc to be alert for!

Glad you won the battle!
Apr. 8th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
You've been documenting this pretty well. Any chance of collecting all the information and contacting someone higher-up at Amazon? My mom has a philosophy that if you go up high enough in the organization, *someone* will see the big picture and realize that what happened to you could happen to someone else, and they're making unhappy customers because of it.
Apr. 8th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
At this point I'm almost afraid to contact Amazon again for fear they'll screw something else up--although I'm not sure what else they could mess up. Maybe delete the book entirely?
Apr. 8th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
I can appreciate that. But at this point you're not looking for them to change things, you're looking for some sort of apology plus (ideally) some form of compensation. Is there any list anywhere of, say, contact information for their VP of customer relations?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )