NY Times Goes Off On Amazon Because Some People Are Publishing Fake George Orwell Books

from the but,-hey,-what-about-that-public-domain dept

David Streitfeld is a NY Times reporter who, among other things, covers Amazon. As far as I can tell, he has never written about Amazon in an article where he doesn't present things in the worst, most distorted anti-Amazon light. It's gotten to the point where I generally just won't bother with a Times article about Amazon if it's by Streitfeld, because it's guaranteed to be misleading. Somehow, however, I made it through most of this recent article about counterfeit George Orwell books on Amazon before realizing it was yet another Streitfeld hit piece. The article itself is kind of interesting: there are a bunch of folks attempting to sell unofficial George Orwell books on Amazon, and sometimes they're garbage.

What I find odd, is that while the article admits that many are published in India, where Orwell's works are in the public domain, the article makes no mention of the odd copyright situation in the US and UK, where Orwell's books all should be in the public domain based on the copyright deal that was made with Orwell when he wrote the books. Under those terms, all of Orwell's books -- including Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) -- should have entered the public domain years ago, meaning that there would be a robust market for legitimate copies of those works.

Streitfeld also complains about some attempts to "improve" on Orwell.

Most of the distorted texts are likely due to ignorance and sloppiness but at their most radical the books try to improve Orwell, as with the unauthorized “high school edition” of his 1933 memoir. The editing was credited to a Moira Propreat. She could not be reached for comment; in fact, her existence could not be verified.

“Down and Out” is an unflinching look at brutal behavior among starving people, which makes Ms. Propreat’s self-appointed task of rendering the book “more palatable” rather quixotic.

Streitfeld is rather subtle in mocking "Moira Propreat" ("more appropriate") but misses the point again. If those works were in the public domain, as intended, then there would be plenty of opportunities for people to update, remix, change, edit, annotate and do whatever they wanted with Orwell's works. And that would, undoubtedly lead to a bursting of creativity. While it's more limited here -- because it's locked down by copyright -- it's little surprise that what few books have made it out there are of dubious quality and value.

But how is that Amazon's fault as opposed to copyright for limiting the ability of more thorough individuals and companies to do this kind of work? It's also unclear why Amazon is getting the blame for selling badly edited books. Going back decades to Smith v. California, the Supreme Court has held you can't hold bookseller's liable for the content of the books. But Streitfeld ignores all of that and seems to suggest that this is all Amazon's fault, because Amazon is Amazon. He argues -- taking talking points directly from the Authors Guild -- that Amazon won't vet these books because it will 'drag profits down," leaving out the fact that it's impossible to catch all such things.

Yes, there's a legitimate argument that buyers of such books may be annoyed and confused by a less than accurate copy of an Orwell book, but to blame Amazon, and to ignore the copyright issues that brought us here, is a really weird choice, but if it involves blaming Amazon for some other issue, it's the choice the NY Times and Streitfeld always seem to make.

Filed Under: 1984, animal farm, copyright, david streitfeld, george orwell, public domain, remix
Companies: amazon, ny times


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  • icon
    Gary (profile), 26 Aug 2019 @ 12:22pm

    Perfectly Upset

    The Times writer is upset because without strong copyright protections (being flaunted by the nation of India!) George Orwell will not have proper incentive to create new works.

    Very reasonable, since the only purpose of Copyright is to promote the arts.

    Since Orwell hasn't made any new books - obviously we need stronger copyright!

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  • identicon
    michael, 26 Aug 2019 @ 1:40pm

    It IS Amazon's fault here

    The issue is that Amazon sells a hundred different versions of the book using the same item description page. This is dumb.

    Libraries (for a hundred years) have used very specific item-level records for very specific items, so that you can go to a library catalog and know precisely which edition is held there. There's zero reason that Amazon can't do the same.

    Yes, there are obvious copyright issues with Orwell (and everything else). But that has nothing at all to do with Amazon selling fake versions of, well, anything.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 2:07pm

      Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

      The issue is that Amazon sells a hundred different versions of the book using the same item description page. This is dumb.

      Amazon is not a library, nut rather a market place. Why should they employ a large number of librarians to put all books offered for sale in precise categories that most buyers do not understand. Also, many of their books come from self publishers, who are not usually familiars with library categorizarion requirements.

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      • icon
        Designerfx (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 4:17am

        Re: Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

        they don't vet their marketplace, letting people be sold fraudulent products. You'd think they care, but hey let's leave it with "amazon is not a library"?

        Amazon needs to do more than minimal effort in their marketplace, but they don't. That's before I even get into any other category of anything sold on amazon.

        All they're doing is setting the literal lowest bar on quality; and it's even lower than ebay.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2019 @ 5:40am

          Re: Re: Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

          Amazon needs to do more than minimal effort in their marketplace, but they don't.

          The big gain for humanity from the Internet is that platforms that empower the Individual in the market place can be created and operated. Force those platform into carrying out significant validation roles, destroys that advantage, giving corporation significant power over who can benefit from the existence of markets.

          The call for sites to do more to control speech, or items for sale will only result in corporations having even more control over what people can say, buy or sell, and who can speak or offer goods for sale.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2019 @ 10:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

            This isn’t about free speech or asking companies to exert draconian controls over what people can or can’t say/buy. What Designerfx, I, and others are asking for is for Amazon to ensure their store isn’t filled to the brim with fraudulent and low-quality garbage. That’s all.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2019 @ 11:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

              What Designerfx, I, and others are asking for is for Amazon to ensure their store isn’t filled to the brim with fraudulent and low-quality garbage

              You are asking Amazon to curate the products on offer through its market place, and that will destroy the market place, including one of the places people can self publish. Also, it would put Amazon in the position of deciding who has a chance to sell through their market place, and who does not based on which few applications they can look at in a reasonable time from the submission.

              In other words you change Amazon into a gate keeper, rather than a being a platform for sellers to find buyers.

              At the sale that Amazon operates, the problem is not identifying dodgy products when you see them, but rather checking everything so that you can see and identify the dodgy products.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 2:08pm

      Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

      Amazon's item description bundling should be illegal, as it would be the same as a store advertising one product and delivering you something slightly different.

      I once ordered a book in English, and what showed up was the same book in German... with the English cover on the outside.

      THAT should be examined by the FTC, because it shouldn't be allowed.

      Blaming Amazon for the rest of it though is just silly.

      When I buy books on Amazon now, I purchase based on ISBN, because Amazon does provide that in most cases, and you can search by it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

        I once ordered a book in English, and what showed up was the same book in German... with the English cover on the outside.

        Where did that happen? Most likely at the printers, and not the Amazon warehouse where spare covers are hard come by.

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      • icon
        Gary (profile), 26 Aug 2019 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: It IS (not) Amazon's fault here

        Amazon's item description bundling should be illegal, as it would be the same as a store advertising one product and delivering you something slightly different.

        It isn't Amazon's description - it's the sellers. If the info was wrong Amazon will refund the sale. Explain what Amazon is doing wrong here?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 3:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: It IS (not) Amazon's fault here

          Amazon isn't vetting its shitty sellers and allowing things to more or less be a free-for-all. That's what's wrong.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It IS (not) Amazon's fault here

            So now you know you might have to process a return when you order through Amazon. If you order through Amazon you do so because the price is good and/or shipping to your front door is super convenient and cheap. Both of those are possible because Amazon isn't inspecting each and every thing shipped in an Amazon box -- they don't even see many of those shipments because they're direct from the actual seller, not Amazon. If they did inspect everything their costs, and your prices, would go up.

            Report the problem to Amazon. If there are enough such reports Amazon will boot the seller. It's really quite simple.

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          • identicon
            Glen, 27 Aug 2019 @ 7:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It IS (not) Amazon's fault here

            I"m calling bullshit on this. I had one that the seller was fraudulent. I complained to Amazon along with others and we had our purchases refunded and the seller was banned. It worked how it was supposed to.

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        • identicon
          urza9814, 27 Aug 2019 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re: It IS (not) Amazon's fault here

          "If the info was wrong Amazon will refund the sale. Explain what Amazon is doing wrong here?"

          No, they won't. That's why I no longer buy from Amazon. Bought a $500 phone, the seller sent a completely different $150 model (sending a phone locked to a specific US carrier rather than the international unlocked model they had advertised.) Amazon claimed it wasn't their responsibility because it was a marketplace product. Seller refused a return. Amazon ignored that the majority of the seller's positive reviews were all from one single account while most of the negative reviews were complaints about being sent the wrong product. Eventually had to do a charge back through the credit card. Amazon couldn't care less about fraudulent listings as long as they get their cut of any sales.

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      • identicon
        Michael, 27 Aug 2019 @ 9:41am

        Re: Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

        From the FTC website:

        When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears – in newspapers and magazines, online, in the mail, or on billboards or buses.

        So, the FTC does and will investigate truth in advertising violations on Amazon's website. Did you file a complaint with them?

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 12:02pm

      Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

      Although this is a reply to Michael’s original comment in the thread, this is actually directed towards a number of people on this thread asserting that Amazon is legally liable for people posting (potentially) copyright-infringing stuff and/or misleading item descriptions posted by users. I am not going to talk about what the law should be but what the law is.

      Regarding copyright issues, it seems clear that Amazon is protected by the DMCA. Unless and until Amazon receives a DMCA notification and fail to remove the allegedly infringing content, Amazon is not liable for copyright infringing content posted online by 3rd parties.

      Similarly, regarding false advertising, under CDA §230, Amazon is absolved of any false advertising in item descriptions for deals posted by 3rd parties so long as they didn’t create or develop the description.

      Note that this is not the same as a defective product, as that involves the physical goods rather than online content. As such, Amazon’s recent court loss is irrelevant here.

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      • identicon
        cpt kangarooski, 27 Aug 2019 @ 4:35pm

        Re: Re: It IS Amazon's fault here

        Regarding copyright issues, it seems clear that Amazon is protected by the DMCA. Unless and until Amazon receives a DMCA notification and fail to remove the allegedly infringing content, Amazon is not liable for copyright infringing content posted online by 3rd parties.

        No, I don't think so. Let's look at the most straightforward scenario: Bob puts up a listing on Amazon for what he claims is a public domain book, to be printed on demand. Carol purchases the book from Amazon (which collects a share of the payment) and upon receipt discovers it's obviously a copy of a still-copyrighted book.

        Does 17 USC 512 protect Amazon?

        Printing and shipping the hard copy print on demand book is a prima facie infringement of the exclusive rights of reproduction and distribution under 17 USC 106(1), and (3) respectively. I think we can all agree there -- if it wasn't, there would be no need for the safe harbor.

        Amazon printing a hard copy book is not a transitory digital network communication, so 512(a) is no help

        Neither is this an example of the intermediate and temporary storage of material on a system or network, so 512(b) is out.

        The hard copy is not resident on a system or network, so 512(c) (the one that is most frequently invoked because no one even bothers to sue over (a)) is useless.

        And finally, the hard copy is not a referral or link by Amazon to infringing material, so that excludes 512(d).

        And that's it -- those were the four types of eligibility for the safe harbor.

        Conclusion: 17 USC 512 is of no help to Amazon in at least the scenario where it -- even unknowingly, due to vicarious liability -- allows itself to be used for print on demand piracy. I'll bet this is not the full extent to which it is in trouble, too.

        Do you disagree?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 1:42pm

    Blaming Amazon for shitty books?

    That's like blaming the NYT for all the horrible stuff we did in Vietnam!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 1:48pm

    Amazon won't vet these books because

    Because they are not publishers, and they allow far more people to publish that the traditional publishers could ever handle. Perhaps that is what is really upsetting the authors guild, a big increase in competition due self publishing on well known platforms where people can find the books..

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  • identicon
    cpt kangarooski, 26 Aug 2019 @ 3:53pm

    Jesus, this is a bad article!

    First, from a legal standpoint, Amazon is indeed liable. This is a fairly straightforward vicarious liability infringement case. The elements are: 1) There is an underlying direct copyright infringement (the pirated books); 2) Amazon has the right and ability to control the infringing activity (eg by banning the listing or seller); 3) Amazon has a a financial interest in the infringement (their cut of the sale).

    That's it! There is no knowledge requirement!

    Smith v. California is not a good cite for this.

    And marketplaces, like flea markets, are hit all the time for this sort of thing.

    Second, Amazon's whole deal has always been obsessive attention to good customer experiences. Lately their failure to curate at all, and to sell pseudocurated attributes like "Amazon's Choice" tags, that just confuse things, have fucked that up.

    What they need to do is to carry products they get directly from manufacturers, to carefully regulate their product listings, to only allow third parties to sell products that Amazon itself chooses to carry (directly or not), to verify what third parties have for sale, and to be real careful about allowing listings of things Amazon itself doesn't have. Human Amazon employees that are knowledgeable in the relevant field of goods should be approving and rejecting listings before they go up, and rejecting third parties if need be.

    Third, Amazon should clear out even legal crap in the interests of their customers. Don't let people sell print on demand public domain stuff or wiki printouts -- sell good quality Amazon copies of public domain stuff, (or used books from reliable used bookstores) and bar hard copy Wikipedia printouts altogether.

    They need to clean house. No one needs it to turn into a crap hole, and that's where Amazon is presently heading.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:05pm

      Re:

      Strongly agreed. Amazon's problems go far beyond just counterfeit books, and an Amazon filled to the brim with quality curated products is of much more value to consumers than whatever the hell is going on right now. They could also work to ensure the conditions in their sweatshop fulfillment centers are less... well, less like a sweatshop.

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    • icon
      Rico R. (profile), 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:06pm

      Re:

      Sure, make an American company liable for allowing non-Americans to sell books that are not infringing in their region... That’s exactly the best way to respect the wishes of a dead author who wrote a dystopian novel about the dangers of Big Brother, state control, and censorship!

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      • identicon
        cpt kangarooski, 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Sure, make an American company liable for allowing non-Americans to sell books that are not infringing in their region...

        So long as the books are only being sold in and shipped to places where they're in the public domain, it's fine. But that's not what's going on.

        As for the wishes of the author, he could've dedicated his book to the public domain everywhere if this was important to him, or at least could've failed to get copyrights on it.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 3:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "As for the wishes of the author, he could've dedicated his book to the public domain everywhere if this was important to him, or at least could've failed to get copyrights on it.'

          That only makes sense if you choose to remain utterly ignorant about the way copyright has been retroactively changed since his death. Under the terms that were in place during his lifetime, there would be no question that the book would be public domain before now.

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        • identicon
          OGquaker, 27 Aug 2019 @ 3:46am

          "he could've dedicated his book to the public domain everywhere if this was important to him, or at least could've failed to get copyrights on it"
          And he COULD have then bought a mimeograph and cranked it till his arm fell off.
          Under George Bush The Elder, publishing tax law was changed, making the re-printing of old titles not profitable, except that hopeless myopic Charles Dickens, whose pap every schoolkid must be fed. Amazon allows poor underclasses ( 10% of all US census tracts ) to buy and read something besides the latest spin.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 8:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          As for the wishes of the author, he could've dedicated his book to the public domain everywhere if this was important to him

          Look, I know George Orwell is frequently praised for his prescient predictions about the future, but I'm pretty sure when he wrote 1984 he didn't actually know he was going to die at the age of 46 and then, 50 years later, copyright terms were going to be extended. He may have been a man of considerable foresight, but let's not pretend he had any inkling of what the copyright status of his work would be in 2019, or could reasonably have been expected to plan for it.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 9:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Exactly. The man's been dead for several generations at this point, and the contract he published under stated that the work would be public domain by now. It's hardly his fault that the contract changed several times after his death, although trying to blame him for that is a good example of some of the things he wrote about.

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            • icon
              Thad (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 9:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              although trying to blame him for that is a good example of some of the things he wrote about.

              Feels more like Douglas Adams to me.

              There's no point acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it's far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

              What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? For heaven's sake mankind, it's only four light years away you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that's your own lookout.

              Energize the demolition beams.

              I don't know, apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2019 @ 11:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So long as the books are only being sold in and shipped to places where they're in the public domain, it's fine. But that's not what's going on.

          In the United States, the Supreme Court has said you're wrong. So long as the books are printed legally (in whatever jurisdiction that happens), they can be sold, then shipped and re-sold in the United States.

          And this is a very good thing. Why should I be deprived of a lawfully-made copy of a book simply because it's only being sold across the border?

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          • identicon
            cpt kangarooski, 27 Aug 2019 @ 4:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In the United States, the Supreme Court has said you're wrong. So long as the books are printed legally (in whatever jurisdiction that happens), they can be sold, then shipped and re-sold in the United States.

            You're thinking of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 568 US 519 (2013). It doesn't say what you think it says.

            Here's the key language:

            Kirtsaeng, however, reads the words "lawfully made under this title" as imposing a non-geographical limitation. He says that they mean made "in accordance with" or "in compliance with" the Copyright Act. Brief for Petitioner 26. In that case, § 109(a)'s "first sale" doctrine would apply to copyrighted works as long as their manufacture met the requirements of American copyright law. In particular, the doctrine would apply where, as here, copies are manufactured abroad with the permission of the copyright owner. See § 106 (referring to the owner's right to authorize).

            In our view, § 109(a)'s language, its context, and the common-law history of the "first sale" doctrine, taken together, favor a non-geographical interpretation. We also doubt that Congress would have intended to create the practical copyright-related harms with which a geographical interpretation would threaten ordinary scholarly, artistic, commercial, and consumer activities. See Part II-D, infra. We consequently conclude that Kirtsaeng's nongeographical reading is the better reading of the Act.

            So the question is whether the foreign-printed copy is made with the permission of the US copyright holder. (Personally, I would hazard that it is whether it is made with the permission of the current US copyright holder, or in a chain of permission stemming from a prior holder of that copyright, to avoid the risk of special purpose entities being used to frustrate the precedent)

            Copies made by just anyone because of the work being in the public domain will decidedly not qualify, even if it was lawful in the place where the copy was made.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      I do love it when random jackholes on the internet tell multi billion dollar companies how they need to be operating.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        cpt kangarooski, 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:42pm

        Re: Re:

        If you have some reason to think that Amazon is not exposing themselves to substantial liability, by all means let us know. These risks are totally needless and between copyright infringement and products liability, could cause a lot of harm. Plus it's no good for their goodwill, which they spent decades achieving, having made that, above all else, their primary focus.

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:43pm

        Re: Re:

        I do love it when random jackholes on the internet stick both their feet in their mouth simultaneously by calling a lawyer and longstanding member of the community a random jackhole when said lawyer lets us know what the law actually is.

        He has schooled me before, and on this issue, and you know what? I believe him.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      Insist that all platforms on the Internet do quality and legal control of products they sell, and you remove the means of individuals from finding a market, unless they indenture themselves to a corporation.

      Amazon make it relatively easy to assess both the product and seller via reviews, and the occasional bad deal is a reasonable price for having a single market to search, and a safe way of paying hundreds of suppliers..

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    • identicon
      nae such, 27 Aug 2019 @ 5:12am

      Re:

      what would be a good case to site. i think this got hashed out over a dangerous product that amazon sold and that made more sense(not that the law has to make sense), but if amazon gives a refund then nobody makes money. who is harmed?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2019 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      pseudocurated attributes like "Amazon's Choice" tags, that just confuse things

      I don't understand the recent complaints about that tag. If you asked me how a large multinational corporation makes its choices, I'd say "to maximize profit." It's not like they're saying this is Jeff's choice for what he'd buy for himself. They're literally saying it's the company's choice, where the company has a well-known penchant for automating such things.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 12:13pm

      Re:

      Regarding copyright issues, it seems clear that Amazon is protected by the DMCA. Unless and until Amazon receives a DMCA notification and fail to remove the allegedly infringing content, Amazon is not liable for copyright infringing content posted online by 3rd parties.

      Similarly, regarding false advertising, under CDA §230, Amazon is absolved of any false advertising in item descriptions for deals posted by 3rd parties so long as they didn’t create or develop the description.

      Note that this is not the same as a defective product, as that involves the physical goods rather than online content. As such, Amazon’s recent court loss is irrelevant here.

      Furthermore, despite your claims to the contrary, every court case on the issue has held that bookstores and libraries are not liable for copyright infringement from the products they sell being infringing as long as they remove the infringing material when asked. (IOW, there is a knowledge requirement.)

      Also, according to the Supreme Court, if a book is printed somewhere where it is legal and then sold in the U.S., neither the seller nor the buyer are liable for any potential copyright infringement.

      As such, because of the DMCA’s safe harbors and CDA §230, along with some court cases on point, Amazon has no liability whatsoever for the item descriptions of products sold on Amazon or any books sold on there that Amazon itself didn’t create. Vicarious liability doesn’t enter into it.

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  • icon
    Rico R. (profile), 26 Aug 2019 @ 4:01pm

    1984, anyone?

    Can someone tell me how copyright is NOT Orwellian based on this story?

    In regions where the book is in the Public Domain, creators are free to do whatever they please with the work. Yet, Amazon is on the hook for not policing copyright law the way the news reporter sees fit? If we’re going off of US public domain standards, we have to wait until 2044 (95 years after publication, in the case of 1984), while nearly everyone else will get a chance to adapt it at the beginning of next year (2020 marks 70 years since the author’s death)!

    So does that mean that new versions of the work can’t be sold on an American site, effectively controlling and censoring new works? Sounds an awful lot like a 1984-type future to me!

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  • icon
    Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 27 Aug 2019 @ 12:38am

    Not just Amazon, but all book-selling platforms are plagued by rip-offs. What is offered for sale is no more than a simple print-on-demand copy of a PDF downloaded from Google Books or The Internet Archive. Now there may be reasons you want to have such a thing printed, but the problem is that such copies are not marked as such, and, but when you want to buy real antiquarian books, locating them becomes very hard. Some sites have options to exclude print-on-demand and new books, but book sellers appear to intentionally mislabel their offers. Now selling them is legal (for out-of-copyright books), but this strongly undermines the value of the platform. I've totally stopped buying via Amazon since 2013 (for other reasons, and won't be back), and also try to avoid other platforms, contacting booksellers via other channels after I've confirmed they offer genuine antiquarian books, or just going to physical shops to buy books, mostly to digitize them for Project Gutenberg, which is by the way another source of many books being sold on Amazon.

    Hint: always check archive.org and gutenberg.org before buying any old book, if all you need is a reading copy.

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    • icon
      zboot (profile), 30 Aug 2019 @ 3:51pm

      Re:

      The car enthusiasts of the world say "Welcome to 1974". Why would you buy a non-commodity item of value from a seller without first verifying the authenticity of what's being sold?

      How is it that this is apparently new?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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