Friday, July 1, 2011

On Spammers

So apparently Amazon is being spammed with all sorts of illegal copies of books. Books that are copyrighted by other authors, for example, or books that had viruses attached or something. This does not seem like it will help my future plans. In fact, it seems like it will handicap new writers especially since those are going to be the writers who fall under the most suspicion, and whose work would suffer the most if it was stolen that way.

I have to wonder how Amazon will handle the situation. Will they Youtube it up and simply remove the spam as their users report it? Or will they start charging authors to publish their work, to discourage people from attempting shennanigans? Or will they simply start putting the books through a more thorough checking process?

How I would fix it is to watch the reviews posted by people who buy the book. If one is listed as a fake book, or one that has stolen content, they could withhold the check they were going to send until the matter is sorted out. That way they can count on the readers to alert them to misbehavior and protect authors whose work is honest, without having to institute some kind of labyrinthine verification process, publishing fee, or other intrusive process layered on top.

The solutions here are not going to be easy, though, so it will be interesting to see which Amazon will choose. My hope is that they do not discourage the people who are actively buying books, or writers who are publishing them. That way we can enjoy the harvest this new opportunity is giving everyone, instead of losing it do to a few annoying, pesky weeds.

What do you guys think? If you have a solution, let me know. Maybe we can brainstorm a way out of the mess together. After all, nobody wants these kind of people to win, right?

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