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Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:28 AM

 

Amazon charges Kindle users for free Project Gutenberg e-books (after stealing them)

Kindle readers, take note: You may have been paying for books you could legally download for free--in nearly identical editions--elsewhere.

The titles in question aren't just public-domain books that have long been freely available at such sites as Project Gutenberg. They appear to be the exact Gutenberg files, save only for minor formatting adjustments and the removal of that volunteer-run site's license information.

Gutenberg contributor Linda M. Everhart complained in an e-mail in late October that Amazon was selling a title she'd contributed to Gutenberg, Arthur Robert Harding's 1906 opus "Fox Trapping," for $4.

"They took the text version, stripped off the headers and footer containing the license, re-wrapped the sentences, and made the chapter titles bold," wrote Everhart, a Blairstown, Mo., trapper. She added that "their version had all my caption lines, in exactly the same place where I had put them..."

Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation chief executive Greg Newby expressed frustration about what he called an old problem for the non-profit organization. "Is this legal? Yes," he wrote in an e-mail Nov. 11. "Is it ethical? I don't think it is..."

Amazon spokeswoman Sarah Gelman did not deny the basic allegation in an e-mail last Wednesday that followed a series of queries to the company's PR department: "These books were uploaded by a third party using our self-service platform. I've sent your note to the appropriate team internally." She did not reply to a message asking follow-up questions sent that afternoon and repeated on Monday.

Newby noted that when Gutenberg had complained about copyrighted, non-public-domain works showing up on Amazon, the site "took immediate action." But he said the Seattle-based retailer had ignored its suggestion that it directly offer Gutenberg titles as no-charge, DRM-free downloads--something Apple did in its iBooks store, mostly to Newby's satisfaction.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2010/11/amazon_charges_kindle_users_fo.html

13 replies, 1367 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Amazon charges Kindle users for free Project Gutenberg e-books (after stealing them) (Original post)
ND-Dem Feb 2015 OP
X_Digger Feb 2015 #1
MohRokTah Feb 2015 #2
CBGLuthier Feb 2015 #3
enlightenment Feb 2015 #7
JI7 Feb 2015 #4
MohRokTah Feb 2015 #6
ND-Dem Feb 2015 #12
Dr. Strange Feb 2015 #5
ND-Dem Feb 2015 #13
dissentient Feb 2015 #8
Sherman A1 Feb 2015 #10
ohheckyeah Feb 2015 #9
Sherman A1 Feb 2015 #11

Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:31 AM

1. aka.. 3rd party does something shady, amazon pulls the books when notified, but waah, amazon bad!

That about the size of it?

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:33 AM

2. Yup, AMAZON MUST BE EVIL FOR ANYTHING ANY THIRD PARTY DOES!!!!!!

 

This makes thread 8 of the Amazon crap posted today by a single poster by my count.

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Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:36 AM

3. If Gutenberg wants them offered for free on amazon then all gutenberg has to do

is put them up on amazon and set the price to $0.00.

The books are there because lazy people uploaded them to make a buck. It is 100% legal. But since amazon bashing has been the theme this week I guess it has to be spun into amazon bad and not people are greedy and lazy and unethical.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:42 AM

7. Not very lazy,

if they took the time to rewrap the text, bold the chapter titles, and strip the headers and footers.

In fact, I'd say they were pretty ambitious to do all that for a couple of bucks.

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Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:39 AM

4. how can they steal them ? the books on gutenberg are part of the public domain

i can set up a website and put all those books on my site if i want to .

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Response to JI7 (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:42 AM

6. And you can charge for the dowloads, too.

 

Public domain means you are free to charge for any publication media.

You could take direct downloads of anything from Gutenberg and charge $5 per download for people to download from your site and it's 100% legitimate.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 05:47 AM

12. they steal the volunteer labor that produced them when they charge for the volunteer-produced books.

 

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Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:41 AM

5. Hmmm.

Not a single one of those Amazon links went to what the author claimed.

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Response to Dr. Strange (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 05:49 AM

13. hmm. they did when i tried them a minute ago. strange.

 

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Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:45 AM

8. The last couple days you have certainly made your thoughts and opinion of amazon clearly

 

known, that is for sure. I lost count of all the amazon hate threads you've posted. Will we get a break any time soon?

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Response to dissentient (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 05:08 AM

10. Well,

there is that whole "trash thread" thing and ignore feature available, if these threads are either uninteresting or somehow offensive to you.

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Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:46 AM

9. I love

Amazon.

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Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 05:09 AM

11. Thanks for posting!

I would think that there are work-arounds to find the free downloads, yet I do find Amazon's methods rather questionable.

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