Yep, I'm pre-empting Blast From the Past this week to inform members of a story that's been stolen from GA then put up for sale on Amazon. The story stolen was Chasing the Shadows by K.C. Grim and it was posted under Embraced by Shadows by K.J. Fleur back in May. We only found this out when a concerned reader emailed the admin account to find out if the story was stolen and posted on GA. That proved to have happened in the reverse, and KC had his story ripped off.
All this author did was change the names in the story and the title. They even used the same description!
Earlier this year, I was alerted to the fact that several authors on Amazon had copied multiple stories from authors on Literotica. Of course, I checked to see if this K.J. Fleur had copied other stories from GA. but they don't appear to have any other stories in their author account. That doesn't mean your stories are safe online though!
Now, I'm not a techie, so I might not be going about this the right way but I performed a search on a part of the description that didn't have any names. I found that you need to type in the phrase you search on Google, not copy it from any site online. When I did it with copied text from GA, I found GA results to KC's story. When I copied the phrase from Amazon, I found results on the story on Amazon. When I typed in the description by hand, I found both.
The problem also lies in the fact that thieves might not be quite a stupid as this 'K.J. Fleur' and write up their own description. So how do you look to see if your story has been stolen? I couldn't find any simple way to search by a phrase from the story to search for other plagiarized content stolen from GA. If any readers of this blog are better at this than me, please let us know how to do it.
If for some reason you do discover your story on Amazon, there is recourse. KC has already contacted Amazon and has been told that they would have a resolution quickly, within a few days. I found this page, Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions, with the exact language for anyone who feels their story has been stolen and the steps to take to correct it. The relevant paragraph is # 5.7:
5.7 Rights Clearances and Rights Dispute Resolution. You will obtain and pay for any and all necessary clearances and licenses for the Digital Books to permit our exercise of the rights granted under this Agreement without any further payment obligation by us, including, without limitation, all royalties and other income due to any copyright owner. If you notify us through the procedure we provide on the applicable Amazon Property for making claims of copyright infringement that a third party has made a Digital Book available for distribution through the Program (or for distribution in a particular territory through the Program) that you have the exclusive right to make available under the Program, then, upon your request and after verification of your claim, we will pay you the Royalties due in connection with any sales of the Digital Book through the Program, and will remove the Digital Book from future sale through the Program, as your sole and exclusive remedy.
I also found this:
Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement
If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide Amazon.com's copyright agent the written information specified below. Please note that this procedure is exclusively for notifying Amazon that your copyrighted material has been infringed.
- An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
- A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed upon;
- A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the site, including the auction ID number, if applicable;
- Your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
- A statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
- A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.
Amazon.com's Copyright Agent for notice of claims of copyright infringement on its site can be reached as follows: Copyright Agent Amazon.com Legal Department P.O. Box 81226 Seattle, WA 98108 phone: (206) 266-4064 fax: (206) 266-7010 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Courier address: Copyright Agent Amazon.com Legal Department 410 Terry Avenue North Seattle, WA 98109-5210 USA
I'm sure every author on GA would be horrified to discover their story had been stolen, especially those who are attempting to break into the publishing world. I truly hope this has not happened to anyone else from GA. A big thank you goes to the concerned reader who contacted us. Without that information, this might have gone unnoticed.