A Google Alert on the weekend led to a site listing my popular “A Christmas Tree For Santa” ebook with an image of ebook cover from Amazon – but no link to Amazon – and a download button opening another site which had a horrendous amount of complaints from people paying money to join the site and download ‘stuff,’ including ebooks, but instead ending up filing complaint after complaint. Is this another ebook scam Amazon fails to address?
Amazon should protect its reputation and its customers by, at the minimum, having a robot check the Internet for reports of scams or unlawful use of covers displayed on Amazon and take some action against perpetrators.
As the Amazon Kindle ebook cover image doesn’t link to Amazon I suspect that no author will earn any money from such a listing. That Amazon allows such behaviour to impact itself and its authors is atrocious.
Authors should google title(s) of their work together with Download Provider and see if their work is also being offered through Download Provider.
If you find your ebooks on Download Provider you might want to contact Amazon and ask them what they are going to do about this issue. (See Amazon contact link and my letter to them below.)
Contacting Download Provider likely won’t remove any offending image or ebook, if the complaints about Download Provider are any indication. Why?
Download Provider uses a company called ‘Moniker Privacy Services’, which I’ll refer to as MPS, as registrant of their domain. MPS has a such a reputation it made it to Complaints Board, as you may read here. MPS is considered “very shady” by Answers.com
You can do your own google of Moniker Privacy Services and/or Download Provider for additional information.
Authors may wish to google their ebook title or their author name together with cewopier.bravesites.com and see what appears. Do the same with your ebook title or your name and the term Download Provider.
Here is a copy of the Support information I sent to Amazon KDP:
This web page, http://cewopier.bravesites.com/entries/general/a-christmas-tree-for-santa-downloads displays an image of the Kindle cover of my ebook but no link to Amazon. NOTE: site is currently closed following a report of copyright violation. See Update at end of this post.
Instead of a link to Amazon or some other reputable site there is only a ‘Download’ button. Clicking on the ‘Download’ button leads to another site called ‘Download Provider’ which charges a small fee to join their site and use their services.
HOWEVER, Download Provider has a history of complaints as you may read here http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/download-provider-c581143.html and here http://www.pissedconsumer.com/reviews-by-company/other-company/download-provider-is-a-scam-and-they-are-thieves-20120316305272.html and here http://www.scambook.com/company/view/30765/DL-Providercom and here http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/download-provider and here http://www.reviewstalk.com/complaints-reviews/www-download-provider-l16906.html
My contacting Download Provider would appear to be useless, judging by the complaints against it, but perhaps Amazon can do something to prevent sites grabbing ebook cover images and using them in the manner described above.
Here is the link to Amazon KDP support. I clicked on Amazon Programs when the page appeared and typed in “Kindle ebook scam?” in the subject line.
Authors with ebooks listed as available through Download Provider may wish to contact Amazon as well.
My way of thinking is Amazon operates a business and businesses have theft prevention programs. A bookstore owner has security methods to assist in theft prevention and so should Amazon. A bookstore doesn’t ask publishers to keep an eye on their store for anyone stealing something, so why doesn’t Amazon – and other online retailers – provide the same level of service? Why should authors have to police their work entrusted to a multi-billion dollar retail store? Online retailers don’t police their supplies because the product is digital? Give me a break. Theft is theft.
UPDATE: Robin Wolstenholme contacted Bravenet support and reported problem. Bravenet has cancelled the account. Amazon hasn’t responded to my support request.