Over the last few months on twitter I noticed a few authors lamenting about their fight to remove e-books which were illegally being sold by sellers on an ebay-like site called iOffer. Now this is not a unique case since ebay and a few other sites have had similar instances of this going on. But the problem with iOffer is really widespread that when you search for ebooks you will get over 14000 hits which is mind boggling especially since the seller can sell multiple copies illegally and profiteering from it. THIS IS REAL PIRACY!People are stealing books and their copyrights away from authors and their publishers, and then selling to others and making a dime from it. It doesn’t cost them a thing since I suspect they probably pirated the titles from torrents or download sites. From the lack of response that iOffer currently has about this issue – which is more lax than a person who has overdosed on laxatives – And that metaphor probably reflects their attitude about the whole situation. They are slow to respond to combat these sales and do not filter out or check that the majority of ebooks are copyrighted, and seriously, can it be that hard to create a filter or code to weed out these sales?
And I know publishers are limited to what they can do with chasing up pirates but couldn’t they pressure iOffer into cleaning this up? They would have more power collectively to get iOffer to stop listing ebooks as a product on their site because this is fast becoming a go to place to get cheap ebooks illegally. These sellers list how many copies they have sold and it’s in the hundreds or even the thousands! That is a lot of lost sales and the money is not going to the authors and publishers.
iOffer probably appeals to buyers who want to buy cheap ebooks easily and could be a statement to the current issues about ebooks and their value. But for me this is abhorrent, its like paying a burglar for the dodgy TV from the back of a lorry and this is filling up the pockets of the thieves and they are thieves, they haven’t contributed or wrote a word but are profiteering cheaply and easily and these are the real pirates due to this.
I really didn’t want to publicise this site but googling it is easy to do. But I think its coming to a point where authors can only do so much reporting this and I suspect that most authors aren’t aware of this site and what is happening. Maybe the fact that these books are on iOffer is giving these sellers some legitimacy. Buying from these sellers is illegal, as well as being morally wrong but I do hope this post helps highlight this issue because these sellers don’t have RESALE rights or hold the copyright.
iOffer states in their About us section they are –
In 2002, iOffer revolutionized eCommerce by launching a transparent, negotiable marketplace. Our mission was to disrupt the status quo—frenetic and rivalrous auction sites—by empowering real people to buy, sell and trade on their own terms.
I don’t know what this statement says about them and their sellers who sells ebooks like the example I list below. Earlier today I was pointed out to a page that was offering Larissa Ione’s Pleasure Unbound. The sale was suspended but it didn’t stop the seller in watermarking the cover like this below! Charming right?
By the way I made a screen cap of this page before it was removed, so if the morally deficient crazy seller goes ballistic, and claims I did this, you can go and suck a bowl of hot chilli dicks!