AN IDIOT STOLE MY COLUMN AND IS SELLING IT ON HIS WEBSITE!

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Hi Angela,

Back with another question and feel free to use this for the e-zine if you like. I just had a spirited exchange with an idiot who has stolen some column of mine that I wrote for Computer User, and is selling it on his horrible website. I wrote to him to tell him I own the copyright and to take the material down. I got nothing buy obscenities and insults back and I responded with a few of my own. Now, this material is being sold on Amazon by somebody–don’t know who since Computer User went out of business years ago.

So, I guess I have two questions. First, how can I get Amazon to stop selling content that is mine (Computer User did not buy the rights from me for this material, only the right to publish on the Web for a limited period)? Second, given my content has be pirated by several sites, what is to stop me from taking my columns and making my own self-published book out of them?

TIA,
Molly


Hi Molly,

Amazon has instructions for people whose copyrights have been violated. Per their terms of use:

COPYRIGHT COMPLAINTS

Amazon respects the intellectual property of others. If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please follow our Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement.


The link takes you to HERE.

The second step you should take is to send an invoice to the infringers (all of them!). If they claim they got your piece from someone else, that’s not your problem. THEY published it, thus devaluing the resale rights of your piece, and THEY must pay for it. I compare this to someone buying a stolen car. If they get caught, they must give up the car, and may even be prosecuted. Ignorance is no excuse when someone breaks the law and those sites shouldn’t be buying work from people who are obviously cheap text brokers.

Think about it. If writers seriously pursue these cheap sites that prey on writers by buying cheap (and perhaps stolen) content from text brokers, these sites may eventually be forced to buy original, quality work from real writers…or go out of business.

Please see:

When Someone Steals Your Work

Also see:

Writer Receives $500 for Unauthorized Use of Her Work

Finally, if you retain the rights to your work, you can absolutely self-publish a book of your columns.