The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Kindle Fraud

April 1, 2011

A large and growing problem, apparently. Via Jim MacDonald, who brings greater publicity to the plight of S.K.S. Perry, a self-published author who discovers that his book is already being sold by someone else on Amazon… and finds that Amazon doesn’t seem to give a damn.

Many of our readers our academics who, I assume, have discovered — or will soon discover if they use the right search terms — that their own books are available in the form of illegal downloads. This suggests that repackaging as someone else’s e-book, if it hasn’t happened, is in many a recent academic book’s near future.

Of course, those of us who don’t write about Zombies or produce trade books make little money from royalties anyway. Still, I find the whole thing disturbing on a personal level, let alone on the grounds of general ethics. These trends also bode ill for the already reduced world of academic publishing.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.