There's been a Disturbance in the Force...
Amazon's been asking authors of published works to prove that they are the copyright holders. In fact, it's happening in increasingly large numbers, to folks who've had books published for years.
One poster from the Kindle Digital Platform wrote:
"A friend of mine had one of his boxed book sets pirated. 3 of his books are available on a book pirating website. Amazon has discovered this, shut down his publishing account and are requiring him to prove he owns the rights to his own books. How can we do this? He didn't copyright them, but did include a copyright page at the beginning of all 3 books."
That poor bastard was the victim of the Double Whammy. First, he's pirated, and then, to rub salt into the wound, the mere act of him being pirated causes Amazon to question the legitimacy of his publishing the Boxed Set! Talk about ignominy. Another wrote:
"We are trying to publish a couple of books on KPD which my husband wrote in 2012. They have told us we need to prove we have publishing rights, but don't help with insight as to how to accomplish this. Say they can only respond to publisher!"
That one goes on to say that she can't get anywhere with Amazon because they don't accept that her husband is the publisher. What the hell do you do, if you're in that situation?
Now, the only way that this would be occurring is if someone else--we'll call that thief Darth Dickhead--files a claim, with Amazon, that your work is actually their work. So...how do you prove that you're you? How do you prove that you wrote your own book?
This is simply a newer, digital form of a type of thievery that's been around forever, known as claim-jumping. If you're unfamiliar with the term, claim-jumping is when someone else claims to own or have rights to property that you have already claimed as your own.
The bigger and easier-to-answer question is: how can you easily prevent this from happening?
The simple answer is, you can't. Any idiot--any Darth Dickhead--can click a button on Amazon's website and claim that your Intellectual Property--your book--is theirs. In this day and age, the sound of a Light Saber swooshing has been replaced with the sound of a click. The click that will deprive you of your rights.
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