Update (January 2012): Amazon is now eliminating duplicate content, PLR created ebooks, stolen content, and related ebooks. You books should now be safe on Amazon's Kindle platform. Thanks, Amazon, for doing your job the right way and preserving the copyrights of book authors!
My long-time friend and fellow book author, Ernie Zelinski, alerted me to the Amazon Kindle Swindle - where Amazon.com is making out like a bandit! And providing no relief to book authors whose works are being stolen - and resold by Amazon.com.
Did you know that your copyrighted work (which took you months or years to write) might right now be sitting on Amazon.com and being sold as a Kindle ebook by some charlatan - and may be sold under your name! But the money is going to someone named Mingfeng Lai or other aliases.
And, worse, Amazon is doing nothing about it but pocketing the money from such sales!
It's already happened to a number of authors!
Ernie Zelinski has already discovered three of his books being resold as Kindle ebooks by people who have stolen his content. Mingfeng Lai is selling Career Success Without a Real Job and Retire Happy, Wild, and Free for 99 cents. Amazingly, the faux author describes the book as being written by Ernie Zelinski but lists himself as the author.
Check out the listings: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XRA3WQ and http://www.amazon.com/RETIRE-HAPPY-Eagle-Publication-ebook/dp/B004Y1LVXG (Also check out Ernie's letter to Amazon.com on that page).
Another of Ernie's books, 1001 Best Things Ever Said About Work, is being sold for $5.99 as a Kindle ebook under his name! But he didn't list it. He doesn't even have a Kindle publishing account yet. Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/1001-BEST-THINGS-ABOUT-ebook/dp/B004UGM706.
Ernie has notified Amazon about all three violations of his copyright, but they have given him no response.
Note: If you check Mingfeng Lai's webpage on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Mingfeng%20Lai, you'll discover that he's selling 296 Kindle ebooks as his own creations, most selling for 99 cents. You might be surprised to see your own book up on his page soon, if it's not already there.
S.K.S. Perry is another author who discovered his novel, Darkside, being sold via a false account under his own name. Nine days after filing a complaint to Amazon's copyright violation email, he still hadn't heard back from them.
Amazon.com has to take responsibility for faux sellers like this. Or they will soon be sued by the legitimate copyright holders. Amazon has to set up a better system of vetting who owns the rights to the ebooks they allow to be published as Kindle books.
Book authors: Write about the Amazon Kindle Swindle. Get up in arms. Do something now before your own words are stolen. While Amazon profits from such stolen work.
It shouldn't be that hard for Amazon to set up a scanning system to see if a new Kindle ebook duplicates content already up on Amazon. That's what's Amazon's computing power should be all about.
At the very least, Amazon should set up a system so authors can easily report violators - and then Amazon should act immediately to take down such Kindle violations AND close the accounts of such ebook parasites.
Amazon should also have a better vetting process for who they allow to upload to Kindle's estore. At some point, Amazon has to take responsibility for how it profits from copyright theft. Or it will lose customers - every book author in the world, to start.
One way, of course, to cut down the effects of copyright theft is simply to do such a good job selling your book that a few theft sales won't matter.