Amazon forced withdraw selling without license eBook and without permission from an author who distributed it for free: Imagine writing a book, distributing it for free, and finding that someone else is selling it.

This is what happened to an Argentine professor of theoretical computing, Eugenia Bahit. Except that that "someone" was actually a giant like Amazon.

Bahit told his case on social networks a few days ago. "What would be the world if Amazon pirated books protected by intellectual property laws?", he posted in a tweet.

"How about we ask the world, because Amazon has hacked my PHP book whose license prohibits its sale," he continued.

The work is a PHP language manual that Bahit decided to distribute for free under a Creative Commons 3.0 license because he prepared it for his students. In fact, Eugenia's work can still be found on multiple web pages.

The license under which you published this manual allows anyone to "copy, distribute and share" the book under the following conditions: "recognize and respect the work of authorship, do not make commercial use of it and do not alter the content".

Beyond that, as the own author indicates in the networks and the work was distributed under another title and another cover, the serious of the matter lies in that Amazon was distributing through its platform at a price of 3.82 pounds without the required authorization.

In addition, as he prayed on the book sale page in the Amazon store, the seller was the European subsidiary of Jeff Bezos ' multinational, Amazon EU Sarl, based in Luxembourg.

Amazon forced withdraw selling without license eBook

Bahit bought his own book —which he distributes for free— to verify that it was his own work. After confirming this, it retains the invoice —which Business Insider Spain has verified— in which the Amazon subsidiary based in Luxembourg appears as a seller.

The author raised the alarm on social networks last Tuesday. At first, he tried to fill out the contact form that is on the website itself. Bahit received an automated response from the store that outraged her even more.

"We have not been able to verify whether you are the rightful owner of the rights to this work," read the email he obtained in response. Desperate, she decided to attract the attention of even Bezos himself. No success.

But the solution was quite simple: It is not a matter of Amazon failing to verify whether or not Eugenia Bahit was the rightful owner of the rights to her own book. The point is that the book was being distributed under a license that prevented unauthorized marketing of it.

A Spanish lawyer and judicial expert contacted Bahit herself to advise her on her reply. They are Marelisa Blanco, specialized in intellectual property and technological law and CEO of the firm Akme; and Selva Orejón, executive director of onBRANDING, specialists in online reputation and cyber research.

Bahit itself tells Business Insider Spain that it opts for Creative Commons licenses, but this never implies that their sale is prohibited. "It means that commercial use cannot be made without my consent."

Eugenia began to claim this bizarre situation on Tuesday. There was silence on the part of Amazon until late Wednesday night.

Until then, Eugenia was very clear that she would continue to claim until they removed the book. "I cannot tolerate the mistreatment of Amazon," he defended.

Sources close to the company point to the possibility that a third party uploaded the book as if it were his to try to sneak it into Amazon's eBook distribution platform, Kindle. Initially, the multinational has machine learning tools as well as customer service teams monitoring that licenses are complied with.

However, the same sources point out that sometimes it is not easy to detect a breach of these licenses because there are multiple sources in the book inventories: publishers, authors, etc.

The experts who advise Eugenia reject this extreme. Selva Orejón suggests that it is as simple as Amazon has a web spider, a computer tool that indexes web pages as Google does when it comes to offering content in its searches.

One explanation to understand why Amazon Europa was listed as a seller of Eugenia Bahit's work is that it is this profile that centralizes all sales that are made through its Kindle platform.

Marelisa Blanco, for her part, explains to Business Insider Spain that what has occurred is an infringement of the Creative Commons license. In Spanish law it implies, de facto, the violation of the rights of publishing and public communication; economic rights.

"Eugenia, if she wanted, could ask Amazon for all the benefits she has obtained from the sale of this work, plus what would be a reparation for the moral damages suffered", details the lawyer.

"A second option is to be paid for the license to distribute your book with a correct authorization," rivets. To establish the amount of what Eugenia could demand from Amazon in terms of moral rights it would be necessary to go to an expert. But to calculate the value of the license would not be necessary. "We are in a free market," trench.

Amazon forced withdraw selling without license eBook


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