Sunday, April 29, 2018

Erotica Dungeons, Infringing Flagpoles, Child Sexbots, Rampant Piracy, and Bubbles....Allegations

Authors have long been aware that their romance titles can be summarily sentenced and dispatched to Amazon's erotica dungeon without notice, trial, or due process. And, their ranks can be stripped. Or so it is alleged. The crime? Perhaps a bare manly chest on a cover.

Perhaps an alarming keyword, that might even have been added without the author or publisher's knowledge. As we see with "bedding", damning words do get added mysteriously.

Please see Samantha Cole's blog:

Some take the problem so seriously, there is an app for that, or at least, a free service:
Adult Flag.

Yet, allegedly, Amazon is one of several venues that allow third party sellers to purvey lifelike child sexbots.
John F. Banzhaf explains on

One wonders why those things are not in the infamous Amazon dungeon!

Also of possible concern to authors are the allegations that Amazon's CreateSpace provides a "safe haven" for textbook scams, money laundering, and rampant piracy. Nate Hoffelder writes:

And then, there are the paid,  misleadingly glowing reviews that Amazon's paid-review-purges miss, (versus the unsolicited, genuine glowing book reviews that are censored... not that this particular Washington Post article is about books), as discussed by Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg.

On the perils of selling on Amazon, legal bloggers Charlotte Duly and Angharad Rolfe Johnson of  the UK intellectual property rights specialist law firm Boult Wade Tennant analyze the legal consequences of Amazon product codes, and perhaps of Amazon "Buy Boxes"..

Apparently, a listing on Amazon that is created by one seller, may be used by subsequent sellers, and sometimes (in this writer's experience) new sellers are forced or confused by Amazon into using the same listing.

This happened to a seller of genuine Chinese flagpoles, and another seller of replica Chinese flagpoles. The problem was compounded by Amazon's "Buy Box" policies, which often give the "Buy Box" advantage to whoever sells a similar product for the lowest price. The replica flagpole seller was found liable for trademark infringement and "passing off".

Legal blogger Nina Goodyear for the international law firm Taylor Wessing  commented on an infringing act of selling beds on Amazon. Trademark infringement, that is. The unsuccessful defendants' defense was that someone else had added the claimant's trademarked brand name "Birlea" to the listing without their (the defendants') knowledge.

It is better to be a buyer on the Zon, than it is to be a seller!

Amazon is not liable for copyright infringing products sold on its website, as Cheryl Beise J.D. explains.

Mark Schonfeld's  legal blog from 2016 for Burns & Levinson LLP asks, "What are we going to do about Amazon?" in the light of what happened to Milo & Gabby in a Seattle court.

Apparently, this applies even when Amazon advertises a product as "shipped from and sold by".... or perhaps not. Wade Shepard for Forbes discusses how the Milo & Gabby ruling might have given Amazon too much rope. Now Daimler may turn the tables with what Wade Shepard eloquently describes as "the most unglamorous smoking gun in legal history. Wheel caps." link

If Daimler prevails, the dam may burst, and also an alleged bubble may burst. Michael Harris (a financial blogger) calls it The Mother Of All Bubbles, owing to its profits allegedly coming largely from its web services to enterprises such as the CIA and Netflix.

According the Philip Davis, the rest of Amazon lost a lot of money.  But, that's another story.

What fun!

Rowena Cherry

1 comment:

  1. That bit about random keywords being added without the author's knowledge is creepy/scary! In self-publishing a few of my works (erotic paranormal romance) from Ellora's Cave, which closed a couple of years ago, I've toned down the graphic level of the texts a little and carefully avoided keywords that might get the books consigned to the dungeon.