Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0011 – Hephaestus Books

The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scale copyright infringement, or in other ways have been ripping off artists.

In all cases I will be working with published information. It is possible that this information may not be up to date, or may not accurately reflect the current status of the situation. If I am supplied documentary evidence which shows a different status, I will publish an update. In cases where a lawsuit ensued, and the settlement was sealed, I will not update the published information, unless I am provided with:

1) A copy of the settlement
2) Permission to publish the settlement

While I realize this may cause problems for one or more of the parties involved, I believe in only publishing things I can reference, so that those who read this have an evidence trail to follow.

Note that the above text will appear in every article, if you’ve read it once, feel free to skip down to the divider.

*****

This afternoon award-winning writer C. J. Cherryh sent out the following update on Twitter:

@CJCherryh: Ok, guys, need some help…: Everybody first search my books on B&N, and if you find Hephaestus Books with omnibus… http://t.co/05YD2KtS

Carolyn is an internet acquaintance, like so many people are now. We trade messages on her blog or Facebook every so often. So I followed the link to her blog, where she talks about finding that this company called Hephaestus Books, which has harvested Wikipedia, and then published the Wikipedia articles as her book. Several of her books. Hephaestus Books has no rights to publish anything of hers, and they haven’t. What they are doing is scamming readers.

Hephaestus Books found under a search for Cherryh
Hephaestus Books found under a search for Cherryh

She’s furious. Who wouldn’t be? This could hurt her reputation.

Me being me I started playing with the search function. I found that Hephaestus Books is attacking a lot of other writers too.

Hephaestus Books Catalog on Barnes and Noble
Hephaestus Books Catalog on Barnes and Noble

Hold on – showing 1 of 30 of HOW many results? Let’s look at a larger view.

Hephaestus Books Catalog - Enlarged
Hephaestus Books Catalog - Enlarged

That can’t be. It seems to be saying 190441 results! Let me blow it up larger.

Hephaestus Books Catalog - Close up view
Hephaestus Books Catalog - Close up view

It really is. It says 190,441 results!

I decided to check Smashwords. On Smashwords I was unable to find any evidence that Hephaestus Books had published anything. I then checked Amazon. Oh my god…

Hephaestus Books on Amazon
Hephaestus Books on Amazon

And now to enlarge it so you can see the numbers.

Hephaestus Books on Amazon Enlarged
Hephaestus Books on Amazon Enlarged

Only 166,867 results. That’s not so bad, is it?

This is another scam along the line with the Private Label Rights scam which I’ve written about in the past (sorry, can’t link to it, it was a private report). The basic idea is to do no work at all, collect money, and refuse to refund if you get any complaints. After all, you delivered exactly what they ordered.

That it does damage to hard-working writers, well, they don’t give a damn. Nor does our fantastic Government in Canada, which has already gotten an email from me on this. Or say rather that the Prime Minister, and several members of Parliament, a couple of which know me personally have gotten an email, and none of them have responded. Yet.

They will also get emailed a copy of this article. I hope they enjoy reading it.

One last thing. Do you think that Hephaestus Books is the ONLY scam operation doing this?

FYI Hephaestus Books – the DMCA doesn’t work against me. I’m hosted outside of the United States. And my lawyer has rabid wolverine in his ancestry if you come north of the border.

Regards

Wayne Borean

Monday October 31, 2011

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4 thoughts on “Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0011 – Hephaestus Books

  1. As I said in the article, Smashwords comes out of this looking really good. They care about their writers.

    Amazon and Barnes & Noble don’t seem to care. And that is a problem.

    Wayne

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