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Amazon.com v Google, et al - A Case That Needs to be Brought

Nigel Morris-Co...

Every day, criminals post to the internet illegal copies of artistic works and do it for profit from credit card fraud, the installation of malware on the victim's computer or, at its simplest, selling copies of the work and denying the authors and publishers their revenue. These criminals' websites are indexed by search engines. Worse, the search engines link to the tools needed to create illegal copies and breach Amazon.Com's intellectual property and branding in the process. It needs to stop.

I am frequently notified by Google's monitoring service of illegally distributed copies of the various works, both my own and those published by Vortex Centrum Limited, the owners of PleaseBeInformed.com, a company which, ultimately, I control. We take action to have these illegal sites delisted or even disabled or, at least, to have our copyright material removed.

But it is clear that there is an industry devoted to defeating both Amazon's DRM and our intellectual property rights.

A simple Google search for : convert kindle to pdf : results in a number of tools which claim to do the job. Perhaps they do, or perhaps they are presented by criminals who prepare the tools, or even their websites, with malware. We neither know nor care: those who purchase or use such tools to steal our revenue deserve what comes to them.

However, it is clear that these sites exist only because of their use of AMazon.com's trademark "Kindle."

It is bizarre that, if we wish to advertise on Google Adwords promoting our own titles published through the Amazon.com platform for Kindle, that Google rejects the advert unless we can demonstrate various authorisations and other conditions. Yet illegal operations, or those facilitating illegal operations, are able to promote their business with reference to your trademark.

KDP / AMAZON should immediately take action to protect its trademarks vis-a-vis such sites and require Google and other search engines to put in place measures to prevent such sites being indexed, adopting the same criteria as they do for advertising legitimate product.

Whether, given the attitude of the US Courts that, generally, permits large tech companies to do as they please, a court action would work is debateable. However, the common interest that both companies (theoretically) have to protect the integrity of the internet should be a sufficient motivator to make search engines adopt responsible listing practices.



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