Amazon and fake books

No Starch Press is a longtime publisher of books for developers. Over the weekend, they posted this tweet, calling out Amazon for selling a fake version of one of its books (H/T Robert Walter).

The book had the same title, same author, and a similar cover. But it was not printed by No Starch Press and, presumably, none of the money will make its way to No Starch or the author.

Book fakes have been around forever. Pretty early in my book writing career, I found out the ugly truth. When a book with any kind of demand appeared in print, the fake machinery kicked in. Someone (for me, it usually started in China) would buy a copy of the book, use a saw to cut off the spine/binding, then feed the pages into an optical character reader, creating a PDF of the book.

Once they had the fake book in hand, they could print a fake and sell it, or add the fake PDF to a torrent web site. Happened to me with every book I ever wrote.

But this particular fake appears to be surfaced by Amazon, the number one bookseller in the world. Here’s a link to what appears to be the fake. If I had not seen the original, I would never have known.

Amazon, you going to do anything about this?