Postmortem: Someone Cloned My Book on Amazon
Matt Frisbie

A few month ago, I run into a fake listing, which could disappoint aspiring writers who start learning English writing.

Looking for a book, “The Elements of Style Fourth Edition”, a classic instruction book for English writing, I was puzzled by a number of options on Amazon; there were too many books titled “The Elements of Style”, as the copyright status of its first edition entered public domain a long time ago.

The 4th edition, published in 1999, has Paperback version and Hardcover version, and no Digital version officially, but the Amazon page has Digital Book version interestingly. Following the link, I landed up on a wrong page, which sells the original edition, written in 1918, at a price of $1.06.

The customer reviews of the renowned book contains unlikely amount of 1–2 stars, many of which are complains and cautions from buyers of the original edition, many of whom purchased the $1.06 Kindle eBook under the impression that it’s the 4th edition.

The incorrect link between the two different books is unacceptable for not only because it potentially infringes Moral Rights of the authors, William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, but also because paying for a public domain book mistakenly is an unpleasant experience for customers, which I believe Amazon values, hopefully.

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