Fucking Pirates: A Teeny, Tiny Call to Arms

You may have already seen this on Facebook, but if you’ve wisely sworn off that platform I’ll repeat it here:

I have a favor to ask any US Amazon customers out there. Would you mind going over here and leaving a reader review pointing out that this is a pirated edition, unauthorized by the author, and that the “annotations” consist of a couple of Wikipedia pages pasted onto the front of the manuscript? I would do it myself, but I am not allowed to post reviews on Amazon.com because I “have not met the minimum eligibility requirements to write a review” (i.e., I have not given them enough money).

I have, of course, launched a copyright infringement notice through Amazon’s official channels, and Amazon is being its usual dickish self in terms of acting on it. I continue to jump through their hoops. In the meantime, though, it would be nice if potential customers could be informed that they (and I) are being ripped off.

Thank you. Apologies for the interruption. If it helps, my next blog post is likely to be about Planarians, neoblasts, and The Thing.



This entry was posted on Monday, July 26th, 2021 at 7:03 am and is filed under legal, misc. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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Joshua
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Joshua
11 months ago

I tried and got the following message from Amazon: “Amazon has noticed unusual reviewing activity on this product. Due to this activity, we have limited this product to verified purchase reviews.”

Fortunately a few people got their one-star reviews in before Amazon stepped in to protect the pirate.

UpsideDownMan
Guest
UpsideDownMan
11 months ago

The machines have noticed already! Amazon has started limiting reviews to verified purchases as of approx 4pm GMT when I went over to review the fake.

Aardvark Cheeselog
Guest
Aardvark Cheeselog
11 months ago

Your call has been heard and heeded. A half-dozen users have posted 1-star reviews calling it out as a pirate edition, and attempts to add more are met with


Amazon has noticed unusual reviewing activity on this product. Due to this activity, we have limited this product to verified purchase reviews.

Andy
Guest
Andy
11 months ago

If I were in the US (perish the thought) I’d rain down hellfire and damnation but I’m not; I’ve actually sworn off using Amazon completely once their COVID hijinks became public knowledge and it was a surprisingly morally satisfying decision to make.

Of course there’s precious little I’d purchased on Amazon that was, you know, essential so we’ll see if that sticks.

Dr. Watts, how’s Rakuten Kobo treating you? That’s my e-reading app of choice, but I’d like to have a confirmation I’m not fucking an author I admire over by using it.

1001001
Guest
1001001
11 months ago

Jeez, next you’re going to tell me my copy of Omniscience isn’t legit.

Ashley R Pollard
Guest
11 months ago

Another way forward is to make sure that the profits of any sales are sent to you. That should be disincentive enough.

Of course your publisher should be motivated to pursue this copyright infringement. I guess they’re not, in which case it seems like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Gord Wait
Guest
Gord Wait
11 months ago

Amazon’s page now says this product is unavailable for purchase..

trackback

[…] on his blog, sci-fi author Peter Watts laments copyright infringement of his excellent novel, […]

dhlight
Guest
dhlight
11 months ago

By the time I got to it, just now, the link said ‘page not found’ with a picture of a sad dog.

How much was the schmuck charging?

Graham Moore
Guest
11 months ago

I discovered your work by stumbling across the free copy of Blindsight. This has resulted in me buying a paper copy plus most of the other books you’ve written as they have become available at Indigo.

Nestor
Guest
Nestor
11 months ago

Parasites are inevitable in all ecosystems…

ken
Guest
ken
11 months ago

Like @Graham Moore, I downloaded the (legit) free version of Blindsight after reading a recommendation from Cory Doctorow.

I read half of the book on my laptop and then immediately ordered a physical copy. I’ve purchased a copy of every one of your books since then. I plan to continue this practice.

Nestor
Guest
Nestor
11 months ago

I did try to leave a negative review, but I too am insufficiently spendy. Consider me a failed antibody. Perhaps next time!

Ftuuky
Guest
Ftuuky
11 months ago

Hi Dr. Watts,

Sorry to hear about your troubles with Amazon.

In the meantime, what is your opinion on this?
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41587-021-00969-6

Sounds like something right up your alley.

Thanks,
Ftuuky

Super Meat Boy
Guest
Super Meat Boy
10 months ago

Just read Strategic Retreat, but can’t comment on it.

Yet I feel compelled to comment on the imagery. It’s like you’re feeling the endgame in your bones, and trying to paint it. If we’re really lucky, then it’s Chicken all the way up.

Just Meat Boy
Guest
Just Meat Boy
10 months ago

Ah, and now What Dreams May Come. I have something for you.

> “It is worth taking the idea of dream substitution seriously enough to consider whether fictions like novels or films act as artificial dreams, accomplishing at least some of the same function.”

Conceptual Blending plus Predictive Processing. Like this: sensory information is the foundation of cognition. Concepts are mash ups of sensory information. New and novel concepts require new and novel sensory information. When you’ve exhausted what’s available from unaltered nature, where do you find more? You create art.

How do you know what a dragon is?

Super Meat Fetus
Guest
Super Meat Fetus
10 months ago

Valentines from the Oort! You SUMMONED that comet, didn’t you?

dhlight
Guest
dhlight
10 months ago

Peter Watts,

Now that I’m watching for pirates, I spotted a suspect ‘annotated’ copy of ‘Butcher Bird’ by Richard Kadrey. The ‘annotation’ looks like boilerplate from someplace and there are major typos in the sample text. Publication date is 8/2/2021 (maybe they got the idea here). Left 1 star warning review.

I notice that Amazon does permit a ‘trademark holder’ to submit a copyright complaint.

Lars
Guest
Lars
10 months ago

I keep reading “a teeny, tiny call to arms” as “a call to teeny, tiny arms” and wondering when the Tyrannosaurs are going to show up.

1001001
Guest
1001001
10 months ago

Dear Customer,

We discovered that your recent order of Blindsight: Annotated was an unauthorized version. We’ve refunded you the original purchase price to the payment method used for this order, which you should see in the next 3-5 business days (not including processing time by your bank).

We encourage you to dispose of the incorrect version you received.

If you would like to purchase the correct book, you can find it here:

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1250237483

We’re very sorry about the inconvenience this has caused.

Sincerely,

Customer Service Department

Amazon.ca

http://www.amazon.ca

NauseOuS
Guest
NauseOuS
10 months ago
Nestor
Guest
Nestor
10 months ago

I should probably be able to leave a review on the .es but when I switch to kindle or hardcover back to softcover the image seems to show a legit TOR edition… are we sure it’s a pirate one?

oge
Guest
oge
10 months ago

Hi Peter, what hard sci-fi books/stories/papers (in a style similar to yours) would you recommend to a person who has read ALL the fiction you’ve written?

V
Guest
V
10 months ago

Just last night I duckduckgoed “Scratch Monkey” by Chralie Stross, because I couldn’t find it on his website at prima vista — there was a “hardcover” of it at the big river (with two — obviously trollish — reviews), despite the fact that it’s free on his website and has always been, prior to anything he was published as fiction on dead trees, _ever_.

Dan Major
Guest
10 months ago

1001001,

Sigh – I read your comment and then spent 20+ minutes trying to find out how it was released already, seeing if it was close to out (in case you had an ARC), etc. Only to realize the joke afterward…

Damnit – I really wanted it to be out NOW!

NotParticipating
Guest
NotParticipating
9 months ago

*Sigh* “imminent” he says…

https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/hiron-ennes/leech/9781529073607

Currently listed with a release date at the end of September…. 2022…

SomeHistoryGuy
Guest
SomeHistoryGuy
9 months ago

Apparently Blindsight got spotlighted by a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience, so now a bunch of people have gone out and bought the book. It’s episode 1698, in case you weren’t aware already (I can’t speak to the quality of entertainment though, I’ve never listened to the JRE).

The K
Guest
The K
9 months ago

Can confirm that “Children of Time”, and its sequel, “Children of Ruin” do indeed slap. Of course they are not quite as good as the Omniscience books, but hey, they did scratch that itch.

As for “Leech”, man that does sound awesome. But Release in 2022 and no cover picture to boot? Whelp, here is hoping we actually get it at all.

dhlight
Guest
dhlight
9 months ago

Peter Watts,

Sorry if I led you into the Amazon copyright morass (altho it looks like you dove down that hole by yourself). Think of it as another gift from America; first we beat you up at the border, then we beat up your indie book sellers.

As for books to assuage a Peter Watts jones,
maybe Ken Macleod (Corporation Wars trilogy – hard science (sorta)), or Iain Banks (Use of Weapons – if you can tolerate FTL), or Jack Vance (Planet of Adventure series – requires FTL tolerance and being able to handle swordfights on a medieval alien planet). Great reads all.