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Author Topic: Book: what on earth?  (Read 2162 times)

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ShadySue

« on: January 07, 2012, 10:37 »
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While looking at amazon for the Help your family and friends thread, I found this totally bizarre offerering
http://tinyurl.com/8556lkn
It seems to be a book, it costs 24, it has the ungainly title "Istockphoto: Royalty- free, International, Microstock photography, Micropayment, Alexa Internet, Bruce Livingstone, Getty Images, Macromedia FreeHand", and the description says,
"Product Description:
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. iStockphoto is an online, royalty free, international microstock photography provider operating with the micropayment business model. Images cost between 1 and 20 credits, depending on size. General consensus attributes the pioneering of the microstock photography industry to iStockphoto, which claims to be "internets original member-generated image and design community." The online photo library contains over 4 million images contributed by over 50,000 photographers at the rate of 27,000+ images per week. iStockphoto.com is currently ranked 220 on Alexa. "

Is it even allowed to make a book with content primarily taken from Wikipedia?
Am I missing something, i.e. why someone interested in these topics, therefore probably having internet access, would pay 24 for this?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 10:55 by ShadySue »


« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 10:41 »
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I've read that Amazon's self-publishing system has become fertile ground for scammers.   This "book" might be one of a large number of listings created by some piece of software that just scrapes Wikipedia for topics and descriptions. 

Microbius

« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 10:56 »
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Check the authors' other books. There are a hundred thousand plus.
They must have put together a piece of software that comes up with commonly searched for keyword combos and trawls the internet for related articles then stitches them together (or something)
There are some really weird titles there, it doesn't seem like any human would combine the topics in one title.

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 10:57 »
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I've read that Amazon's self-publishing system has become fertile ground for scammers.   This "book" might be one of a large number of listings created by some piece of software that just scrapes Wikipedia for topics and descriptions.  
Ah, that's what I was missing: 'Amazon's self-pubishing system' - didn't know about that - thanks.
My example seems like a real scam - although they do admit the info comes from Wikipedia (etc)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 12:51 by ShadySue »

Microbius

« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 11:00 »
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Found this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-08-17/News_and_notes


"Alphascript Publishing sells free articles as expensive books
An Amazon.com book search on 9 June 2009 gives 1009 (6 August, gives 1,859) "books" from Alphascript Publishing.[nan 1] 1003 of the books are described as "by John McBrewster, Frederic P. Miller, and Agnes F. Vandome". They are called editors in the book listings. It seems the only content of the many books is free Wikipedia articles with no sign that these three people have contributed to them.
The articles are often poorly printed with features such as missing characters from foreign languages, and numerous images of arrows where Wikipedia had links. It appears much better to read the original articles for free at the Wikipedia website than paying a lot of money for what has been described as a scam or hoax. Advertising for the books at Amazon and elsewhere does not reveal the free source of all the content. It is only revealed inside the books which may satisfy the license requirements for republishing of Wikipedia articles.
As an example of the "care" given to the books, the book "History of Georgia (country)" is about the European country Georgia but has a cover image of Atlanta in the American state Georgia.[nan 2] The Wikipedia article History of Georgia (country) does not make such a comical blunder.
PrimeHunter has compiled a list of the 1009 titles identified in June."

« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 12:42 »
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Wonder if Amazon is ok with this. Maybe they need to be told, though I would imagine someone has already reported it.

« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 13:22 »
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If amazon doesn't find a way to exclude junk like this, they'll render the whole self-publishing thing unusable. If google can try to sort out link farms from real sites, I'm assuming amazon can try something to eliminate this sort of mass plagiarism.

« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2012, 17:06 »
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Amazon has already received an earful on this and has done nothing.  Since any sale off of their site makes them a bit of money, all they really care about is possible legal liability - which is probably why these parasites explicitly credit Wikipedia.  And Wikipedia lacks the resources to go after them.   Legitimate authors who want to self-publish are finding their works are just needles in a giant haystack of junk.  Sound familiar?


As with email spam - maybe this sort of thing will decline as the novelty wears off and the scammers realize they could make more money clerking in convenience stores.  
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 17:11 by stockastic »

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 00:04 »
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Amazon has already received an earful on this and has done nothing.  Since any sale off of their site makes them a bit of money, all they really care about is possible legal liability - which is probably why these parasites explicitly credit Wikipedia.  And Wikipedia lacks the resources to go after them.   Legitimate authors who want to self-publish are finding their works are just needles in a giant haystack of junk.  Sound familiar?


As with email spam - maybe this sort of thing will decline as the novelty wears off and the scammers realize they could make more money clerking in convenience stores.  

Yeah, now that you mention it, it reminds me of The Internet! LOL Everything is about marketing something, always an ad or a link or a pop-up of some sort. It has become a massive MLM pyramid scam.

Hopefully the real authors will prevail in this case over the Script Publishers.

Hey how about this. A computer program, where you type in what you want in a picture. Girl, blue dress, old bicycle, hill, sunny, grass, landscape... and the computer talkes the stock elements and arranges them (using the rule of thirds of course) into a custom image.  ;D Hey wasn't there something a few years ago like that? Glad it went away. I like humans best.
 


 

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