[Foundation-l] Alphascript Publishing: 1900+ copy&pasted books from Wikipedia

Renata St renatawiki at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 22:10:37 UTC 2009

It was raised before on the Village Pump, but I think this is so disturbing
that we ought to do something.

"Alphascript Publishing" has published over 1900 (and counting) books, all
available on Amazon. Prices range from $31 to $179. All of these books are
simple computer-generated copies from Wikipedia and (at least according to
one Amazon reviewer) couple other public domain websites. Trouble is, from
book description page there is absolutely no way of knowing that the book is
a Wikipedia mirror on paper. At least several Amazon buyers have been
fooled. What really gets my blood boiling is that Amazon user "VDM Verlag
Dr.Müller" (I think someone exposed him as 100% shareholder of the
publishing co) goes on rating these products as "five star"....

The publisher seems to observe the copyright (even includes full edit
history) so legal action seems impossible. Someone already contacted Amazon,
but they "are not responsible for the quality of books sold". In the
meantime the number of such books grew from 900 in June to almost 2000 as of
today... I think we should do something. At the very least publishing
product reviews warning that what this is....



P.S. on a happier note: half of Wikipedia editors now can claim to be
"published authors".

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