Thank you to everyone who contributed to this investigation. At this time, attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided not to pursue this matter. To view our open list of investigations, please visit this page. If you still have questions about your rights in regard to books purchased on Amazon.com, please contact an attorney in your area. The information below was posted when this investigation began and is for reference only.
At A Glance
This Alert Affects:
People who received a counterfeit book purchased on Amazon.com as a gift or from their employer, as well as authors who had counterfeit versions of their work sold on Amazon.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed against Amazon over counterfeit books.
What’s the Catch?
There is none. It doesn’t cost anything to get in touch or to speak to an attorney about your rights.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed against Amazon in light of reports that it’s allowing counterfeit books to be sold on its website.
To help with their investigation, the attorneys are asking to hear from people who either received a counterfeit book as a gift or from their employer or had counterfeit copies of their work sold on Amazon.
How Can I Tell If a Book Is Counterfeit?
Signs that a book may be counterfeit include:
Smudged numbers or letters
Poor quality paper and binding
Copied or scanned pages
Reports of Counterfeit Textbooks, Fiction Books Purchased on Amazon
Both fiction and textbooks purchased from third parties on Amazon have been the center of counterfeiting allegations.
In one particularly concerning case, a popular medical textbook titled The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy was reportedly counterfeited and sold on Amazon for two years. Counterfeit versions of the textbook, which is used to help doctors prescribe drugs for certain bacterial infections, were said to have been poorly printed and hard to read. One doctor who received the counterfeit book questioned the appropriate recommended dosages outlined in the text, as several of the numbers had been smudged.
And it’s not just medical textbooks that have reportedly been counterfeited. Some lesser-known non-fiction authors have complained that their works were copied and resold, with such obvious mistakes as the misspelling of the author’s name or incorrect author biographies. One author, for instance, noted that a counterfeit version of his programming book featured the biography of suspense/thriller author Dean Koontz. Another writer found that a counterfeit version of her memoir misspelled her name on the front cover.
Counterfeit versions of older fiction works such as The Crucible and Murder on the Orient Express have also been sold, reports say.
Is Amazon Responsible for Selling Counterfeit Books?
Amazon has been accused of taking a hands-off approach when it comes to counterfeit books, and attorneys working with ClassAction.org have reason to believe the company could be held accountable for its lack of oversight.
A class action lawsuit could help people who received counterfeit books get back the money they spent replacing their books, as well as other damages. Furthermore, those who had their work stolen and reprinted could recover the profits they lost from having their books counterfeited.