20140724 Cheeky people and thieving rogues

When I started writing “Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation” more than 20 years ago, there was no world wide web.


The internet was basically nothing more than a collection of disparate bulletin boards, some messaging systems that didn’t talk to each other and a couple of large private networks – Compuserve and America On Line. I went out, to real shops, and bought copies of books to help in research: today, there are authoritative texts made available free (where they are out of copyright) and a raft of other material to get to. Including historical research that was highly relevant.

Today’s researchers have no concept of the art of research prior to all-powerful search engines. When we first got a search-engine it was like a miracle. Then came the “meta-search” engines with silly names like Dog Pile and then came Google.

The internet has brought benefits and threats. It allows researchers to locate and use a far wider range of material than they would have, previously, had access to. It also allows unbridled thievery of intellectual property and roguish passing off and provides a ready market place for both.

For example: I found the following on a bulletin board: “Where to download Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation Tipping the Scales of Justice in Your Client’s Favour? I have been looking for a reliable way to find and download this book for free, but I so far I got nothing solid. For most things, there is torrent. For single audio files and rare albums, there is SoulSeek For random things, there is eMule. But what about books? Occasional, I am able to find something on eMule, but that’s exactly what it is – occasional. I am looking for specific titles, and usually they are not classics, like Dorian Gray or Wuthering Hills, but new literature of fact, like Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation Tipping the Scales of Justice in Your Client’s Favour? So, is there something I am missing, or is there no reliable way to find such interesting books to download for free? ”

There is something the poster is missing: the book is not free. If you want to read it, buy it you cheating little squirt. And you mean “Wuthering Heights.”

But he is not the only scumbag on the ‘web: DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK: gsaconsultant .net – it claims to be the biggest source for books on the ‘web. It has, pulled from Amazon.Com the cover shot and the blurb. And it claims to deliver a download. In fact, according to my internet security, what it transmits is a security threat. But even if it is not, even if what they are offering for download is a copy of the book, it’s an illegal republication and distribution. The ONLY way of obtaining a copy of the ebook legally is via Amazon.Com. We often find websites promoting illegal copies of my work and of World Money Laundering Report.

It’s not the only way people seek to profit from my work: Amazon.Com and its associated sites are awash with rogue sellers who advertise my book(s) at vastly inflated prices. Bearing in mind that the books are produced as print on demand, it is at least a major stretch of the truth to refer to them as “used” – even though they have been purchased and resold by the rogues.

I’m very unimpressed by the Australian law firm which, shortly after my book was made available by Amazon through its Australian gateway, posted an article to its website with the same title as my book. I’m even less impressed that they have ignored my requests to modify the title and any repetition of it in the body of their article to avoid confusion. It’s not exactly plagiarism and the article content is frankly lightweight, a million miles from my book which, of course, readers of the article who arrive at it looking for my book won’t know); it’s not exactly passing off but it is capitalising on the goodwill I have built up in that title and, not to put too fine a point on it, stealing my internet links and therefore at least potentially prejudicing my sales for their own gain. It might not be unlawful, but it’s certainly shabby. Should I name the firm? It’s very tempting, as it is to report their unprofessional behaviour in failing to reply to my correspondence.

There is also a growing suspicion that someone is building an illegal library of World Money Laundering Report. Amazon.Com’s reports for sales of WMLR show that, for each issue, someone downloads it then claims a refund very shortly afterwards. There’s no reason to do this: before the title appears on Amazon.com, it is available to registered subscribers at www.worldmoneylaunderingreport.com for free. True, we weed out those who do not provide a proper corporate e-mail address and contact information but aside from that it’s free. Also, in the USA and other countries, subscribers to Amazon Prime can “borrow” WMLR without further charge, as part of their subscription (and when they do, unlike for those who download and return, we get paid).

So, when you want my book, all you have to do is this: go to the relevant link on this website and click it. Then you will get a genuine copy and I will get paid for my efforts. And when you want to read WMLR, there are ways that are both honest and fair. None of those involve getting copies from third parties or downloading from anywhere except Amazon.Com and its affiliates either free or at inflated prices.

How hard can that be?

© 2014 Nigel Morris-Cotterill

All rights reserved

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