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Wikipedia Book scam

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Wikipedia Book scam

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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 12:37
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Wikipedia Book scam

I've recently received some legitimate emails from Amazon advertising what on the face of it appeared to be some overpriced books detailing the history of certain RAF squadrons.

When I received one allegedly advertising the history of XV Sqn, but with a picture of a Skyways FK50 on the cover (link below), I did a bit of digging.

No. 15 Squadron RAF: Royal Air Force, Panavia Tornado, RAF Lossiemouth, Operational Conversion Unit, Farnborough Airfield, Royal Flying Corps, Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, World War I: Amazon.co.uk: Lambert M. Surhone, Miriam T. Timpledon, Susan F.

It appears that these books are from a publisher called "Alpha Script" or "Beta Script" (my bet's on Gamma for their next incarnation) They simply lift masses of content from Wikipedia at no cost to them, collate it into a single volume loosely linked to a single subject, but apparently without any editing whatsoever; and then sell at a pretty hefty price. They have apparently "published" over 10,000 titles!

It's apparently legal, and the main company is based in Mauritius. Not sure if I'm disgusted or just jealous I didn't think of it first. Has anyone actually brought one of these books? If so, are they utter tat?

Cheers
TWJ
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 13:22
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[Tangent]
I've flown in that Fifty from CPH to LPI and vice-versa many times. It's BHX - AMS - LPI with KLM now though with the cessation of LPI ops for Skyways. Bizarre to have next seen it in the context that you shared though, twinjetter!
[/Tangent]
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 13:27
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The parent company is VDM Verlag, which doesn't proofread or otherwise edit manuscripts. The publishing method is print on demand.
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 15:36
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It's apparently legal

I don't think so.

Anything you publish, as per even this post, becomes your copyright.

(excepting anything you clearly quote, as above)
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 16:16
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Not true.

Anything published, if clearly stated as copyright, becomes the publisher's copyright unless otherwise stated.

If it doesn't say "Copyright (c) nnnn Fred Bloggs" then it isn't.

So anyone can take anything from PPRuNe and republish elsewhere.
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 16:27
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Not true.

Anything published, if clearly stated as copyright, becomes the publisher's copyright unless otherwise stated.

If it doesn't say "Copyright (c) nnnn Fred Bloggs" then it isn't.

So anyone can take anything from PPRuNe and republish elsewhere
^ not only wrong, but rubbish.

Copyright law, rights and limitations is an international, multi-jurisdictional issue, perhaps too complex to be summed up in 3 line posts by idiots or geniuses. Complicating the matter further is that their are exceptions to just about any copyright assertion (i.e. Fair Use) which again, may not be recognized by a particular jurisdiction.

Generalizations aside however,it is a common misconception that copyright has to be registered (or explicitly asserted ) in some way in order to be protected. This is not the case.
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 20:48
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Regardless of the legalities or otherwise, I find this activity a pure con.

Being as I'm still no wiser as to whether it's legal or not, here's a link to what Wikipedia is saying about it.

User:PrimeHunter/Alphascript Publishing sells free articles as expensive books - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oh, sorry. I now claim the above wiki as my own and so I'd be grateful if you'd send my 29.75 if you click on the above link.

Some of the titles are beyond sh1te. Winds me up so it does; is anyone prepared to own up to actually having brought one?
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Old 24th Feb 2010, 12:32
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With this sort of 'publishing on demand' what happens about the copy of a newly published book that should be sent to the British Library? (Presumably the company mentioned here might be exempt since they are based in Mauritius) but a UK based version would have to send copies of everything they publish I presume.
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