I wrote about how Amazon were dealing with a copyright infringement claim against my book here. To recap, someone from a publishing house mistakenly filed a claim on one of my books and retracted it moments later, but the following week, Amazon removed my book without notification and refused to sell it on their store, telling me to contact the person who had originally made the claim instead. Amazon’s support weren’t particularly helpful at the time, but the situation has been sorted out, Clarity is once again available on Amazon, and I wanted to post an update.
At the time of the last blog post, I was waiting for a reply from Amazon. On Saturday, I received what appeared to be a form response telling me that I needed to contact the third party and arrange for them to communicate with Amazon to let them know the situation was resolved. They told me that they didn’t involve themselves in such matters, and left it up to the other parties involved to deal with the situation and let them know about it. The frustrating thing was that the third party had already responded to Amazon. I forwarded the email (that had been forwarded to me) retracting the claim, clarified the situation, and let Amazon know that they had already received the communication they were requesting. I received no response.
On Tuesday, I asked the person from the publishing house to try to contact Amazon again. They obliged within minutes, but there was still no response from Amazon. I emailed them again yesterday, forwarding the previously sent emails by the third party, and requested a resolution to the matter yesterday, and when I woke up this morning, I had an email from Amazon letting me know the book was available on all of their stores.
So from the original claim (and ignoring the first retraction), Amazon took approx. a week to first remove my book, and approx. a week to reinstate it. It’s impossible to say how many potential sales were lost, and the book has likely lost its mojo, but it’s the inconvenience to readers that bothers me most. There was very little communication, no sense of a time frame, and I had to keep telling people that I didn’t know when the book would be available on Amazon because, for the most part, I had no idea what was going on, or if it would ever be sold there again.
The fact that Amazon automatically sides with whoever files a claim, even without evidence of any kind, is worrisome. The fact they remove themselves from the situation completely is understandable, but it makes me worry that false claims can be made and never dealt with after the fact. The person who mistakenly made the claim against my book was extremely cooperative with me, but what if they hadn’t been? Would Amazon have continued to ignore my emails? I understand Amazon need to protect themselves, but so do we.
I’d love to hear if this has happened to anyone else, or if anyone has any ideas on how I could have alternatively dealt with this.