Avast! And Splice the Epub Me Hearties! Pirates Off the Starboard iBook!

So 2018 has so far been a strange year for the Felapton brand, aside from a being a Hugo finalist, being reported to the Federal Police for running a blog and not forgetting being accused of secretly lecturing in philosophy in Aberdeen, I’ve now been pirated!

The Apple iBooks store has two version of The Felapton Digest available. One is the correct one distributed by Smashwords and is free. The other is…I’m not sure, I haven’t looked inside it because whoever is selling it is charging $39.99!


Not only have I been pirated but I have been done so by time travellers – or ‘Time Bandits’ as they are known.


And, and they’ve even added an extra typo! “n exciting” instead of “An exciting”. What the flip Time Bandits! I enjoyed your antics on film but don’t steal my book!

I wrote to Apple, and I kid you not (this is the honest truth), THEY replied with an excellent typo:


Thank you for contacting iTunes Provider Support, my name is [Name removed – CF] and I will be assisting you today.

Thank you for letting us know regarding your book and for taking the time to explain the situation. iTunes Provider Support is available for providers that are trying to publish and/or manage their books. Rest assured, I’ll be pointing you in the right direction to address your issue.


To submit a claim of alleged infringement for a title that you feel is available for download on the iBooks Store without authorization, use the iBooks Store Content Dispute form.
Upon your submission, we will investigate the matter accordingly.
​Explore Resources and Help on iTunes Connect to get answers to frequently asked questions, watch video tutorials, stay up to date with the latest news, and more.

If you need further assistance, you may reply to this email or call us directly at 877-206-2092. Support hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday.

If you have additional questions related to this request, please reference case number 100507479688.

If I have not touched on your concern, please reply with clarification.

Best regards,

[Name removed – CF]
Apple Inc.

The iBooks Store Content Dispute form is an initially friendly and then a big scary quasi-legal thing. It ends with a check box:
By checking this box, I represent that the information in this submission is accurate and swear under penalty of perjury that I am the owner, or agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the rights that are allegedly infringed. I have good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law.
“under penalty of perjury” – zoiks!
[ETA – the automated form wrote back:
**This is an automated response; please do not reply.**

Dear Camestros,

Thank you for using our web form to submit your claim. We acknowledge receipt and will process your claim shortly. Upon processing, we will contact you further, as well as contacting the content provider if appropriate.

Please understand that we have a high volume of complaints at this time and are delayed in processing. Duplicate submissions will not expedite your matter and may in fact delay the processing of your claim.

Um, I don’t care how busy you are – I’m not asking a favour of iBooks or requesting goods, I’m asking them to stop stealing stuff.

“Oh no a burglar in my house! Get out you fiend!”

“Thank you for your request to [select option: put down stolen stuff/leave house/stop breaking that window/wearing that vase as a hat] but we are currently recieving a high volume of complaints to ‘stop breaking into people’s houses’ and we are delayed in complying. Duplicate screams/crimes for help/threatening me with a poker will not expedite the matter and may in fact delay the procssing of your claim”



36 responses to “Avast! And Splice the Epub Me Hearties! Pirates Off the Starboard iBook!”

  1. Time travelling boilerplate from bygone age when “laws” and “standards” were “upheld” and “enforced” by “disinterested parties” for the “collective good” to achieve a measure of “justice”. These are days of fungus and grime, toadstools and mold.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It was a slow day
      And the sun was beating
      On the pirates by the side of the road
      There was a digest
      A snaffling of iBook pubs
      The book on the bobble
      And the lawyer with the perjuring heart

      These are the days of fungus and wonder
      This is the long distance grime
      The way the mushrooms follow us in slo-mo
      The way they look at us all
      The way they look to copy our achievements
      That’re lighting up a corner of the sky
      These are the days of fungas and wonder
      And don’t buy Camastros, don’t buy
      Don’t buy

      Liked by 3 people

      • I adore this, though it will be my earworm for days. Could be worse. A friend of mine misheard the pop song wthat includes the lyric “Unskinny Bop” as “UnSeelie Bop” and the brains been churning that out relentlessly, with not-quite clever lyrics. It’s terrible.


  2. Looks like you aren’t the only one. They are also selling free books from Bhikku S and Hannie P. Scott.


  3. I’ve heard of a similar case recently involving Amazon, not Apple that turned out to be a money laundering scheme. Basically, these people took low cost or free books and put up duplicates at a ridiculously high price that no one except people instructed to do so would buy. The truth came out when an author got a tax form from Amazon for ridiculously high earnings.

    Here is an article about this: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/02/money-laundering-via-author-impersonation-on-amazon/

    Anyway, it’s good that you found the duplicate. You might also want to let Smashwords know, so they can contact Apple from their end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I spoke to Smashwords and they were nice but can’t do much at there end as they aren’t the copyright holders.

      Laundering scam makes a lot of sense. $40 is an absurd price for a random ebook.

      Liked by 1 person

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