Amazon Sues 1,000 Fiverr Users Over Fake Reviews of its Products

Amazon conducted a sting operation and filed lawsuit against more than 1000 product reviewers for fake review of products listed on Amazon’s e-commerce platform for $5 each through online marketplace Fiverr.com. Amazon had taken similar action against business houses who undertook fake review service in April 2015. Now Amazon has started action against individuals as they are diminishing trust in review platform of Amazon.

During this entire operation, Amazon hired some of the people now listed in the suit to write fake reviews essentially. Fiverr is one of such online service which let people to use its platform to sell simple services to strangers, like transcribing audio, converting photos or editing video etc. These people offered the undercover Amazon investigators 5-star reviews for $5 each.

Even one of Fiverr.com user with bess98 program, used many computers to write the reviews by deceiving Amazon.

Likewise Amazon had earlier sued reviewers, who had arranged the empty boxes by shipping in order to prove that they have purchased the products.

Amazon has not sued Fiverr. Com because it found in the court that as per the terms and conditions of Fiverr, these types of services has already been banned by Fiverr and it has tried to minimize such activities.

Amazon specified in court application, “Amazon is bringing this action to protect its customers from this misconduct, by stopping defendants and uprooting the ecosystem in which they participate,” It further requested. “Although Amazon has successfully requested removal of similar listings from Fiverr in the past, the removal of individual listings does not address the root cause of the issue or serve as a sufficient deterrent to the bad actors engaged in creating and purchasing fraudulent product reviews.”

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Amazon Immobilizes Send to Kindle on Competing Bookstores

Amazon has started the process of disabling their ‘Send to Kindle’ to the competing book stores. This change in terms of service is going to have greater impact on the e-book industry.

Amazon has upgraded their cloud system during last March which will ask users to subscribe to Prime in order to store photos and video. For people other than Prime member, it costs $11.99per year. After launching the new system, Amazon has changed their terms of service for so many things including preventing 3rd party companies from using “Send to Kindle” or “Send to Email”.

The terms states “You may not charge directly or indirectly to distribute content via the Service. You may not use the Service to send infringing, unauthorized, or otherwise illegal content.”

Amazon is using the expansion to the TOS to defer the ability or imposing random limits on the amount of content which will be delivered to the Kindle e-Reader, Fire tablet or any of their apps.

With these terms of Amazon, the entire 3rd party book selling industry has been   effected. Few months ago, Bean Book declared that they will not send e-books to the Kindle. Later on ‘The Pragmatic Bookshell announced same thing. O’Reily is the latest company informing that Amazon has disabled them as well.

On the day of this declaration O’Reily has stated on their website that this is the last day they have the ability to deliver paid content to the Kindle.  In order to cushion the blow they are having a 50% sale on everything in their store.

It is not yet not confirmed but considering some ecosystems such as Netgalley or Smashwords can deliver e-books to the Kindle, but some companies can’t, making  believe that Amazon is adopting a most favored nation policy or are somehow licensing access to Send to Kindle.

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Oyster, a renowned ebook subscription service to pack up

The New York City-based Oyster, a subscription service for e-books started two years ago has decided to close down.

The company announced in its blog that they will retire the existing service in the upcoming months. Though the reason of shutting down is not mentioned but it is  hinted that the service is looking ahead for some new goals.

“We believe more than ever that the phone will be the primary reading device globally over the next decade,” they wrote. “Looking forward, we feel this is best seized by taking on new opportunities to fully realize our vision for ebooks.”

The spokesperson of the Google on the other hand confirmed that some of the employees of Oyster including CEO and two co-founders have joined them to work at Google Play Books.

Founded in 2012, Oyster launched its service in 2013, bringing a fresh approach in the e-book market, initially offering only a subscription book service for $9.95 a month. Amazon too got fascinated by this idea and  launched a rival subscription service dubbed Kindle Unlimited that offered all-you-can-eat e-books and audiobooks for $9.99 per month.

However the services of Oyster did not get affected with the entry of Amazon into the subscription ebook market. Consumers, who are flocking to other subscription services like Netflix and Spotify, seems to be unwilling to sign up with the same for books.

In the month of April, Oyster, changing its model announced an expansion into online retail with an e-book store that would sell individual books aiming to attract new customers to its service. This announcement was made at a favourable time for the book industry, as publishers have started setting prices evenly across the e-book market. Expanding into online sales, Oyster was challenging  Amazon, ruling more than half the US e-book market and even more abroad.

Even by signing up three of the five biggest US publishers, build up a library of more than 1 million titles, Oyster somehow could not  make early growth within the book industry. But even these publishers have chosen to wait as long as six months to release their newest titles on subscription services like Oyster.

Oyster users could not access the service on Amazon’s popular Kindle e-reader. It could be only access through an app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

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Nook Sales Drop By 40%

Barnes and Noble has announced that the sales of its Nook eReader have dropped by 40% in the last quarter. The company has been seeing declining sales of this eReader for a long time. Originally they had planned to spin Nook off as a separate company. Those plans were supposed to take place this year, however they have been scrapped. The company is keeping the eReader business in house, but for how much longer, it is hard to say.

The division not only saw a decrease in device sales, but decreases all across the board. Sales of accessories, digital media and more have all decreased dramatically. Some of the decreases can be chalked up to the drop in new device sales. The fact that fewer devices are being sold means that fewer new customers are buying the various other things that are sold along with the devices. Additionally, many customers are reporting such extreme dissatisfaction with the device and the availability of books that they are using other eReading apps on their Nooks instead of the Nook itself.

Whether Barnes and Noble will continue to support the Nook itself remains to be seen. The company had originally planned to make a new Nook device to be released this year. No more news about that release has been forthcoming, so it remains to be seen if they will invest in a new device at this point. With decreases in sales as high as 40%, the company will need to change drastically in order to turn this current trend around.

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