One evening last year, the team at EBC received a complaint that EBC had made a glaring spelling mistake on a book cover. On investigation it was found that the book was not published by EBC but was a counterfeit copy. The team at EBC reached out to the complainant and found that he had bought the copy from Amazon. A counterfeit, low quality copy of EBC’s original work with glaring spelling mistakes even on the cover was being sold by a “Mackhingee Publisher” unabashedly on India’s top e-commerce platforms Amazon and Flipkart.
EBC went ahead and bought the books sold by this seller and found out he had been selling inferior counterfeit copies of EBC’s books at much lower prices enticing the students and these consumers after receiving these counterfeit copies were putting negative reviews against EBC on the e-commerce platforms assuming them to be the original books.
Dismayed by this development and the harm that it was causing the students who were buying these fakes without realising that their hard earned money was going down the drain, EBC decided to take both courses of action — preventive and punitive.
To make sure that the students/consumers were not duped it started pasting holograms on the back cover of the book. All buyers of EBC books are advised to check for this hologram to be sure that they are buying genuine copies and not counterfeits.
Original copies of EBC books are available on www.ebcwebstore.com.
EBC also filed complaints before the police station giving in detail the counterfeit racket that was going on. In this process it realised that e-commerce majors have such poor processes to prevent sale of counterfeit on their platforms. When the complaints filed in the Police Station did not yield the desired results, the company filed an action under S. 156(3) CrPC before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at the Tis Hazari Courts.
On 28th July, 2022 the first hearing of EBC’s case against “Mackhingee Publisher” took place before the CMM. EBC also included Amazon Ltd. & Flipkart Private Limited in the complaint since they are providing a platform to the accused to commit such offences. In fact, it appears that the policy frameworks of these platforms are not designed to safeguard the interests of genuine companies and entities who make fakes or counterfeits can easily sell them with much scrutiny.
On 2nd September, 2022, in a status report it was submitted that a complaint was received from the complainants (EBC) at DIU/Central, Darya Ganj regarding the counterfeit book sold by Mackhingee Publishers, wherein the complainants have stated that they have the exclusive right to publish the textbooks concerned and the alleged infringers have no right to either distribute or publish these textbooks. In this regard it was submitted by the Police authorities that a case vide FIR No. 310/2022 under Ss. 63 and 65 of the Copyright Act, 1957 has been registered and the investigation is pending.1 More details regarding this order can be read here.
When we hear of counterfeit copies being sold on e commerce platforms, that too with incorrect information: pages missing, glaring spelling mistakes, data not updated etc, it is undermining the efforts not just of the publisher but also of the author. The quality of future editions of the book are at stake. Where each publication goes through so much academic rigour and quality checks, it is important to support original work so that the quality can be maintained for this book and for future books. Support EBC’s fight against e-commerce platforms listing unauthorised copies of publications for this good cause. Always check for hologram on back of EBC’s books to confirm its an original.