Jean-Pierre Hombach and Amazon.com: Large-scale Wikipedia copyright infringers?

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An entity calling itself “Jean-Pierre Hombach” presents itself with “I’m a German writer Comedian and short filmmaker. I’m studying media at the University of Vic.”

The profile on Twitter states “Jean-Pierre Hombach: I’m a German Hobbie writer Comedian and short filmmaker. I’m studying media at the University of Vic. Jean-Pierre speaks fluent English. Rio de Janeiro · http://goo.gl/bFdsV“. There are also a Google Plus account and a Facebook account linked.

The shortlink leads to Amazon.com that lists 17 works. All these have been published in the first part of 2012. What a prolific writer!

If you go to the Justin Bieber book on Google Books you will find “Copyright (C) Jean-Pierre Hombach. All rights reserved. ISBN 978-1-4710-8069-2”. So apparently this Hombach takes the copyright for the work.

If you go a bit further in the book you will read as the first line “Justin Drew Bieber is a Canadian pop/R&B singer, songwriter and actor.” That sounds awfully wikipedish and an examination of the book quickly reveals that this is Wikipedia! “Hombach” has simply aggregated a lot of Wikipedia articles together. If you go all the way to page 505 you will even see that the Jakarta Wikipedia article has been included in the Justin Bieber book… ehhh…?

I leave it as a execise to the reader to examine the rest of the books of Mr. “Hombach”. You may, e.g., begin with the Bob Marley book.

Obviously the copyright does not belong the “Hombach”, but to Wikipedia contributors. It is licensed under CC BY-SA and should be stated so according to the license (and re-licensed under the same license). Otherwise it is not even Copyfraud it is simply Copyright infringement.

Amazingly, a book by “Jean-Pierre” reached number 16 on the music biographies bestseller list according to Los Angeles Times. In that book the contributors are listed in the back and there might also be the CC-license although the page is not available to me on Google Books. Maybe he have read a bit about the CC license.

Amazon.com will gladly sell that to you for $23.90 without telling you that the author is not Jean-Pierre.

One interesting issue to note is that “Hombach” copied Wikipedia hoaxster Legolas2186 material on Lady Gaga. Initially it confused me as the “Hombach” book was stated to be copyrighted in 2010 while Legolas2186 hoaxster first added the segment to Wikipedia in the summer of 2011.

To me the wrongful attribution, lack of proper attribution and obfuscation (wrt. copyright year) seem illegal. Wikipedia contributors to the respective works should be able to sue Hombach and Amazon.com for selling their copyrighted works that are not appropriately licensed.

Update 2013-01-25: A Google search on Jean-Pierre Hombach reveals that the works of Jean-Pierre has at least been used five time as a source in Wikipedia, i.e., we have a citation circle! One time in Belieber and one time in Decca Records.

Update 2013-01-25: Apparently Wikipedia has a page for everything http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Republishers Thanks to  Gadget850 (Ed)

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2 thoughts on “Jean-Pierre Hombach and Amazon.com: Large-scale Wikipedia copyright infringers?

    Hamtramk said:
    July 26, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Check out his “Bruno Mars” book. It’s cut and pasted from Wikipedia articles about Ahmet Ertegun, Phil Collins, Genesis, and Peter Gabriel. (Didn’t see anything about Bruno Mars.) He even pasted standard Wikipedia headings like “External Links”. What a scam!

    Finn Årup Nielsen responded:
    October 17, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    On lulu.com I read “After an unsuccessful stint with Motown Records, Mars signed with Atlantic Records in 2009.”. This sentence occurs in Simple English Wikipedia on March 2011, see https://simple.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bruno_Mars&oldid=2712189 . The writer there is Belinda.

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