David Goggins Takes On Amazon in Counterfeit Book Battle

In a move that’s captured the attention of both the publishing world and online retail consumers, Publishers Weekly is reporting that David Goggins, a former Navy Seal turned author, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon. The crux of the lawsuit? Counterfeit copies of his 2018 self-published hit, Can’t Hurt Me, being sold on Amazon’s third-party marketplace. This legal action, lodged on February 23 in the US District Court for the Western District of Seattle, underscores a growing concern over the authenticity of products sold on giant online platforms.

A Look into the Allegations

Goggins’ suit paints a troubling picture of his dealings with Amazon. Despite being the exclusive retailer for the print version of Can’t Hurt Me through its Amazon Advantage program, the platform has reportedly allowed the sale of fake copies. These aren’t just mere imitations; they’re described as having glaring quality issues, from poor paper and binding to distorted images and size discrepancies. What’s more, the lawsuit alleges that Amazon turned a blind eye to these sales, despite Goggins’ repeated attempts to have the counterfeit goods removed.

The case doesn’t just revolve around fake books. Summaries featuring Goggins’ image and other derivative products have also been a part of the issue. With over seven million copies of Can’t Hurt Me sold, the impact of these counterfeit sales is not trivial. Goggins claims that each unauthorized sale not only diverted revenue from him but also lined Amazon’s pockets.

Amazon’s Alleged Inaction

A significant point of contention is Amazon’s response to the counterfeit issue. According to Goggins, the company has the power to remove sellers or listings but chooses not to. This stance, Goggins argues, is deceptive and harmful. It wasn’t until a public outcry, fueled by an Instagram post by Goggins that garnered 6.2 million views, that Amazon took decisive action to limit sales to authorized sellers.

Broader Implications

Goggins’ lawsuit against Amazon is not an isolated incident. It highlights a larger problem within the e-commerce giant’s third-party marketplace, where the proliferation of counterfeit goods has become an increasing concern for brands and authors alike. The suit references a New York Times article discussing this very issue, which has led major brands to reconsider their presence on Amazon.

What’s at Stake?

Beyond the immediate legal battle, this lawsuit raises critical questions about the responsibilities of online marketplaces in policing their platforms. It’s not just about lost sales; it’s about trust, brand integrity, and the rights of creators. As the case unfolds, it will be interesting to see how Amazon addresses these challenges and what measures it will implement to prevent similar issues in the future.

David Goggins’ fight against Amazon is more than a legal dispute; it’s a spotlight on the dark side of online retail, where the ease of access can sometimes come at the cost of authenticity and trust. As consumers, creators, and platforms grapple with these issues, the outcome of this lawsuit may set important precedents for the future of online sales and copyright protection.

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Tina Pavlik

Owner of TRS since 2003

An aficionado of romance novels for many years, Tina has owned The Romance Studio since 2003 and for 20 years, has enjoyed highlighting the best books in the genre. She enjoys all aspects of marketing including writing content, book trailer design, and finding captivating new books for voracious readers. She has also written over 20 romance titles under various pen names. In another life, she writes horror and works as an extras casting assistant for TV shows and films in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.