The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Playster — Playster affiliate partners - questionable dmca policies, mass spamming, misrepresenting authors books for sale, bait and switch
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Playster and its affiliate partners are complained about for dishonest affiliate behaviour. The problem, which is very large, includes Russian based DMCA-immune affiliates creating masses of fake websites advertising authors books, in order to rank highly in Google.
The purpose is to drive a bait and switch scam, which involves substituting a promised free trial in exchange for unexpected credit card charges (of which many people complain) and the unavailability of the authors book in question.
The DMCA policies of Playster affiliates are highly dubious, and one site (as in the screenshots) asks complainants to agree to 'whining'.
In any case, such DMCA requests go ignored.
The team leader of Playster who is named [removed], presumably second only to Playster CEO Philip Keezer (who founded the failed company JoMedia implicated in advertising fraud some years ago) received many complaints about the behaviour.
The company is based in Montreal and they have a US office. This is presumably because a US based company could be fined for bait and switch abuse.
A legal cease and desist letter was ignored and many websites remain live.
His company admits on their website:-
"...We work with a number of performance advertising networks, and are aware that, occasionally, third-party sites we don’t own or control might refer to intellectual property in their advertisements for Playster that we do not actually carry in our catalogue. While we do our very best to police this, our advertising network is vast, and sometimes unscrupulous advertisers can go unnoticed..."
Occasionally is a poor choice of word when the internet is riddled with false PDF adverts that sprout up again like mushrooms after a summer rain just days or weeks after a mass DMCA initiative on the part of the author.
The truth is that Playster have a very small PDF collection and somehow have utilized the Amazon database to create a scam that involves third party DMCA-immune off-shore affiliates (presumably with fake identities) publishing false PDF advertisements for almost every book that exists on Amazon, whilst offering it for download in PDF format in exchange for a free trial (which is then hard to cancel).
There are many hundreds of disgruntled authors and consumers having suffered loss or detriment at the hands of Playster, and they do not have a handle on the situation.
There is also evidence on the web to show that dishonest affiliates are not terminated. If they are, nothing is turned over to the complaining authors.
The unethical side to the behaviour for authors is that Playster are ripping off consumers using their copyrighted books and images.
Independent authors suffer loss by way of unfair SEO optimization by Playster affiliate partners in order to divert sales of their books. Consumers are then disappointed with the Playster experience and poor support, and then are put off the authors works.
I would like to withdraw this complaint as I was mistaken in the matter. Playster were NOT responsible for hosting the material. They took steps to submit DMCA complaints to third party sites that they do not control and had nothing to do with creating the adverts complained of. Thus this review should be deemed to be based on incorrect information and no reliance should be placed on it. The posting will be removed as soon as practically possible. Complaint Author
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