While browsing Amazon's website, attorney and author Joanne Lee Molinaro was met with an unpleasant surprise when she came across a convincing replica of her award-winning cookbook, "The Korean Vegan Cookbook."
From the title placement to the colors used for both the background and the font, the book cover is almost an exact replica — however the picture of black bean noodles was replaced with a bowl of red kimchi.
"This is not the first time this has happened, but this one REALLY annoys me. Unfortunately for 'Rachael Issy,' you can't cut and paste the two emblems that come with the original," Tweeted a frustrated Molinaro.
Molinaro also shared that the chapters of the counterfeit cookbook were identical to hers — even down to the order of the titles.
In a TikTok video, Molinaro pointed out that the recipes featured in the knock-off vegan cookbook aren't even vegan. "Many of them contain eggs, dairy, and even meat," she said.
People were quick to point out a few indications that suggest the imitation book may be AI-generated.
"Almost every substitution has the words 'making it suitable for vegans' after it. This is 100% AI-written," read a Tweet. "I wonder if it's literally just a made up AI generated type thing? Maybe there is no Rachel Issy?" read another.
The copycat, Rachael Issy, does not seem to exist on the internet. "In this day and age, that's virtually impossible on the internet unless you're, mmm I don't know, an AI-generated fake," said Molinaro in her TikTok video.
The replica, which had a 4.9 out of five star rating with over 600 reviews as seen in Molinaro's TikTok posted on June 2, is no longer available on Amazon's website.
"I've been dealing with copycats since my book came out and I have tried my best to just grin and bear it," said Molinaro in her TikTok, "but this one rubs me the wrong way because I believe consumers will genuinely be confused and tricked into buying this book over my book."
Molinaro, who is still a practicing lawyer, Tweeted that while she may not pursue a copyright claim, she may look into an unfair trade practices claim for the confusion it could cause consumers.
Joanne Lee Molinaro's "The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma's Kitchen" is a New York Times Bestseller, and has been awarded the prestigious James Bear Award for Best Vegetable-Focused Cookbook.
Insider has reached out to Lee for comment.2023-06-05T09:17:44Z dg43tfdfdgfd