Monday, January 11, 2010

Book Piracy: Unattractive Swashbuckling

IN THE NEWS: Washington couple collects cans to pay for wedding. Read more HERE.

Well, e-book pirates are real.
I know because I recently have become the victim of one.

I won't tell you what site is illegally giving away free downloads of my book, because 1)I assume most of you are law abiding citizens, and 2) if you are an ebook pirate then you already know where to go to break copyright laws so you don't need me to tell you.

Maybe I was being naive, but I never thought it would happen to me. Why would a small, no-named-sweet-romance-writing author even be on a thief's radar? I thought this kind of thing was reserved for big named authors or writers who wrote "hotter" romances whose titles these pirates would not want showing up on their credit card statements. But I was wrong. Cheap is cheap.

Did you know that according to CNN, Dan Brown's blockbuster novel The Lost Symbol sold more digital copies on Amazon.com for the Kindle e-reader in its first few days than hardback editions? But less than 24 hours after its release, pirated digital copies of the novel were found on file-sharing sites. Within days, it had been downloaded for free more than 100,000 times.

Now I may not be losing as much money as Mr. Brown, but it doesn't make stealing from me any less wrong.

If you are an author,

1)know your copyright law and protect yourself by asking your publisher what their guidelines are if this happens to you.

2)Also, if you don't have yourself on Google alerts, do so now, so you are aware anytime your name is mentioned on the Web.

If you are a reader, please do not go to these sites. You're hurting the author, the publisher, and in the long run other readers. If you enjoy reading, then please use your local library.

Thank you.

39 comments:

Debora Dennis said...

Great post. Amazing how low people will go for something for free - but if authors don't get paid, they'll be forced to stop writing.

Charlie said...

These buyers would be the same type of low-class individuals that keep the pirate movie business booming. It's a shame. There will always be those who want something for nothing.

Chicki said...

That's awful!

So, what happens now. Will your publisher pursue it with that web site?

Sarah Forgrave said...

I'm so sorry to hear you're the latest victim. Like you, I tend to be naive that if I get published some day, I'll be protected from pirating. But you've just proved no one is immune.

Kimberly Franklin said...

That's horrible! What people will do to save a few bucks.

Hope you have a great Monday!

Walt M said...

Jennifer,

Sorry to hear about this. I hope there is something that can be done to fix it.

Thanks for the Google Alerts advice. Will have to try it.

Tamika: said...

Jennifer, I am so sorry! That is low! I never knew much about this as a danger, so thank you for opening my eyes.

Terri Tiffany said...

Well said! I'm sorry this happened to you with your book. I would NOT be happy at all!

MeganRebekah said...

Im sorry to hear that you had that happen to you -- how frustrating!

I'll admit that I used to use all sorts of sites to get free music back in college, starting with Napster, and then other programs when Napster shut down. I never once thought about it as taking money from the artists (not until I started writing anyway).

I have a kindle and love it, but don't have any pirated ebooks. I would guess though that the people who take these pirated books, many of them don't think at all about the author.

Hopefully you can get yours sorted out. I'm guessing that contacting that site didn't help?

Karen said...

That's just awful. I'm so sorry. It seems especially ridiculous as anyone can go and read as many books as they want for free **legally**. It's called the library, people! Grrr...

R.M.Gilbert said...

I'm sorry this is happening to you and hope that others will be encouraged to help spread the word.

You are absolutely right, there are libraries and contests. If someone wants a book bad enough they should get/use their library card or go to these authors sites and join in their contests and conversations.

Be assured this will be a topic on my blog soon enough. Getting the word out makes a difference. I don't know that everyone going to these 'sharing' sites knows their illegal. So god job helping to spread the word.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Wow, Jennifer...that bites. Sorry you are dealing with this and thanks for the heads up. I have a great book that deals with copyright info. I'll study up.
~ Wendy

Joanne said...

So sorry to read this. What a mess the ebook situation is generating, in so many ways. I don't see how this can even be controlled, but rather imagine it will escalate. A sad situation.

Susan R. Mills said...

That's terrible. I bet you are one angry author about now. I would be. I hope someone comes up with a solution to this problem some day.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Wow. I had no idea people could even do that. I'm sorry, Jennifer. That's low.

Thanks for telling us about Google alerts.

Bethany Mattingly said...

Piracy in any form is so wrong. I'm sorry it happened to you. Thanks for the info on Google alerts. I'm going to go check it out now.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, ladies. I'm over it. :)

It's an issue you have to deal with and that's the sad fact.

Megan: Yes, I've contacted the site and am still waiting for a response.

T. Anne said...

Interesting. I hope you get this resolved. How did you know? Never mind, I'm glad you figured it out.

Stephanie said...

Sad sad times!

Chelle Sandell said...

The sad thing is that some of the people downloading free stuff or buying second hand books don't really understand how it affects the author. There's a reader at eHarlequin site that talks constantly about finding books at second-hand stores or garage sales. She'll tell the specific author how she found the book at a discount. She gets excited...not understanding that that author didn't get paid when she finds her bargain books. Some people may know but they look at it like, "Oh well, I can't afford to go out and buy it. Why do without when I can get it for free." I've even heard people justify it by saying they'd find a new author they like and then maybe buy something.

Any way you look at it...it's stealing.

Kristen Painter said...

It's awful isn't it? And so time consuming to deal with.

Catherine Denton said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry that happened to you.

Linda Kage said...

Scary stuff. Thanks for the advice. I always thought the same way you did. Who would care about stealing from a no-name like me. Thanks for the wake up.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Sorry to hear this, Jennifer. That really does suck. I hope they stop this soon.

Cindy said...

Thank you for this post and helping to bring the problem to light. The more people who know about this, the more than can be done to prevent it.

Jen Chandler said...

Just another reason I'm not a fan of ebooks. I'm sorry this happend to you, Jennifer. I hope it gets worked out soon. This stinks!

Jen

Kristi said...

Wow! I had no idea! Thanks for sharing this!

Bella said...

That's awful. How does one get on Google alert?

Conda V. Douglas said...

Icky--and amazing in one sense, because I believe readers are a better class of people. Of course there are always people who steal anything. I once had my very well used garbage can stolen by a neighbor! And when I called her on it, she got furious--at me!

Patti Lacy said...

Jennifer, this is AWFUL! The curtain just keeps slipping down, down, down, leaving a naked country standing in the bathtub and screaming....

Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

Karen Lange said...

So sorry to hear what happened to you. Thanks for the info; I appreciate it.

sherrinda said...

Oh, I am so sorry! What a terrible thing. Surely by the time I ever get a book out there, they will have taken care of these issues. lol

Christina Farley said...

This is terrible. I'm so sorry you are a victim to this.

Nishant said...

I tend to be naive that if I get published some day, I'll be protected from pirating. But you've just proved no one is immune.

Work from home India

Kara said...

This is awful. I had no idea such things were going on, but I guess I should have figured! I hope this gets resolved. It is not a good feeling to know people are stealing from you!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. I had no idea! thanks for posting this. :-)

Marianne Arkins said...

Yep... my stuff is up on probably the same site yours is and there's little I can do.

Request a take down. Link goes. The next day, it's back up again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Drives my nuts. *sigh*

Nadia Lee said...

As annoying as they are, the worst culprits are the ebay sellers who peddle pirated goods for money. It's astounding how they can get away with it. I don't think ebay cares at all.

Nadia Lee said...

Oh the best part about reporting ebay pirates is that they attack YOU for reporting them! *shaking head*