Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Piracy Pirates and Ebooks

A fellow author sent myself and a few other authors an email about a site that had free downloads of ebooks. Two of us in particular discovered that our books were included on the site. Needless to say we were not happy. I posted a reminder on Facebook that day that we do not write for free. Well, at least that's not the intention.

First thing the next day I sent an email to my publisher who forwarded it to their piracy department. I'm sure there were other authors on my publisher's list who were also on the site. Well, by the end of the day, that site was gone, poof, pow, see ya!

We were elated! Not sure if it was the publisher or some other reason or combination of reasons that did the trick, but the link is not valid (hopefully that's not temporary).

After that, the other author from the group who realized her books were on that site and I discussed the fact the there are other sites as well. She found one other that include hers, and I found two that include mine.

Is it like killing one single ant, when there are eggs just waiting to hatch? There are so many people who do this, and being that ebooks are a sign of the times, how do we really monitor this, or should we even bother? I'd like to think that I will report each site that I discover, also handling it myself if it's a self-pubbed title, but I also wonder if it will be like killing that one lone ant.

There are so many other aspects to writing and publishing that we must give attention to. And just as with the music industry, and movies, books are obviously not excluded from feeling the hit of piracy.

What are your thoughts on how to monitor this or best deal with it, if at all?

And still, I write!!

8 comments:

Yolanda said...

This is crazy as all get out!!!! Really!!! Authors work their asses off and for someone to steal from them isn't cool at all!! Maybe I should offer a service where I keep tabs on websites like this letting them know when I see their books pop up.

This is just wrong on so many levels!!

Liane Spicer said...

Marissa, this is a huge problem. I know a writer who seems to spend most of her time going after these pirates and what she has found is sobering. There are people selling thousands of our books on eBay on DVDs, as well as all those websites that crop up in the night and disappear only to pop up in ten more places under different names.

I've sent exactly one DMCA takedown letter - to a file-sharing site where someone had sold 169 downloads of my book. The next day the page was gone. I know chasing after these rodents can take all my time, time that I don't have to spare at the moment. I suspect it's the same with most authors.

If these pirates walked into B&N, piled hundreds of books into a cart and walked out of the store there'd be hell to pay. That's exactly what they're doing online on a grand scale, and they get away scot free.

Charles Gramlich said...

Or, sadly, like playing a game of wackamole. Sigh.

Carol Mitchell said...

This is awful. It looks like Yolanda may be on to a good thing!

Isn't there a way to create ebooks in a way that prevents this activity? I know that when I create my ebooks for the Kindle, once I turn on the Rights Management I cannot read the book even on my own kindle unless I purchase it.

Jewel Amethyst said...

While this is bad for the bottomline, there is an upside to it. It gets your name out there and increases your readership. I know it's better if the intention of the author is to give away the books free to increase their readership, however, just like readers lending hardcopies of books to each other, it is something that we can't really control.

The music industry is still fighting digital-age-reinforced piracy, but some artists have embraced it as a good thing. The artist formerly known as Prince, for example, supported that kind of open access.

williamdoonan said...

Hate it, but it's never going to stop. Pretty soon someone will develop a theorem for this - OK, I'm going to give it a try - Ebook Piracy Law holds that 9% of an authors productive work will be enjoyed for free. So starting out, that's only a book a year, maybe. But then when you get Stephen King-famous, we're talking real money.

That being said, it's still never going to stop. Just ask the rock stars.

William Doonan
www.williamdoonan.com

williamdoonan said...

Hate it, but it's never going to stop. Pretty soon someone will develop a theorem for this - OK, I'm going to give it a try - Ebook Piracy Law holds that 9% of an authors productive work will be enjoyed for free. So starting out, that's only a book a year, maybe. But then when you get Stephen King-famous, we're talking real money.

That being said, it's still never going to stop. Just ask the rock stars.

William Doonan
www.williamdoonan.com

Marissa Monteilh said...

So true, it's not going to stop - it's a sign of the times. I think some people are getting hold of pdf versions. The music industry has been fighting this for years to no avail. It would be great if we can come up w/ways to prevent copying and forwarding of the written word, which you would think would be easier than w/music, but still, folks will find a way around it. Thanks for your feedback!!!!