Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pirate Sites Who Steal From Authors

Two days ago I received an email from a fellow writer telling me he had seen a copy of my novel, Island Song, listed on a pirate site where members could download it for free. I linked to the site and sure enough, there was my book in all its splendor, available to anybody for nothing more than the time it takes to download. I was not able to determine how many copies had been illegally downloaded from this site, if any, but there it was for people to steal.

There were instructions on how to submit a complaint about copyright infringement, and although they made it extremely difficult, I followed the numerous instructions and supplied the asked-for information. That was two days ago, and the site has not taken down the link yet. I have informed my publisher and hope that they can apply more leverage than I apparently can.

I’ve been stewing about this for days. On the one hand I realize that the people who frequent these sites are the kind of tightwads that would never pay for a book, so that my publisher and I are not losing any money anyway.

On the other hand, I work damned hard to produce a quality product and my publisher works even harder than I do. So the idea of people taking our work without paying rubs me the wrong way. For me it’s a moral issue. The fact the people create these sites for the purpose of stealing is a crime. It is no different from walking into a bookstore, slipping a book or two inside your coat, and walking out without paying. It is stealing pure and simple.

And these ebooks are available on Amazon for $4 to $5 dollars. I mean how cheap do you have to be?

Anyway, I’m grateful that there are enough people left on the planet that are too proud to sink to the level of these thieves. Otherwise, writers, musician and artists would stop producing art. I suppose I should feel sorry for these people, because I am a believer in Karma, and I know that these people are only hurting themselves. But I still can’t shake these angry feelings.


Karen Walker said...

OH, Alan, how awful. Please keep us "posted" on the progress of this. In the meantime, take a deep breath and know that most people would not do something like that (or at least that's what I'd like to believe) and will purchase your book the right way.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I don't blame you for being angry about this. And making the site's url public would probably just give them more business, so that would backfire.

Similar things happen with printed books, such as advance review copies being sold on Ebay, and with audiobooks. Very frustrating.