I just can’t call them pirates. Pirate, in my mind, conjures up an image of a tall, handsome devil with long hair and a swashbuckling personality sailing the seven seas.
We’re talking about thieves. Individuals or groups of individuals who openly steal copies of books and upload them to websites where anyone who is a member can read it. They like to claim they’re offering a service to the public. They like to claim what they’re doing is no more different than a public library.
You’re NOT a Library. You are a thief.
There are a few succinct differences between libraries and book thieves. Libraries, you see, actually pay for books. Most libraries have a limited number of members. Yes, some libraries are bigger than others, but that isn’t the point here. The books were first purchased before they were loaned out to anyone.
The pirates will argue that someone originally did buy the book and they’re simply sharing it with the rest of their friends. Again, no, no you’re not. First of all, nobody has that many friends. Secondly, these thieves might actually buy the book, only to return it an hour or two later after they’ve stripped out everything they need to upload to these disgusting sites.
Some of these sites like to say they’re doing us a favor. One guy likes to argue that it is no different than offering a free sample. If the reader likes that book, they’ll go on to buy the others.
Again, that is a bunch of BS. Why would anyone who has access to literally hundreds of thousands of stolen books actually buy one?
That old argument of you should feel honored we stole from you; think of it as free publicity is also a bunch of BS. If I called a plumber, had him fix my leaky faucet or install a completely new bathroom, and then told him “I’m not going to pay you, but I’ll tell everyone what a wonderful job you did” I’d probably end up with a black eye and a law suit.
DMCA’S? WHY BOTHER?
Every day, hundreds if not thousands of authors spend countless hours sending out DMCA’s or ‘take down notices.’ Some of us either have to hire a personal assistant to do that or use programs like Blasty. It isn’t cheap keeping up with these idiots.
“Where the hell is my book?!? If you find that the book you’ve been assured is there, in fact isn’t, chances are it’s been DMCA’d into oblivion. Simply request the book again. These things happen, heck, that’s life.from a book pirating website.
So why even bother with DMCA’s? These sites will take the book down for maybe an hour or two. But as soon as they believe the coast is clear, they upload that book again.
This is a never ending game of whack-a-mole. Even if we manage to get a site taken down, they reopen under a new name in just a few short hours. And the entire process starts up all over again.
Additionally, a lot of authors use the KU program at Amazon. This requires their books be exclusive to Amazon. Amazon does check to make certain these books are not available anywhere else. When a book that is in the KU program comes up as available at these pirate sites, the authors get into trouble. They’re accused of violating the rules and are often threatened with losing their accounts altogether. Imagine losing your livelihood because of these idiots.
But the thieves simply don’t care. There are plenty of books to choose from.
George RR Martin, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, JK Rowling, and Courtney Milan, even Michelle Obama are all victims of book piracy.
It isn’t just indie authors they steal from. At most of these sites, they have stolen from the likes of George RR Martin, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, JK Rowling, and Courtney Milan. Hell, they’ve even stolen from Michelle Obama. No book, it seems, is left ‘un-stolen’. No author is out of bounds. Nothing is off limits.
Want a new release? Go to one of these sites and request it. You can have your copy within an hour of it going live.
If DMCA’s are time consuming and expensive, why bother sending them? The answer is simple: it’s the principal of the thing.
Imagine you have worked hard all week long. Pay day rolls around and your boss says, “Sorry, Bernice. I think you’ve already made too much money this month, so I’m not going to pay you.”
Or imagine you own a bakery. Someone comes in and demands free bear claws. Because it’s just a bear claw and you bakers are all filthy rich and live in mansions. They don’t care that you work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. They don’t care that you have a mortgage, a kid that needs braces, car payments, student loans, utility bills, or anything else. Damn it, you have earned enough money. Or, you make enough money off those people who did buy your donuts and cupcakes.
Their arguments are idiotic at best. We work really hard to bring our readers good, quality books. We have editors, cover artists, final proofers, and other business expenses. It isn’t up to these thieves to decide if we’ve earned ‘too much money’ or not. It isn’t up to them to decide if we will offer a sale on one of our books, or even make it free for a few days. It is our decision to make. It is our book, not theirs.
It is our book, not theirs.
If these asshats want to write books and give them away for free, let them have at it. But I shouldn’t have to be forced to fight these idiots because no one either has the financial wherewithal or the political clout to tackle this issue.
I’m getting a little tired of having to explain to the ‘readers’ who use these sites and argue ‘there is nothing wrong with what they’re doing’ that is in fact against the law. They are violating numerous copyright laws.
Enough is enough already. I do believe it is time we take action as a collective to combat these low life, scum sucking, arrogant thieves and put a stop to this nonsense.
Just think about the Napster lawsuit and you’ll see where I’m going with this.