“And Stay Down!”: Tweaking the DCMA

ebook piracyPirate websites are among the banes of the indie author – and of traditionally-published authors, as well. But the Authors Guild, of all organizations, has suggested a fix.

The move comes as the House Judiciary Committee is looking into a possible overhaul of U.S. copyright law. First, the basics: Copyright is different from publishing rights. In the United States, for works created after January 1, 1978, the creator of the work holds the copyright for his or her lifetime plus 70 years. You, as the copyright holder, may sell various types of publication rights – including film rights and foreign language rights – to others. But you’re not selling them your copyright. What you’re doing, in effect, is giving them a license to market the work you created and own. They then share the profits with you.

The difference with a pirate site is there’s no profit-sharing. Continue reading ““And Stay Down!”: Tweaking the DCMA”

My Book Is Being Pirated! What Can I Do?

DMCA TakedownYou’ve published your book, and as many authors do, you Google it periodically to see where it might pop up. Is it on Barnes and Noble yet? How about Kobo? As you scan the search results an unfamiliar site stands out. We’ll call it IStealBooks.com. (At the time of this writing, that wasn’t a real website. Let’s hope it’s still not.)

A quick search of the site shows your book is indeed listed, complete with a big, red, FREE DOWNLOAD button. Someone is giving your hard work away for free! Panic sets in. What should you do now? Continue reading “My Book Is Being Pirated! What Can I Do?”

Avast ye maties, there’s Pirates!

Piracy has been the hot topic everywhere lately, even if you didn’t know it. From SOPA to Megaupload to the recent discovery of plagiarism on Amazon.

I remember the day my first traditionally published novel was released. I already had mixed feelings about it but then I got an e-mail from a ‘friend’. It seems my book had been pirated. Already. It had been out for a little less than an hour or so. For a newly published writer dreaming as we all do of leaving the day job, I was horrified and furious. They were feeding on my dreams AND stealing out of my pocket! How dare they?!  I got a little hot about it with one of my coworkers. He insisted that if I were a true artist, and writing because I loved it then I should do it for free. I asked if he liked his job, because if he liked it that much as his supervisor I’d be more than glad to take him off the payroll.  Not that it mattered, I wasn’t going to change his mind, he was still going to download. And of course, the pirates did dare and after a little time I gained some perspective.

As Joe Konrath said in his most excellent blog Continue reading “Avast ye maties, there’s Pirates!”

The Why and How of E-Book Piracy by Arline Chase

Preface:  The other day a Google alert informed me that my first novel, Lust for Danger, was mentioned on a site called 4shared.com.  I clicked through to discover that they were offering my novel as a free download.  I immediately emailed my Indie Publisher, Write Words Inc., to notify them of this issue.  Within a couple of days they’d managed to get the site to take my book down.  Honestly, I never thought this would happen to me.  But it did.  Arline Chase – owner of Write Words, Inc. – will explain why, and how, pirates steal our titles.  

Without further ado, here is industry veteran Arline Chase:

I can’t speak to how pirates get hold of every title, but I can mention some of the ways they are able to “find” material to give away and why they do it.

Some publishers, not me, but some, put the PDF up at Bowker’s Books in Print when they register the ISBN. As a protection to our authors, Write Words does not send the whole PDF there, or to Google’s “search inside the book” or anywhere else except sales sites where we actively participate. Bowker’s security is good, but no Internet Security is infallible.

Authors get tons of spam all the time. One ploy is to offer “free advertising” to authors by e-mail and ask them for one free copy to use for promotional purposes. If the author sends them ONE PDF book file by e-mail attachment, they can then give it away hundreds of times and they can claim to have your permission to do so as it was sent willingly. I don’t know that this is how they got your book, but it DOES happen. A Lot. You would also get lots more “offers” from them to buy advertising on line. Continue reading “The Why and How of E-Book Piracy by Arline Chase”

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