*To, 99% of you, this does not apply.*
Did you buy that e-book, or did you go to a rapid-share site, hit a button and download it for "free"? Worse yet, are you one of those people who went to that site and loaded it for everyone to take?
Think twice before you hit that button and download any novel that says it's free. You could be pirating. Regardless of what you've heard--it's stealing.
Rule of thumb: Most authors don't work to give it away. Name one profession that does. If you want that free book, check out the author's website, or the publisher's site first. If they don't have it listed as free, it's not, and if you download it anyway, you're breaking the law and you are a pirate.
It is the pirates, those illegally downloading, that make this theft possible, and in the end it can end the writing careers of many wonderful writers who are struggling to get by. It hurts the authors whose books you enjoy. Contrary to popular belief, we don't make a lot of money doing this. Most of us make a lot less than minimum wage--that's right, pennies for stories that take months--sometimes years to write. We don't have benefits, and many of us have families they are trying to support. Would you steal from a baby? A starving child? Why would you steal someones income--especially in this economy?
So how is this different than a library? Simple answer, libraries contract with publishers for the right to lend books. They have permission--they pay for that permission. Necromonger over on rapid-share does not,nor have they purchased this right. I'm sure my publisher will tell you they've not signed any contracts with anyone that goes by this alias. And why the alias? Because they don't want you to know their name if they're doing something illegal.
Guess what? Some files have codes embedded in them that help publishers to track this abuse and your secret may not be a secret for long. The bigger the e-publishing industry grows the more likely you are to get caught if you are doing this, and yes, it's a criminal offense, yes you can be prosecuted and no, it's not going to be good when it happens.
What this boils down to is that the only reasons these sites exist, are that there are people who pirate.
As for Cinderella Wore Combat Boots, the story I have to keep chasing around, to get it taken down from these illegal sites, I'm not making a dime from it. Not one cent. All my profits are going to The Wounded Warrior Project. When you steal this book, you take from wounded heroes who need a hand to get back on their feet.
It's $2.99 at Decadent Publishing, cheaper than that beer or bag of chips you last bought. If you've pirated in the past, this is your chance to redeem yourself. If you know someone who pirates--please feel free to pass this along. Help stop pirating by not supporting it. If you want a copy of Cinderella Wore Combat Boots, consider doing a review, entering one of the many contests to win a copy, or just spend the three dollars and help a hero. http://www.decadentpublishing.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Cinderella+Wore+Combat+Boots&osCsid=c57j28tbh88o6qt6ocuelep6v1
To authors who find themselves in this situation, here is a fill-in the blank, DMCA Takedown Notice, to help you get started:
Send to: (host site address)
(Make sure you CC your publisher)
Dear (Pirate Site),
Please remove all of my books from your site immediately. Entire manuscripts are posted, clearly in violation of copyright laws. Below you'll find the URL's to each site. The links are illegally downloaded.
Please find the copyright page of my book attached.
(Author name), Copyright holder
Electronic Notice of Claimed Infringement
I, the undersigned, state UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that
I am, the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of certain intellectual property rights of (Author name), aka. (Pen Name) published by (Publisher Name);
* I have a good faith belief that the listings identified below
[SEE BELOW] offer items or contain materials that are not
authorized by the IP Owner, its agent, or the law, and therefore infringe the IP Owner's rights; and
* The information in this notice is accurate. Please act expeditiously to remove the listings identified in this email.
(Title of pirated book)
I May Be Contacted At: (email)
Name of IP Owner:
Name and Title:
(Please don't give them your address, phone number, scanned signature. They don't need it, and remember you're dealing with thieves, and you don't want to give them personal information beyond your email)
The titles I own the copyrights to are: (titles on site being pirated)
THE OFFENDING FILES FOUND ON YOUR WEBSITE ARE: (titles on site being pirated)
*Feel free to copy, fill in the details and go after the site hosting these pirates. Make sure you check to see where to send it. Sometimes you have to dig.*
For all my readers who came about their copies legally--a huge thanks, for helping me to help wounded vets. A bigger thanks for helping to keep authors writing and not chasing after stories that are being stolen. YOU ARE THE BEST! YOU ARE THE REASON WE WRITE.
Have a great Saturday,
D L Jackson