Thursday, October 20, 2011

Piracy: The Most Widely Accepted Act of Violation These Days

            Going into publishing, I knew that piracy would be an issue I would one day have to face. I’m not naïve enough to think it’s something that would never touch me. My goal was to get my book out, make the readers aware of my book, and I knew that some of these readers would be the kind that pirate books. I knew all this. So I didn’t publish my book through Smashwords because I wanted to buy myself some time to not have to deal with this pirating issue. And I did. People have been requesting Descended by Blood on pirating sites since before it was even published. I thank GOD that all the reviewers and readers I sent out the eARC files too have been trustworthy. Thank you! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

            Unfortunately, my pirate-free days are over. I found out on Sunday that Descended by Blood was now available to pirators. The person offering the file had mentioned that they cracked the DRM (security on the file).  I can’t even describe to you how terrible this feels, but I’ll attempt to in just a bit. Within a few hours, over 20 copies had been pirated. I emailed the site, which resulted in no results. Now, one advantage that I have is that my hubs is a computer genius. So I private messaged the person who offered the file and told them I was prepared to take legal action if they didn’t remove the file immediately. Within minutes, the user removed the file.

            Score!! The relief I felt was unmatched!

            Then, I checked back today and found the file was uploaded again yesterday. This time by one of the site’s moderators. Wait. It gets worse. This person was racked with guilt that they could not find the original poster to give them credit for the file. Apparently, these people have a conscious when it comes to crediting other hackers/pirators, but when someone holds the actual rights to something, “Violate away!”

           I have found that there are 2 camps of authors. Those that support you and feel sick that it happened to you and fight to stop their own book pirating, and then those that either ignore it because they feel powerless about it, or those that think it’s okay because you’re reaching an audience of readers you wouldn’t have. Pirators usually don’t buy books. They wait until the file is available to pirate, then they’ll read it.

            Well, this is where I stand on the issue:

            I will NEVER be okay with pirating. As long as I can, I will FIGHT it! And this is why. It’s not so much the money that bugs me. Yes, when I see those download stats going up, beyond 60 downloads now, I add up the lost royalties and it ticks me off beyond measure. To the point that if I saw those people in real life, I’d key their effing cars!!! So, yes, the thought of lost royalties does bother me, but that is not my main issue at all. It's the violation I feel when my book is being pirated. It's the sick feeling deep within my gut, the pounding in my chest, and the body shaking I get from feeling violated and I can't make the offenders pay. It's the feeling of having no voice. When you put an extension of yourself out there, it’s a violation for someone to take away the control you once had over that extension of yourself. That's what bothers me.

            And it'll continue to spread and get worse the longer we just accept it and let these people get away with it. Technology has provided pirators with tools to make this violating act more readily available. Well, I believe that technology has also provided us victims with tools to stop it. I will continue to search out these tools and prosecute those who pirate my work. It may be an uphill battle, but I will not turn my cheek and take it up the behind just so these people can get their jollies off at my expense.

           And that's where I stand on this issue.

UPDATE: The moderator deleted the file, but also ended up deleting the thread it was on. This thread had a TON of books up for illegal download, all of which were published in August. So, I feel good that not only did my book get taken down, but a bunch of other ones too. And the person apologized, which really is appreciated. 


  1. Great post! I am with you 100% It is sickening that this happens. I am so sorry that you have become a victim to these pirating scum. I have a short post going up tomorrow on my blog about my outrage about piracy. I hope that other people continue to fight it and can put a stop to it.

  2. I'm really so sorry that this has happened to you Angeline! I really hope that you manage to find a way to protect your book. It just pisses me off that these kinds of actions may deter indie authors from publishing their work at all - and that would be a great loss to all of us readers!

    Keep strong!

    The Word Fiend

  3. This is just sickening for so many reasons. The saddest part is why not just pay for the book, the price is beyond affordable. I am so sorry this is happening to you!!

  4. *gasp

    This really sounds awful. :/

    I created a survey yesterday and one of the questions was about ePiracy and whether the person answering my questions does/did illegally download books or not etc. Of course, I'm not allowed to tell anyone who answered what exactly but you wouldn't believe how many bookbloggers (known, popular bookbloggers, too) download books illegally.

    Some said they download the book, read the first 30 percent and if they like it, they buy it. Others said they buy the real copy to have it in their shelf but download the ebook because they like their Nook/Kobo/Kindle so much.

    I'm not sure what to think about those, but when I think about the whole thing.. Well. :(

    But - and that's a relief, I think - most people were shocked about the question and wrote many paragraphs about why you shouldn't download books etc.

    I think bookbloggers are actually quite lucky. We have NetGalley, the US bloggers have the publishers etc. There is no real need to download books if you think about it, even if we thought downloading books "isn't that big a deal".

    If only more authors wrote about it. I mean, real posts. Not just a "it's bad and it's illegal" but "this is my JOB. I pay my bills with that money!"

  5. *grabs her cupcake grenades*
    Point me in the right direction and I'll blow up those pirates!

  6. Good, post. I I must say as a publisher and an author I hate Piracy just as much as anyone. It is stealing and is like going into someones house and taking whatever they wanted because a friend copied a house key for them. That makes it okay right?

    We can fight it and do what we can but the simple truth is we will never stop it. Think of all the sites hacked, the FBI gets hacked for goodness sake. But what we can control is our outlook and reaction.

    It is well documented that people who steal books do not buy books. So one, we are not losing any money. You talk about lost income, you would have never had income from these people.

    Two, they evil bad thief's are people. They read and do so a lot. They like books as they will do anything to get them, even steal them. Chances are they know other readers and a lot of them are normal people who buy books. They will get told about your book and may go buy it, you just had a thief market for you.

    Three, you give books away for free all the time. If you give books to a library or a prison you see nothing. But again, it goes into the hands of a reader who might talk about the book.

    Forth, you talk about 40 downloads... what does that tell you? That you are worth stealing from. If you sucked they would not bother. Take it as a pat on the back. I wonder how many people stole Harry Potter.

    To wrap up, J.A. Konrath did a study and offered his new book as a un-protected Word doc on his site and got 1000's of people taking it. He called it the "Steal my book month." His sales went up 60%. I am not saying that you should be happy that you got hacked, but just look at the good that can come out of something you cannot control anyway.

    My best advice, and yes I get hacked too... is to hire a VODO expert, put a hex on your books and if anyone steals it make something really bad happen. I have a lot of people who have ED and hemorrhoids out there from stealing my books... =)

  7. Yeah, Angeline I already talked to you about this, but I am so sorry it happened to you. I hope you can get the file removed, but if now, I hope yo find some peace somehow. I don't know what I would do, and I am at a loss for what to say. I cannot imagine how it feels to have your hard work up there for free for anyone to access. Sigh.

  8. Thank you all so much for your support! It's so nice to know you all are in "my corner" ;)

  9. Wow, good on you that you managed to not only get your pirated book removed but a bunch of others as well!