This month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:
P is for Piracy. There are few topics guaranteed to rile up a group of authors as much as this one. Piracy is the illegal, unauthorized reproduction of an author’s work, usually for sale by the pirate, with none of the proceeds going to the author or legitimate publisher. Piracy is so rampant, most publishers and authors cannot or will not do anything about it.
Let’s be clear. It’s stealing.
Whether it’s a book, or an episode of a television show (an episode of Game of Thrones just broke the series’s own piracy record), movie or music, if it wasn’t bought from a legitimate source, it was stolen. And no, I’m not talking about loaning a paperback copy of your favorite book to a friend. I’m talking about large-scale, deliberate attempts to make money from someone else’s hard work, sweat, and probably even tears by putting a digital copy of their work up on an unauthorized website and selling it. Or even giving it away. Without the author’s or publisher’s permission, their copyright is violated and — again — it’s theft.
Why aren’t these pirates ashamed? Turns out most are international, are in it for a quick buck or ruble or whatever, don’t recognize copyright laws and don’t give a rat’s a–…well, you get my drift. These are not nice people.
There are things that an author or publisher can do – send cease and desist form letters, notify the site host, warn their readers to avoid pirate sites and so forth. But they’re only temporary solutions. Take down one site and another pops up right behind it.
Some authors take the philosophical stance that people who get books from pirates wouldn’t have paid for them anyway. And once read, the book might intrigue them enough to buy more of the author’s work through legitimate channels. That might be true for some fraction of books acquired at a pirate site. It might also be true that more of the author’s books will be pirated and those readers will just keep looking for the pirated copies that are cheap or free.
My bottom line is this: if you see my books on a pirate site — and you will — don’t download them. It’s stealing.
Check out the other authors doing the A to Z Challenge this month!