Ways to be a pain for pirates

courtesy of Mandy M Roth

If you’ve seen my posts about places like iOffer, then you know I firmly believe authors can make a difference if they’ll stay on top and keep fighting with piracy.  Is it easy?  Nope.  Is it fun?  Nope.  Are the results immediate?  Nope.

But ignoring it doesn’t make it go away either.  Leaving it in the hands of the publishers doesn’t do it.  Publishers have their entire houses to watch for and small legal staffs.  We’ve only got to watch for our own works.

A properly worded DMCA, for MOST websites, will get your works removed.  Not sure how to word it?  Check out this guy’s site.

Don’t do anything extra-don’t get pissed, don’t get crazed, it won’t do any good.  Just state the facts.  I routinely check for pirated stuff and slowly, I’m seeing my stuff less. I know it’s still out there-pirates will always find a way to get something for nothing.

FYI, for the pirates who are reading this and getting all high and mighty with their excuses… well, if it wasn’t for DRM, territory restrictions, blah blah blah… educate yourselves.  Most of the works of MINE that you pirate-no DRM.  No territory restrictions.  Those that do have territory restrictions, this isn’t anything *I* have control over, and often the publishers don’t-it’s controlled by deals struck with the publishers within your country.  Yep.  However, the majority of my works that get pirated have no restrictions.  None.  You can buy, legally, across the globe.  You choose not to.  You choose to steal.

There are always going to be those who think they are entitled to get something for nothing, those who think they are entitled to take what others have worked hard to create. The only thing we can do is either ignore it, or fight to protect our rights. I refuse to ignore it.

Something else I’ve started doing?  As of February, I report all copyright violations to the IC3.

If it’s on iOffer, I take screen shots of the auctions, I take note of the seller’s names, and I report both iOffer and the seller. Not familiar with what the IC3 is? Per the website:

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between theFederal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

I also do this for copyright violations on filesharing sites.  As not all pirates are located with the US, I also report to several agencies outside the US, especially if I know the site is based in a certain country.

Another thing I do with filesharing sites, especially the problematic ones that don’t remove promptly-I do a whois lookup.  Go to this site http://whois.domaintools.com/ and enter the website of the site pirating the works.  Find out who their server is.  Try CCing your DMCA takedown to them and advising something like… “please be advised this site is violating your TOS by violating third party rights-namely my copyright and they refuse to remove the works in a timely manner.  As they are not abiding by your TOS.” (FYI, find the TOS of their site and copy it into the email.)

Is this time consuming?  Oh, yes.  But when more authors start fighting back, things will get better for all of us.  Complain to the IC3-let them know which sites they need to focus on next. Send in your DMCA takedowns-sites are only protected from lawsuits if they take prompt action.  Does it seem overwhelming now?  Probably.  But right now ebooks are really taking off.  Imagine how bad it’s going to get if you ignore it now…and things really explode in five years.  If more authors speak up now, the more we fight for our rights now, the better it will be for us in the future.