This blog was originally posted in November 2011, but after having spent several hours last night sending take-down notices to numerous torrents and pirate sites that were illegally giving away copies of my newest release, my frustration and anger–yes, darn it, anger–over this issue has flared up anew, so I think what I said before bears repeating.
A note about ebook piracy…
Yeah, I know, nobody likes to talk about it, but it’s out there, it’s an ugly fact in most authors’ lives, and, most important, it’s illegal. That’s right…if you download one of my books, or any other author’s book, from a torrent or other “free” sharing site, it’s illegal. Ebooks are NOT like print books. It’s against copyright law for ebooks to be copied and given away without the author’s and/or publisher’s permission. Each time an ebook is downloaded for free from a pirate website or torrent the author and publisher make no money whatsoever. And the idea that authors are “rich” and won’t miss a few sales over illegally downloaded books is a fallacy. Most authors are everyday people just like you. Most need the money they do earn to put food on their tables and pay their bills. Writing isn’t a hobby for most of us…it’s our job and we need to get paid for the hours we put in just like anyone else at any other kind of job.
The idea that it’s just a “few” copies taken for free is also false. Most authors have had their pirated work downloaded for free hundreds or sometimes thousands of times. I’m talking about ONE title downloaded hundreds or thousands of times. Most authors have written many titles, and if each title is being stolen, we’re talking more like tens of thousands (or more) of copies per author that are lost. Yikes!
Think of it this way…would you steal from your co-workers, your family, your friends? I would hope most people would say “No, of course not!” So, then, please say “No, of course not!” to ebook piracy.
People uploading, sharing, copying, or reselling an ebook can be fined up to $250,000 and spend time in prioson. Ebook piracy is stealing. It’s absolutely no different than going into a store and shoplifting. So, please, let your conscience be your guide. Support your favorite authors by purchasing their work from the publisher’s site or a legitimate vendor like the Amazon Kindle store, B&N, Sony, All Romance Ebooks, or Rainbow eBooks.
Most readers I know are pretty passionate about books written by their favorite authors…so please help keep your favorite authors writing by making sure they’re getting paid for the days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years they put into a project!