Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Piracy—All Too Real

STATUS: Besides that fact that it’s snowing again in Denver, I’m good. The keyboard and the mouse dried out and are working fine. Yea! And don’t worry, I know that there are plenty of mighty and wonderful librarians who fight for free speech etc.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? COOL CHANGE by Little River Band

This isn’t the first time it has happened and I’m certain it won’t be the last. Piracy. Illegal eBooks being offered for sale via a website. Last time one of my author’s series of books was offered for sale in the Philippines. A quick email to the publisher got their legal team on it and within 24 hours, the webhoster had pulled the site.

It was probably up again a week later under a different hoster but hey, you do what you can.

This week, it’s a file sharing culprit right here in the U.S. (or I think it’s the US, the origin isn’t clear) A website called eSnips. Funny enough, sharing books isn’t an obvious part of the “community.” You need to go here to see what is being offered. Deliberate? Hum…

First off, if you are an author, you might want to check the site to see if your book is featured there. If so, contact your agent and your editor. We need to speak up in the face of copyright violation.

After all, this is how writers make their living--by selling books and earning royalties. If the books are posted (in full) on a site that allows free downloads, then the author is not earning money they are owed for their work.

Even if the books are being made available by misguided fans who think they are simply boosting the fan base of their favorite authors, it’s just plain wrong. (Besides, nothing like dissing an author you like by not allowing them to earn a living.)

And even if the author is already super millionaire, they still have a right to earn that money from their work (and to dispose of those earnings how they choose--even to charities etc.). Being a bestseller doesn’t matter for this issue.

Just imagine if it were your work being made available so casually—especially if you’re eyeing your bills for next month and wondering just how creative you’ll need to be to pay them…