Monday, April 29, 2019

Publishing Odds & Ends: Book Pirates and Copyright


Quite a while ago, one of my clients received an email from Amazon telling him that he was in breach of his agreement with KDP Select. Amazon said his book was available in PDF form on another site. Of course, we did not put it there! The site was based overseas and our emails went unanswered. An email to Amazon got his book back on KDP Select, but his book probably remains on that overseas site.

It’s easy to pirate a book. I could buy your Kindle book and convert the file to another format. Some pirates will scan your printed version and offer it online, so it’s not even solely a digital book issue.

It’s maddening. As indie publishers, we don’t have the resources to fight these pirates. Worse, in my opinion, is the attitude of the people who download our works from these sites.

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“Abena, who is 18, recently read Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and thought it was wonderful. She does feel a bit bad about downloading it illegally, she says, but her mother is a single parent who can’t afford to feed her voracious love of books. She has also enjoyed the entire Percy Jackson series without paying its author, Rick Riordan, a penny. She’s not a thief, though, she says: ‘I wouldn’t take food or clothes without paying the people who made them, because they’re physical things. I believe real life and the internet differ.’ 
The UK government’s Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. Generally, pirates tend to be from better-off socioeconomic groups, and aged between 30 and 60. 
Doctors, accountants and professionals described themselves as well-off, but said they pirated books to ‘pre-read’ them, because they often felt dissatisfied with a book after purchase. ‘I have paid for some truly terrible books and regretted it – thanks to piracy, I can read first.’”
Read the entire article on The Guardian.

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“He said he currently operates the Canadian website of the Idaho-based Kopimist Church and that according to his Kopimist beliefs, ‘all information should be shared.’ The website calls copying information a holy act.”
Read the entire article on

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"Everyone’s doing it. It can’t be stopped! Oh yes, it can. If every reader called out copyright theft whenever they saw it, if every reader avoided these sites, then by next year they wouldn’t exist. That’s on you. Call it out. Report it."


A followup to my 2/15/2019 post on copyright:

“The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that copyright owners must wait for registration before pursuing infringement claims in court.” 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks,Kevin. This concerns me as my payment for my books is dependent upon translation investors .Once they had my book in their hands, what could they do? I’m lost.