The Worst Gift - Piracy #mfrwauthor

It's Friday and time for another topic in the #mfrwauthor challenge. We're supposed to write about the best gift we've ever gotten. However, birthdays, anniversaries, certain holidays are time for reflection and no "best" came to mind. Instead I happened across an article by a reviewer about reviewers selling advanced reader copies. And I instantly thought, "worst gift." 

And that is how I came up with the topic worst gift and the focus is Piracy. Print books are being offered on pirate torrent sites in multiple digital formats. Sometimes without the author even selling a single copy. Imagine your anger/resentment/despair when you've found out that for every book you sell, 10,000 are downloaded for free -- stolen from you. I think that qualifies as a bad gift, the gift of theft. Or at least a very bad day.

Especially if someone adds insult to injury by sending you the following email. "I enjoyed Book 1 of Series X so much, but don't want to pay for the rest. Won't you send Books 2 through 5 to me for free? Not to review, just to read and then pass on. I have a site I upload books to."

A digital ebook is NOT for passing on like a hard copies. It needs to be treated like software and like that other digital product is subject to copyright protection and infringement enforcement.

Now nothing is going to stop the pirates when they play the shell game with their names. More and more publishers are telling their authors to ignore the pirate sites and not to even bother to send a DCMA notice.

Those who can make a difference are those who repeatedly upload a copy of a book as soon as a copyright violation request takes one down. When a book goes down, let it stay down. You're not really helping by uploading to a torrent site. Just because you received a book for free in exchange for a review or as a gift at a conference, doesn't mean it's free for EVERYONE.
I hope you'll read the article, Reviewers selling ARC's.

People who download a book for free from known or obvious pirate sites aren't stealing from big corporations who can afford it. Then could literally be taking away the food an author needs to live on. And the money you pay for a subscription to a pirate site could be better put to use by buying the books from a legitimate venue.

Pixabay Image. Used under Creative Commons license.
Next time rather than download a "free ebook pdf" from a torrent site, get it from Overdrive via your local library or one of the legitimate subscription services so that the author will at least get a few cents.

An even better option would be to consider buying the book. An author will thank you.

~till next time, I'm off to play whack a mole and see how many more hundreds of sites my latest print book is available for in digital format. Thanks for listening to my rant. Helen


  1. The worst gift I got was in 6 th grade .The boy that got my name for Christmas didn't bring anything so we had a male teacher and he said pick something of his.I didn't need any man stuff so I declined and didn't get anything.

    1. That brought back a memory. I was always the one child without a gift. Either the other child didn't bring it or he was sick and wasn't in class. In later years, same thing at the work gift exchange.

  2. Thank you, Helen! I used Blasty when it first came on the scene, but I can't afford to keep it running. Some day I will, but it is useful in scanning the web and sending you a detailed report, giving you the option to Blast Away!

  3. You sure spoke for many of us, and yes, the worst gift. Pirates seem to be running more rampant these days, or Google Alerts is doing a better job. I do use Blasty to send take downs and Blast them...until they go up again. You have some fantastic suggestions... Overdrive and local libraries.

  4. Wow, for someone to send that sort of an email, to the author...like really? That is the ultimate insult and I will never understand why people think they are entitled to things. And OMG reviewers selling the books. Like wow. And I would go so far as to probably say they are ones that asked for the book and then never bothered to leave a review. :(


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