Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pirates of the Thieving Kind

First off, I don't mean the swashbucklers who ride the high seas in search of adventure, and treasure. This post is about the thieves that steal works by authors to put up on pirate sites for others to download illegally.

Since most of the larger sites are stationed overseas, often there is little you can do about it. You can message the sites asking for your work to be taken down. Some will comply with your wishes while others will ignore it, and keep doing what they're doing. And often, even if your work is removed, it's up again within a matter of minutes or hours.

Over the past few years I have heard arguments that actually are in favor of these sites:

  • The thieves are helping the author develop a wider readership. Bullshit! If that's the kind of fan that I am going to get from that, I don't want them. If you are downloading my books illegally, you're not fan of mine and I'm sure as hell no fan of yours!
  • The people downloading your books illegally wouldn't buy them anyway. This may be true, but it doesn't make it any better. I will argue this point because there are specific requests being put out there for certain authors including myself.
  • It's just sharing like you would do with a print book that you bought or borrow from the library. Well no, it isn't. This is illegal. You are NOT borrowing a copy, you're stealing it!
  • I can't afford to buy the book. Tough titty! This is the lamest argument of all. I'd love a big screen TV, but you don't see me walking into a store to steal one. 
These are just a few of the so called arguments that I have read online.

Now for the ones that are against it:

  • You're stealing from me, and my publishing company. Yes that's right. This is illegal and if you are caught, you will be fined, and possibly jailed(I'd LOVE to see more of  this).
  • Supporting authors is a good thing. Without the support of our dedicated readers many of us would stop putting our work out there.
  • These downloads often come with virus'. Good on ya I says!
  • The people doing this are thieving bastards with no respect for any artist. True!
I could go on and on here, but you get my point. I'd love to know what others in the community think along with dedicated readers.

I know some authors will not speak out about this because they are afraid it will just draw attention to themselves and their books will end up all over the sites. Yet, if we don't speak out more. many will think it's okay to be at this crap. The sad reality is that many 'fans' do think it's fine.

For the people doing this, you need to realize that you are cutting into my income as a writer. I don't sit and write each day, and go through the submission process just for the hell of it. This is my career. It may be part time for now, but in the future I'd like for that to change. And remember, sales count for most of us to view it as a business. This is our livelihood in many cases. If you can't understand that then there is something terribly wrong.

Rant over!


  1. Great rant, love! <3

    You're bang on, too. It's theft, and no amount of idiotic arguments from these people will persuade me otherwise.


  2. Theft is theft. Good for you for calling it.

  3. We sadly live in an age where the majority of people no longer view art of ANY kind as worth paying for. They get the impression the artist's life is easy, and anyone could do what they do if they only could be bothered to do it.

    I agree 100% with your point, but being not only a writer, and a comedian, but also a musician of 22 years, I can tell you this: People will always appreciate art (my favorite book, my favorite band, my favorite comedian, etc) but people (most of them) will always view it as something they shouldn't have to pay for and thanks to the internet, they have been sadly proven right.

    It breaks my heart on several fronts. :(

  4. Yup. It makes me wonder how anyone can defend it.

  5. You tell 'em, girl! It's STEALING. Plain and simple. Borrowing a print book is NOT the same thing. Let's do the math, shall we?

    ONE print book passed among many people still earned the author and publisher royalties on that ONE print book.

    One e-book copied to others illegally is MORE THAN ONE e-book, BUT the author and the publisher ONLY GOT PAID FOR ONE. Even a child can figure that out.

    You want a book? Freaking buy it. Most of them are less money than that damn Starbucks you sucked down this morning. If you can afford to have Internet access to download books illegally, you can afford to buy them.