Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just a little rant about piracy, file theft, and Lord, I need chocolate.

 I don't get the argument that file sharing isn't hurting anyone and is actually good for business. So in that world, it's okay for me to go to work and at the end of the day the boss says, "Oh well, I'm not going to pay you for your work today. You going to give me this day for free and maybe I'll pay you for tomorrow, but I'm not promising anything." 
     I write for a living. I don't have a second job. This is my job and it is a REAL job. That's how I take care of my family. As an author, I do give away some of my books. I donate to libraries and book clubs. I help out readers who want a book, but can't afford it right now. People lend my print books to each other and that's okay. Maybe if they read one, they'll buy another. I also participate in the lending program with my ebooks. Someone can buy an ebook and lend it to a friend for 14 days. So, yes, I am giving away my work, but it is my choice. It is not my choice when someone downloads a whole book and gives it away for free online or worse, sells it. Lending a print book to your group of friends or lending an ebook for a limited number of days is one thing, making my work available to millions is theft.
     There is enough free music, literature, art, etc. online without it being necessary to steal, and yes that is exactly what it is. I offer free short stories and other writing that I am happy to see shared. Many other artists do the same and more. Do I hope that generates some book sales? Yes, it's called marketing. I am in a small market genre where every sale counts. I have friends who are independent film makers in this same small market. Everyone loves their latest movie so much that they download it onto YouTube, all the while demanding better and more movies in this genre. How is an independent film company going to stay in business if fans keep giving away their movies for free, forcing them to beg for donations to give the fans what they want? 
     None of us in this genre are making money hand over fist like the big boy publishers or movie producers. We are not millionaires from some far off fantasyland. We are your neighbors, friends, colleagues, working at a job just like you. I doubt any of us put all this blood, sweat, and tears into our art for the money. We do it because we are driven to create, but we still have to eat, keep a roof over our heads, and pay the expenses for producing that art. Bottom line, everyone deserves to be paid for the work they do. So, as I stated, I don't understand the logic of, "I'm doing you a favor by sharing your hard work to the world. You should thank me. I'm generating fans for you." I'm sorry, but a real fan supports the artist by paying for the art, so that the artist can continue to be creative. Art is and always has been dependent on its patrons to survive.  
     File sharing is theft. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... well, you know the rest. Really, thanks for the offer to distribute my work and generate fans, but no thanks. That's my job and my responsibility, not yours. If I choose to work all day and not expect to be paid, that is my decision and my right, not yours. I agree that giving the government control over what is and isn't available online is unwise, but then we must govern ourselves. Do not share copyrighted material. Do not stand silently by while your friends and family members do it. Govern yourselves people or the government is going to do it for you. If you see my novels being offered on an unauthorized site, I would appreciate an email - (rebradshawbooks@gmail.com) - and I'm sure my fellow artist would too.

PS. If you're thinking it's easy to get a file pulled down after someone loads it on a  site, you are sadly mistaken. The ISPs are uncooperative and simply ignore anything but a legal attack, which again cost me money. If you think that's fair, by all means, share away. If you have a conscience, think before you click - it could mean your favorite artist can keep creating one more day. 


Now, I shall consume chocolate, because Harry Potter says it calms you down.

9 comments:

  1. Decky I am sorry you and the other fine authors are having such a hard time with this stealing of your work. I've never come across this but I asure you if I do I'll let you know. I appreciate your work. I own all your books.I love my books more than you'll ever know.

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  2. Decky I totally agree with you. It is illegal and unfair to you and other artists who are working the asses off to make a living. I have bought every e-book that I have downloaded to my kindle and read. I want you to keep writing so I support you 150%. If I see someone sharing on a site that you have not approved of I will surely let you know. People are just jerks and if I find out who there are they better watch out.... I'm an computer person and I know people who know people who can do bad things to computers.

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  3. D, that garbled name must be you. Thanks for the support and good luck figuring out all this computer nonsense.
    Angeleyes (other D) thank you very much. I'm glad you know people who know people. I'll let you know if I need help tracking down a source file.

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  4. Ah hell, this is happening all over. It's a bloody disgrace that these arseholes are getting away with piracy. Just the other day there was a discussion on Fb when Robbi McCoy's work got pirated.
    What I am going to do is periodically go online and look for pirated lesfic. If and when I find any, I will be sure to inform the authors concerned.
    These tossers are the cause of a few of my fave authors giving up writing.
    Well, that's my rant over!
    Have a great day Decky,

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  5. Unfortunately, while most of us who write hate the thought of piracy and the money it takes from our pocket, unless the piracy can be combated via a huge, money-backed and semi-professional and powerful entity acting on our behalf (like the film and music companies), tracking and finding these pirate sites take an obscene amount of time away from actually producing, writing, working, etc. It would be a full time job doing it and where you shut one down, two or three pop up. And even with powerful groups in the film and music industry trying to fight piracy, it remains a strong problem.

    What is the answer? We're all trying to find one but we each have to decide how much time, energy and emotional drain we want to put into tracking every single pirate copy of our work out there. I wish you all the best in your fight, Decky.

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  6. I get books taken down for a couple of authors (and notify a number of other authors of their links) and I can spend a good few hours looking for links and then sending down takedown notices. I've also spent time assisting authors with how to get the links taken down when they're not sure where to go or what to do.

    You get the links taken down and the pirates get them put straight back up again. it's a frustrating job. I've lurked on forums to find the links and seen the comments by the uploaders complaining that I've had the nerve to had the links taken down and ruined all their hard work! Their hard work! - what about the work of the authors who wrote the books in the first place.

    I've seen books that have never been released in ebook format so the pirates have scanned the whole book, put it on a site for others to download and then told other uploaders not to steal their files cause they did all the work to get it online!!! What planet are they on??

    If it wasn't for the hard work of the authors they wouldn't have any books to read and if they keep pirating work then some authors may think it's not worth their time to write when they get pittance for all their work. I don't ask for anything for my time except that the authors keep writing! ;)

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  7. One of my biggest gripes is that there isn't enough lesbian fiction available. In comparison to gay fiction, it seems to be maybe a little less than ten percent of what is available. Do a search for lesbian romance or lesbian mystery on Amazon or B&N and you will get maybe 2500 ebooks, comprised of maybe 2100 gay books and another 150 that I call smuterotica, (probably written by straight men.)

    The good writers, like yourself, are treasures and should be protected from these thieves of intellectual property.

    Your work should also be seperated from the gay literature, and most certainly not lumped into the same category as the works of blatantly erotic works that represent all homosexuals as deviants and fetishists.

    We have for too long been denied the right to have open loving relationships. I think it is a further insult to have our literature lumped together as if to make the statement that we are all to be considered as representative of sexual deviancy, and any books about lesbians are to be available from the stacks in the back of the store, or mailed in a brown paper wrapper. Someone needs to lean on Amazon and B&N to clearly seperate lesbian fiction from gay fiction, and keep the erotica in its own seperate category.

    For my part in protecting what I consider of value, I will report pirates, support my treasured writers by purchasing their work, never watch "free" gay or lesbian films on the net instead of buying the DVD, and do all that I can to discourage these thieves.

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  8. Sparrow, I do get your point, but when you say "The good writers, like yourself, are treasures and should be protected from these thieves of intellectual property", you are somehow justifying that it's OK to steal as you please if you deem the writer not good enough... same goes for music and movies and ...

    @ the author: I see an increase of authors denouncing piracy of late, which is BAD because it means piracy is the norm, rather than the exception, but maybe something will change if complains become the rule, instead of the exception. As one of the comments states, it's difficult and time consuming to fight alone, but plenty of authors fighting together may change the game. One can hope, anyway. I'm sure there is no advantage whatsoever in keeping quiet about it...

    There is something else that helps in denouncing the fact out loud: Some people do have a conscience, albeit a little one, but it's there somewhere, and by calling them thieves, some of them do actually think twice. Doesn't help with those that don't think this is plain thievery, but it does help with those that simply never thought of it before.

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  9. I love this post. No one would suggest that a plumber, RN, architect, or customer service rep should work for free and just be glad that people appreciate their efforts. It sickens me that this attitude is the norm towards artists.

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