Sunday, May 27, 2012

Piracy WTFery

I'm trying to finish a book, so I'm pretty much angry bear in writing cave, which makes me prone to getting on soapboxes.

Ah, okay. Breathes deeply. I told myself I wouldn't do this post. Deep breath. I've already done a post on piracy before. No need to go there. Deep... screw it.  Not working.

There are certain triggers in the publishing world that will send most authors through the roof. One of those things is piracy. And for those who know me, know I have a huge issue with piracy. I have lost count of how many websites my books have showed up on for illegal downloads.

Yesterday, one of those well known sites had friend requested me on Facebook, which prompted a WTF from me and a status update expressing my 'what kind of WTFery is this?' This led to a conversation between me and said website, and while it didn't start off in a positive light, it ended with them showing how they were taking steps to stop e piracy on their website.

Shared Term Papers has blocked e books from being loaded onto their website, which is a huge step in rectifying piracy. So don't break out the pitch forks. They are doing the right thing and should be applauded.

Obviously STP has been working on fixing the piracy on their website for awhile. Looking through the thread, they have some pretty awesome things planned for the future, just no more ILLEGAL BOOKS. But when they posted on their forum that they were stopping the ability to load ebooks, some members went ape poo poo. Reading over the comments, I was SHOCKED by the anger and the feelings of betrayal concerning how they would no longer have access to pirated books.

They. Felt. Betrayed. 

Loki does not approve. 

What kind of WTFery is this? People who illegally download books feel like they should have been given the courtesy of knowing ahead of time that they could do longer do this from that website? WTF. How about the common courtesy to the author, agents, editors, publishing houses, publicists, and everyone else who worked their ass off to write that book you paid nothing to read and then in turn uploaded so others can read it for free? How about that?

To use a phrase I saw on Smart Bitches website the other day, what kind of WTFBBQ is this?

The reasons these betrayed and angry members have given to why pirating books or 'sharing literature' is okay? Head meets desk. No. No. No. Let me dispel some pesky myths about pirating that are obviously created to make one feel better about doing it.

1. Only 'angry authors' complain about their pirated books.
Uh, yes. Authors are angry when their book is being given away for free when they busted their tail to write something you want to read. It would be the same thing as me walking into your store and demanded the meal you just made for me to be free JUST BECAUSE I CAN. We have a reason to be angry. That's our work. I don't think I need to give more of an explanation.  So, yes. Damn straight, we are angry.

2. Pirating doesn't really hurt authors/victimless crime.
Oh, come on. Pirating does hurt. If people can get something for free, they are going to go for it instead of paying for it. Not all, but a lot. There's this argument that says people who pirate won't buy books anyway. To me, that doesn't matter. If you don't want to pay for it, don't steal it. I *hope* when you see a shirt in the window of a store that you don't want to pay for it, you don't just steal it, right?

And it's definitely not a victimless crime. Pirating effects everyone: authors, agents, editors, pubs, and every person who touched that book while in production. Not only that, but it effects fans of books. So many authors over the last years have not been able to sell more books in their series due to lack luster sales while their books are being pirated and downloaded tens of thousands of time. Statistics show that 75% of people who pirate, won't buy. The only 25% would if the book wasn't easily available for download. 

An average book can get downloaded 10,000 times or more through various websites. 25% of the is 2500. Might not seem like a lot of sales, but you never know what the amount will be that can tip you over into a 'successful earn out'.

3. Not everyone can afford books/ebooks
Oddly, my most pirated books are the ones that are like $3.99 and $5.99.  I think that's just excuse, because most people don't steal something they can't afford. Only criminals do. And if you can't afford $2.99 or even $9.99, then how can you afford the internet connection you are using to download books off of or membership to sites that provide virus free materia?  Riddle me that, Batman.

Some people feel that 'authors should recognize that people can't afford to read books and be okay with it.' So, let me get this right, I should be okay with people not paying for something that I  worked extremely hard on and hope to make money off so that I can write more books that I should just give away? As much as I would love to do that and I'm so many other authors would too, we need to make money to keep writing books.

PS. I actually do have free books. People pirate them too. Crazy world. 

And saying that an author is limiting their readership by not supporting piracy is more than a huge slap in the face to the author. It's like a kick upside the head. There are so many things I want in this world that I can't afford or have access to. Guess what. I don't get it.

4. Book not available in my country
US sales help determine foreign sales at times, did you know that? A book that is heavily pirated may not have the sales to warrant foreign publication. Congrats. It's a vicious circle. Some of these people don't say they can't afford books. It's just not available.

Guess what. There's this website called Book Depository. They ship anywhere in the world for free and most of the time their books are discounted. Amazon also has their e books in many countries. You don't need a kindle and we know you have a computer obviously. You can get the book if you really want to.  Logic Fail.

5. Piracy has spread readership.
Seriously? Jumps off the cliff on that note

6. I only pirate first books from unknown authors because I shouldn't have to pay for a book if I don't know if I am going to like book/author/whatevs.
Wow. Just wow.  Is this mentality applied to other things is life? Like when you go out to eat. Do you request a sampler of food before you purchase?

7. It's sad that authors what to limit "literature sharing'
What is sad that you are putting the blame back on the victims of piracy, which is the author and their camp. What is sad is that using a nice phrase like "literature sharing'  for piracy somehow lessens the illegal activity. What is sad is that you feel entitled to read books other pay for them.

8. Stopping piracy will cause authors to lose more money.
This is the biggest logic fail out there. According to people who pirate and statistics, they won't buy the book anyways, right? So they never were going to buy this book in the first place. How is that if pirating wasn't available then it would stop them from going out and buying more books from authors they've discovered through pirating? Makes no sense right? And let's be honest. If you pirated the first book, you're going to pirate all the books.

9. Someone already bought the book. They are just sharing it. What's wrong with that.
Uh. Simple math? One person bought e book and then shared it to 1,000 people WHO DIDN'T PAY FOR IT.  It would be like buying one movie ticket but bringing your family of eight into the theater.

10. Authors are always complaining about how they don't make money off of e books anyway, so it can't be effecting them that much.
Authors make money off of e books. Maybe not enough in some instances, but they do make money. So just to show you some sites I visited that had my books for downloads.

Disclaimer: I don't think I can share actual % amount,but hey, if you do the math you can figure it out.
Disclaimer: The time frame is from when the link has been available on various sites and from systems that monitor the books.

Half-Blood ($3.99)  1, 109  downloads. What would I have made off that? $1327
Pure ($5.99) 1,585 downloads. What would I have made off that?  $2848
Obsidian ($5.99) 2,267 downloads. What would I have made off it? $5431
Tempting the Best Man ($2.99) 978 downloads. What would I have made off it?  $1169

I didn't look at Shadows, because at that point I wanted to punch someone. 
So the grand total there is $10, 775.
 So let's say only 25% of them were actual sale since 75% doesn't buy anyway.
That's $2693 dollars. Hey, that's not pocket change.

Also keep in mind, agents are paid out of that. And this was just what I could find today. This does not include the hundreds of times the books have been taken down (download counters restart each time its removed).

This whole situation really shines the light on how people feel about piracy and the entitlement that some have. It is sad. Sad that people who illegally download books would try to cast blame on the authors for being 'mean' or 'angry' or read the riot act to a website who is simply following the law. Sad that they think by not being able to illegally read an authors book is somehow punishing the author. Sad that these people are just going to go to one of the other million websites out there and keep downloading books.  Sad that so many of these people will just end up getting viruses on their computers. (Okay. That part isn't sad, but mostly called karma) Sad that these people are outraged over the fact they won't have easy access to illegal material.

And the most sad thing of all? These people will keep pirating until more serious and harsher laws are imposed.

So, in closing, no matter how you package piracy or why you feel it's okay for you to do it, it is wrong. It is illegal. And it's not fair to the authors, those who work hard to get that book published, or the people who pay for the book.

Kudos to you, Share Term Papers! You may be catching a lot of flack right now, but at least you won't get smacked upside the head with a giant law suit in the future.

Got to look on the bright side, kids.

And before everyone runs off, I'm asking that readers of this blog do NOT go and start yelling at people on threads or anything like that. Doing so doesn't really help the cause.

Okay. Now I'm going back to finish this book.


  1. Okay, just to clear up a thing or two, BookDepository is shit. Sorry to be crass, but I has had a convo with their twitter representative and they said that they hadn't 'acquired the UK rights' to a book I wanted. A book that was available for purchase on Amazon UK. They offer next to nothing in books these days. Most of the books I search for turn up as 'currently unavailable'.

    But piracy is still wrong. I'd prefer to wait for a nice shiny new copy of whatever than waste time downloading it from sites. I don't even know how that works. Do you have to squint at your computer screen for hours on end to read it? Weird.

  2. THIS.

    I saw a discussion on Goodreads awhile back about how piracy was okay because they didn't get the books in their country, didn't have a library, blah blah blah. When I stood up and called them out for theft, I got attacked.

    you know what though? It was worth it. I may not be an author (yet), but I have friends who are authors. I am a huge fan of authors. I will do everything I can to support them. I am never okay with someone stealing from them.

    People can try & justify all they want. Piracy is theft, and theft is illegal EVERY TIME. There are no exceptions. It's just plain wrong. One of those nice black & white areas where there is no excuse.

    I'm going to go order your books right this second to do my part to protest piracy.

    1. @ Ems: Many people living in third world countries are desperate and starving... not only for the food that nourishes their body, but also for the food that nourishes their mind and soul.

      If theft is the ONLY way for them to quench their thirst or satiate their hunger, how can you -- in your first world comfort -- say that they are wrong?

      If I was visiting a wretched, war-torn slum and saw a person covered in grime and dressed in rags steal a piece of bread from a vendor, I would absolutely keep my mouth shut and not call them out on it. I wouldn't start postulating the judging them and condemning them.

      Now, I now when it comes to creative content, there is an emotional attachment to the product. I'm sure a bread vendor wouldn't fight as hard for his product that an author would for theirs, because an author has a direct emotional connection to the product that they produced.

      But when I think of these people, and their utter need for escapism that far outcries my own (I live in suburbia, and therefore... what the hell am *I* really trying to escape from? Certainly not bullets), I sometimes think... that SOME piracy can be ignored.

      Now obviously, if there's someone like myself living in a safe neighborhood in a safe place like Northern California, with a neighborhood library literally one minute away from them, and the nearest book store only fifteen minutes away, then... well, yeah, they probably shouldn't be pirating.

      But if I'm living in slum-shit-bullet-ridden-fuck nowhere, but have a computer and internet access (as some of the poorest people in our world do), but no credit card, no bookstore, and no way to get books shipped to me... I will pirate to my heart's content just to find a way to escape the bullshit that, theoretically, would be my life.

      Just throwing some more of my cents down on this discussion...

    2. As heart-wrenching your account is of people living in a war-torn country needing to pirate books because they won't have access otherwise, it's total crap. It isn't people in 3rd world countries stealing off the internet, it's people like you and me who live in suburbia. People who want to get something for free, just because they can. All of the people I have encountered that have pirated books or music could have easily afforded to buy said material, they just chose not to. So again, we aren't talking about starving people in Africa, we are talking about average everyday people that take stuff for free just because it's there.

    3. Its a little amusing and quite heartbreaking to think that people from "first world countries" think that us "third world countries" dodge bullets on a regular basis, but alas, not all our lives are like that, some do, but that's for political reasons involving the so called first world countries. Also, guns are illegal in my country. As for piracy and libraries, the nearest library is 10 seconds from my house. So while I appreciate the fact that you are okay with piracy for poor people in war torn countries, the generalising hurts. You surely mean well, I just don't like people being misinformed.

  3. Right on! I hate it when people do this. It adds fuel to the fire. Wish that no one had to go through this. Glad that they are working on the problem to get the loading of e-books fixed. Hopefully that'll help drastically with the piracy from that site. And for those people that are pirating the books...there is a thing called a library...or borrowing from a friend. Just gonna throw that one out there. Get back into your writing cave I need more of your work. <3

  4. Thanks for this amazing post. I agree with you 100%. Are the sites that offer these free downloads responsible for the content they offer? Laws need to be put in place to stop this illegal activity. Thieves need to be held accountable no matter what they are stealing. Let's hope this gets fixed soon!

  5. I just fell completely in love with you. This damn site is one of the worst. Jamie McGuire and I got into it with them last summer, and they did start two threads: one for authors to give input, and one for readers. It was heated and unpleasant, and Jamie and I, and other authors who spoke up, were pretty beaten up. They, however, then create an opt-out list. One person who honestly hadn't understood the harm of what she was doing by downloading these books was converted, and she sent me a copy of an offline email from the moderators announcing a private, hidden group where members could upload and trade the "banned" books. They are particularly sneaky and dreadful over there.

    Thank you SO much for this post.

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  7. This post is beyond excellent. I love how you dispelled each and every one of their excuses. I, too, messaged STP's Facebook page after getting a friend request, and they sent me a link to the thread where they announced that eBooks are no longer allowed. I saw one member say that she was in tears. My jaw dropped. The sense of entitlement is absolutely revolting to me, and I have no problem saying it. If you want to steal from me, *I don't want you to read my books*. You should't get to enjoy them. I don't get to enjoy that 25 foot ski boat I want but can't afford. I don't hook it up to my Jeep and take it off the lot because I want it. Why? Because it's STEALING. Life doesn't work that way.

    I had been back and forth with STP many, many times before they started the "opt out" list. A few months after Jessica got the email from a member, I got a screen shot from another member. It was of the private site. An STP moderator was apologizing in an edited post for deleting my book because they didn't realize it was on the "secret" site, and thought it was public. Not only did they apologize, they then encouraged the member to re-post my book. I am glad STP is taking steps, but I have to wonder if they're not just redirecting members to the private site. As long as their members continue to feel conviction and send us screen shots, we'll know STP was disingenuous. Only time will tell.

    I wanted to add one more excuse: I bought the book, I should be able to lend it to whomever I please. I do that with physical copies, digital copies are no different.

    Yes, that's true. You bought the book. You should be able to lend it. If you let one person at a time borrow the book like you do your physical copies instead of THOUSANDS AT ONE TIME when you upload to the internet, then you would have a valid argument.

    Thanks Jennifer. Great post.

    1. I completely agree with you about the lending.. If you can do it with dead tree books, why not e-books? it's not like the book is theirs permanently. and if they like it and think they'll read it again, they can buy it. (i do this with dead tree books,borrow first, buy later)
      i sure as hell don't know 1000 people lol probably not even 100 people that like to read.
      but I do know SOME authors allow the lending option on their e-books(amazon), up to 14 days. but most don't, and the ones that did have that option (ex: 50 shades) no longer has that option.. I think it should be an option. some books are 10$.. I have over 400 ebooks and 200 dead tree books. If I paid 10$ or even 5$ each time... that's alot of fricken money. And I have to admit, I have STILL bought them... ugh. I would love to just be able to borrow a book and if I like it, buy it.

      as for the comment "Like when you go out to eat. Do you request a sampler of food before you purchase? " I actually do.haha. the staff always look at me funny,(as does the hubby) but I've found that 8 times out of 10 i don't like the food, and usually just stick with what I do like.. I'm weird like that lol.

  8. That is just disgraceful. You make a lot of excellent points Jennifer. But what also amazes me is that these people would take the time to do the illegal download instead of going to the library where the book may be and they can read it for FREE!

    Or even taking advantage of the rewards programs bookstores have. By the end of the year you can save a lot if you buy a lot of books and since these people are illegally downloading so many, they could save a lot! Plus what you said about getting viruses that can be costly too to remove if they are not computer gurus. I've gotten viruses on my laptop--never from illegal downloads, buying books is my one bad [in the sense of constantly and always buying them] vices and having my computer cleaned is pretty pricey. A couple hundred bucks. If they add that to any legal fees they'd have to pay if they are charged with this...just wow. All that money instead of buying a $10 book or cheaper download.

    Okay, not I'm ranting myself! As an aspiring author this idea sickens me as well. So I am going to stop ranting as well! Hope you've calmed down now too, Jennifer! Feel your pain for this matter.

    Sending hugs and happy thoughts your way! :)

  9. Hum... Okay, I'll be a little bit off topic but I have a question : I've always wondered, in a book's price, how much goes to the author ? To your agent ? To the printer ? The seller ? And so on...

    And as well, is the percentage you receive is the same with ebook and papers book ?

    (If this is an information you can share of course)

  10. Goldfish- My books are all through pubs, so I don't see printer cost/etc. The pub eats that, but its different for every pub.

    With mine, my royalties range from 20-40% on cover price
    My agent gets the standard 15% of my royalties
    Pub gets the rest

    And I wish print had those high %. Print ranges from 7% and up

    And thanks everyone for your comments. Honestly, it blows my mind.

  11. FWIW, the thing that makes me sad is when STP did that sweeping deletion or w/e, they took with it all of the really good recommendation posts I had bookmarked. Posts that had nothing to do with pirating crap, or uploading and downloading. Just a bunch of "if you read this, you might like this" posts that I'd had bookmarked for ages and checked regularly. Ironically, one of those posts is how I stumbled onto your books, lol. Someone had made a post raving about Half-Blood right after it came out and I went and downloaded Daimon (legally) that night, then bought Half-Blood the next day. I've found a TON of new authors and series through that site, which is now gone.

    Hopefully the community sticks around and keeps up with the reviews and recommendations.

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  13. MinaBr

    Totally understandable, but that does not make it okay to illegally obtain a book. There is no gray area there. If you don't have a credit card, you can set up a paypal account or get amazon giftcards. There is always a way to obtain something legally.

    But it's not okay and it will never be okay to justify illegally downloading a book.

  14. BTW- I did not remove MinaBR's comment. It was deleted by the author.

  15. You forgot when people say "I only support authors I like" *rolls eyes*

    This blog post is great. I'm glad you took the time to write this out... I wish I could say that it will stop, but people in this generation are known for "instant gratification" and take advantage of resources. To them, it's okay because they wont get caught. This irritates the crap out of me. I'm really sorry this has happened to you and every author that's taken the time and energy to write an amazing book. You deserve all the money you lost and more.

    *sidenote* thanks for adding me as a facebook friend! :D

  16. No problem.

    And seriously, thanks for the comments guys.

    I think as a writer we all get used to it after awhile as sad as that sounds, but the real issue here isn't about me or the authors, but the attitude of being 'okay' for whatever justifications that can be dug up and the complete lack of acknowledgment that no matter why they do it, it is and will always be wrong and illegal.

  17. Another one of the many issues that has always bugged me to no end is that, ultimately, the choice about whether or not MY books should be free is mine. It's not up to readers t decide that. It's my choice, and mine alone. I'm sick of hearing about how it's "free promotion" and whatnot. If I wanted the books to be free, they would be. End of story. It's not up to other people to decide how my books are distributed.

  18. What I love the most about those reasons was the "I can't aford it" excuse. Why does this amuse me? Because I can't really afford my whole book-reading hobby either. But that's what libraries are for. And Christmas. And birthdays. And saving up. And working. And swapping. And, hey, even entering giveaways. Sure, I may want certain books (like, let's say OBSIDIAN) SO BAD but not be able to get it because I am somewhat poor. But it would NEVER cross my mind to steal a book like that. The other things I listed are what I think of. Not stealing or pirating. Which brings us back to the whole point of criminals . . .

    I just don't understand people a lot of the time. It makes no sense in my mind.

    Jennifer--I'm sorry people DO do stuff like this, and especially to you. I haven't gotten to read any of your books yet, but I HAVE already fallen for Daemon (thanks to 30 days of Daemon and #DaemonInvasion--Team Luxing After Daemon). You clearly put a lot of work into something people love and I love you for it.

    Have a great Memorial Day!

  19. Hi Jennifer,

    It makes me really sad to see this is happening so often :( If these pirates stop & though for one tiny second they would realise that what they are doing for whatever reason they have is theft & how would they feel themselves if something they worked so hard for was stolen from them = I can imagine it would be heartbroken, devastated etc..

    I'm sorry to hear your books have been pirated so often, I feel really mad for you!

    Big hugs & a great post, Sharon @ Obsession with Books

  20. Totally agree. I so hate e-Piracy and even though I'm not an author I still get really angry about it.
    I seriously wanted to punch someone when they asked me to send my ARC of Onyx to them but i didn't reply. Didn't help when I woke up this morning to a comment on a review asking if I could send them that book. It's freaking 1.99 buy it yourself!

    So yea, I'm rambling. I hate e-Piracy and it makes me really sad that it happens so often and all these amazing authors are getting hurt by it.

    Keep doing what your doing, I <3 you and you know I will buy every single one of your books, multiple times just to spread the love!

    ~ Kayleigh @ K-Books

  21. "Riddle me that, Batman" LOL! I love Ranting Jennifer. If they Barbied you I'd totally buy it.

    Yay for Shared Term Papers. It's great that they're doing something about the problem on their own, and that authors don't have to wait for them to be shut down before they see results.

  22. HI! I totally agree w/you! even if i`s really hard for me to get the books I like (`cause I`m from Argentina,btw, sorry in advance for my pooor poor english), yours included, I learned a lot about ebooks, and bought them from amazon since a few years, and it also helped me find you and your crazy smart pen!
    I hope you know all your folowers (me included) SUPPORT YOU, AND WE TOTALLY HAVE YOUR BACK.
    Please keep writing those amazing books, and tell entangled that august is tooo far away! me must have ONIX soon!!! ( besides reading you helped me a lot w/ my english, and my dictionary/online translator skills ;D)

  23. Just checking something: Daimon isn't free anymore, right? It's $0.99 at least on BN and Amazon.

  24. It's free from SHP website

    1. Awesome! I'll check it out.
      (I could only find a link to Amazon/BN from the page from the series on your site:

      I also wanted to say that I think that it's awesome that your books are lending-enabled for Kindle / Nook. I haven't read Obsidian, but really want to read it before Onyx comes out!

      That, and that people that say that #4 (book is not available in my country) usually refer to ebook availability (georestrictions) more than paper books. I end up not reading the book if they don't want to sell it to me -- it's kind of annoying when I'm willing to pay for something and they won't take my money. Also, The Book Depository doesn't actually ship everywhere (they don't to most of Africa and Asia).

  25. I agree with everything Jennifer has said! Piracy is wrong on so many levels! Now I want to punch these people out!! Jen, great post!! People need to realize this is a major issue for the authors who are also losing money!!
    Looking forward to lots of your books!! <3

  26. Let me just say this, it's very easy to hear one side and it's arguments and just agree with it. What's hard is understanding THE REALITY and try to find solutions. For almost every reason given above I can give arguments but I don't think that will help in any way.

    I am actually highly disappointed with the authors, not because they are against piracy but because they refuse to accept the fact that the whole publishing industry needs to adapt to internet, it's power and it's freedom of speech.

    I am also very disappointed because we as a community respect authors and we try to do our bit as much as possible. If we wanted to be real pirates then it would have been much easier. We are not the first ones and we are not the biggest ones, we are just a small community of readers who for the first time I think is trying to voice their opinion and trying to find a real solution instead of taking the easy way out.

    Now you all can go ahead and bash me but you expressed your opinions and I expressed mine.

  27. Btw:
    Have you ever watched a video on Youtube?
    I am sure the answer is YES. Guess what there's 99.99% chance that you saw copyright material for free.

    Did you pay to watch the video?
    I guess not.

    Apologies for being sarcastic but my only point is that freedom of speech is the cause of success of internet. We just haven't found the right formula for publishing industry yet.

  28. So basically, I should spend my time and effort on a book, possibly for 3 years and just offer it on a plate for people to download without expecting any form of payment for the hard work that I've put in?

    Yes I do watch videos on Youtube. I watch people like Computer Nerd, Nerimon, MeekaKitty - all their own work and music videos on VEVO. They choose to do that and guess what? They do earn money from having people watching the videos, in the form of adverts etc. As for VEVO? The artist I watch are earning millions and have probably been paid to have that video on Youtube. It's an entirely different concept as a pirated book has no permission from it's OWNER to be there, whereas the YouTube videos I watch DO HAVE permission.

    And is case anyone is unsure, this is NOT STP, just a troll. Click on them, they've only joined today.

    Coma Out.

    ComaCalm's Corner

    1. @Vickie that's exactly what I am talking about that no one is expecting you to spend 3yrs and not get paid for it. We want you to get paid for sure.

      Not every video on youtube is uploaded by the copyright owner, atleast 95% aren't. But again point is videos have evolved in such a way that a user can still watch for free and the people behind the content can still make money.

  29. This happens because people are NOT thinking about said things in post.

    What IS going through their minds:

    "Authors? Pshh, who gives a fudge?"
    "Agents? What are those?"
    "It's not pirating if it's free!"
    "Hey, everyone else is doing it, why can't I?"
    "Authors should be happy I'm even reading their book"
    "It wouldn't have made a difference if I bought the E-Book. It only cost 2-3 dollars anyway."

    Ok, first of all, not caring about the authors, means you don't even deserve to read the book. Second, without those agents, you wouldn't be READING the book. Third, just because it's free doesn't mean it's NOT pirating. That right there, is a very bad excuse. Fourth, NEVER be a follower, it won't get you anywhere in life people. Fifth, Oh they'll be happy you're reading it, I'm just not sure if illegality falls into the 'happiness and joy' category for ANYBODY. And finally, sixth, OF COURSE IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. LIKE JEN SAID. "$2693 IS NOT POCKET CHANGE!"

    I'm not even sure many people realize they're are technically committing a crime by pirating,and it's not just the people who download them, it's the people who share as well. (sigh) This is getting out of control these days. D:

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. If any of things I said above make sense to you and if you think there can be a solution to this issue then please let me know and I will start a peaceful discussion on STP, we can try to tackle each and every case, no bashing or intervention from readers at all.
      I will represent the readers.

      If none of things I said above make sense then I am just wasting my time.

    2. @ Share Term Papers

      I actually applauded you for doing the right thing and stated how wrong it is that members on your site were throwing flack at you. You're more than welcome to talk here, but try to cut back on the sarcasm. You're representing a community of what? 66,000 members?

      Freedom of Speech has absolutely nothing to do with pirating of any material. I can't even make that connection.

      Youtube is a copyright violation sandbox, but once again, we are talking about taking material in its entirety and providing it for free w/out the permission of the owner. That's why you see vids own by Viacom for example get taken down from youtube in a heartbeat.

      Libraries currently are using Overdrive and have a sytem in place where x about is paid to the pub for the rights to the ebooks.

      Stopping piracy is going to take a change in mentality toward. I think you can acknowledge that until recently, there wasn't a lot STP was doing to stop it. Requiring an author to email you to have their stuff taken down is not the most proactive. There must have been some kind of thought behind it that said pirating isn't that bad.

      There is the problem.

  31. To people who illegally download and read books: there is something called a library! It's 100% free and LEGAL!! You should check that out :)

  32. OMG!! I had a mini rant on my blog about this last week. Then I had an argument on twitter with some douche who was trying to tell me that there is nothing wrong with piracy and that people just want to read the book. I was steaming mad at this dude. Valerie and I had to block him because he was just that aggravating. It baffles me that people could seriously think it's okay. Makes me sick actually. Great post. I really hope you can get through to some people.

  33. Ok, well clearly I live under a rock. I didn't even know people could do that. That's terrible. I might be weird about this but, I always buy books. I've only ever received 1 ARC and I still payed for it when it came out. If it makes you feel better, I have purchased all of your books and Obsidian twice...cover love there!
    Brittany S

  34. Wow, STP is really shutting down uploading of ebooks? Yes!!!! They're the biggest culprit for sharing my books. I mean, geez, what were they thinking putting up an author-opt-out list, anyway? That's like putting up a place for convenience store owners to sign up so they won't get robbed. Like the people who do the illegal sharing/robbing would read that anyways. Redonkulous. Great post!

  35. I think there's no point arguing further as you all like to live in your own bubble of "perfect" world.

  36. @Share term papers: As other above have said, who in their right mind could possibly argue that piracy is freedom of speech? Honestly, if you're going to take stuff without paying for it, call it what it is - Piracy.

    As to your theory about Youtube being 95% pirated material, I'd LOVE to see some evidence behind that. Youtube isn't even a comparable model, people that upload stuff to youtube are remunerated for their contributions via advertising links that are used on their uploads (monetizing videos, I've got a couple I made myself on there.) I don't recall your offering to share any sort of profits with the authors whose work is pirated on your site?

    I know I've spent a decent amount of time tracking down pirated versions of my wife's book and notifying the offending websites on her behalf (and yes, yours was one of the websites on DIFFERENT occasions). Is it possible that there's a better way for publishers to do business? Sure. Should users in the meantime just wantonly steal and pirate authors work? Um... No.

  37. @hoody123
    Let me give you an example for youtube:
    Now this video is created by someone using copyrighted content which they don't own. The person who uploaded the video will get some advertising $ but the actual copyright owners won't.
    As far as offering to share any sort of profits is concerned via STP is concerned. We are open for ideas and for implementing any system as long as it works for both parties.
    I am not saying piracy is correct, I am just trying to say that piracy is the truth of internet, atleast for now.
    So, either wait for the rules to be perfected and implemented or take some action now, choice is yours.

  38. A man by the name of Peter Oakes came to my school the other day as a guest lecturer and his lecture was all about content... content creation, and content distribution. I'm a film student, and the way filmmaking and film distribution works is changing, much like the music industry did. It's all because of piracy... but the outcome is actually a good one.

    Because of piracy issues, content creation and distribution is changing so that the creators maintain control over their own content, rather than selling out to an industry (film industry, music industry, publishing industry, etc.) This is because when industries buy rights and obtain control over a creator's content, they take a huge chunk of money out of the creator's pocket. I don't know about the publishing industry, but in the film industry they can spend upwards of $5 Million on promotion & marketing ALONE. And of course once the sales (ticket sales, merchandise, etc.) roll in, it's the studio that gets their money paid back first. That is an example of the film industry, but similar models exist the other big entertainment industries, publishing included.

    Because the old model is not working to benefit the creators, many creators are taking control over their own content and not "selling out" to bigger companies... because in fact, they actually lose more money that way. The only reason to go with the big guys is because of promotion and marketing... but in the end, is it really worth it? It depends on the outcome you want. If you want to be widely known, then yes. If you want to actually make money and not sweat over giving your content away for cheap or free, then no.

    I agree that piracy is an issue and it's not okay. But the reality of the fact is that it's not going away. And for a lot of people, they do it because they have no choice (like message #2 up there, Ornella, who lives in a third world country and is unable to obtain these books in a legal capacity). But to combat the issue of lost wages, one of the big things is cutting out the middle man (the big company/studio that takes out their big chunk of the profit before it even gets to you).

    The music industry has already changed (99 cent iTunes downloads, anyone?), and the film industry is starting to reform as well, thanks to things like Youtube renting, Amazon VOD, etc... people are able to keep all of their rights over their content, and profit.

    And obviously the book industry is doing an amazing job of this via ebooks and self-publishing through programs like Kindle Direct Publishing and the like.

    I think we'll see that, as piracy grows, so will creators' resolve to hold on to their distribution rights. We'll see more content offered free by the creators themselves, because they will be getting their paycheck not just from their audience, but from sponsors, advertisers, and merchandise.

    So while there's an evil side to piracy, maybe there's a non-evil side as well... one that puts creators back in charge of their work, and makes the idea of "sharing what we love" pure again.

    Sorry for the lengthy response. :)

  39. Edit to above comment:

    Oh, and my comment above was copied & pasted from your blog over at Goodreads. So, by message #2, I mean the second comment by Ornella over at Goodreads. I found her response discouraging and sad... there are so many people out there just struggling to get books to read, and they rely heavily on piracy to get them, because there is no other way. I think piracy is wrong, but when I think of all of the people out there who really don't have another system, it frustrates me. What to do about them?

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  44. I know all about betrayal.
    I read your first book. Don't worry. I paid! I paid!... oy vey... I paid.
    For the record, you may be upset that someone is getting crap for free, but if they become a fan of yours, you may have now found someone willing to pay for even more of crap. I can't imagine belonging to a site that tried to 'gift' me your crap. I would seriously question their judgement. A free lollypop made of insect wings isn't really a gift, and isn't stealing because you are assuming actually we want it.
    I feel sorry for you like I feel sorry for the Sham-Wow guys who complain people can buy their product at the dollar store, but it's called ShamWhoa. While the Sham-Wow duke it out with the ShamWhoa copycats (which is your metaphor, btw) the customer is left scratching their head, thinking: "but this stuff is complete crap, and I'd never buy it anyway."
    Put our a quality product, and not only will I care, I will pay for the hard cover and the merch. Sell me doggerel-doo-doo in ebook format, and you will discover your estimation of your worth does not meet muster. Free? You will be happy to hear I am saying: No thank you. Not a chance.

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