Pirates and File "Sharing" Sites by Gail Koger
Writers are having problems with pirates. No, not the kind with big ass swords who yell, “I’m going to use your guts for garters, my pretty.” These internet pirates are stealing our books.
Authors and publishers are being forced to walk the financial plank. Not only do these brigands cost us hard-earned income, they can even contribute to ending our careers. Sales determine an author’s success and if thousands of our books are being downloaded from the pirate sites instead of legitimate sites, it can seriously impact our sales and future career.
What surprises us the most about these bandits is they list “being a mom” on their profiles. Are these moms going into grocery stores and stealing food? If they need a new car, do they steal the neighbor’s? Do they spot a designer dress and stuff it in their pants and run out the front door? Probably not, because they know they’ll end up in jail with a nice arrest record and fingerprint goop all over their hands.
The pirates know they are doing wrong but just don’t seem to care and here’s a list of excuses they hide behind.
Pending legislation is censorship and it violates freedom of speech. Say what? Stealing other people’s work is NOT freedom of speech. It’s theft, plain and simple. How would the pirates like it, if they worked a 60 hour week and on payday someone came in and snatched 90% of their pay away claiming it was their “right” to do so?
The economy. Guess what? Writers eat, too. We’re working stiffs trying to make ends meet. Our books usually equal the price of a Happy Meal. A damn good bargain. Our books are our paychecks and we only get paid based on the sales of our books. We don’t get a penny from the misinformed bargain hunters who troll pirate sites looking for “free” downloads.
Writers are rich, greedy pigs. Rich? I wish. Most authors make less than a Walmart greeter. Sad but true. Very few of us live in a mansion and jet to Europe for the weekend.
They’re doing us a favor by putting our books on these sites. Are you kidding me? You’re helping them rob us blind. Our kids get really cranky when we don’t feed them.
It’s a criminal act to upload or download books you didn’t write. Most of the “free” download sites are basically criminal organizations. The Torrents are Russian pirates who allow stolen books, videos, music and movies to be downloaded to their sites and set up advertising accounts to rake in the money.
Pending senate bill S3804 will stop copyright infringement. However, this bill was stashed when the Senators made a mad dash home to save their flagging careers. The elections are over folks. Let’s get this bill passed. www.washingtonwatch.com
I was recently interviewed by KPHO, a CBS station in Phoenix but this is a national problem.
Authors and publishers are fighting a losing battle to eradicate these sites and we need help. Before you visit one of these sites looking for “free” downloads think of the damage it does to the creators of the works you so admire.