Ignorance and innocence – No More!

posted Oct 16, 2017, 11:42 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Apr 8, 2018, 1:18 PM ]

I’ve never thought much about the impact of pirated movies. You read the warning when you start a DVD, but it doesn’t sink in. I’ve heard about people using their phones to record concerts and then posting the videos online. Personally, I would rather watch the concert than record it.

The other day I did a search on Google for my latest book, “2074.” Two unknown websites showed up on the search. One was ranked #3 and the other #11. Both offered my book in PDF and ePub formats. I knew something was wrong because I did not make them available in those formats.

I clicked on the websites and was shocked to see my book cover and the book’s description. One site was in Indonesia and the other in Russia. Both sites had a download button that did not link to Amazon’s website. I was frustrated and even a little angry that someone pirated and selling my book without my permission.

I contacted Amazon to report the theft, hoping they would have some suggestions as to how to proceed. Their copyright department was no help at all.

I then contacted Google. They were very helpful. Within 24 hours, the sites no longer showed up when I did a search for my book. They even provide a link to a dashboard showing the status of my complaints. I know the thieves can republish the page with a new URL, but at least I found a resource to fight back.  

I am now an advocate for stiffer pirating laws. Please, don’t buy, view or read pirated materials. The problem isn’t just about the lost revenue. It is about the hundreds or thousands of hours of work, and the money spent by, the copyright holder. I feel like someone broke into my home, stole something I created, and is now selling it. My trust in others is severely tarnished.