Apparently, people pirate ebooks online.
Actually, I didn’t catch the piraters. It was the gracious, mega-cool Eric Hubbel who sent me this message yesterday afternoon.
How this goose chase went down.
Of course, I immediately clicked on the link (click here to go to this pirating website) and found that, indeed, they offered my book for free. They’re very kind that way.
When you click the download button, it promptly takes you to their subscription page, where you can sign up for free! Guys, they are so cool. They’re giving you free stuff, right?
Not only that, but they had repeating ad links EVERYWHERE, and everything I clicked on went to some kind of affiliate selling something. Hmmm . . . at this point I was thinking, Hey! This isn’t sketchy AT ALL.
See the repeating lines with the same links to click on?
Want something better? Here’s their legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
So I said to myself, Self! They have a simple takedown option. Great! Let’s simply take this down.
To spare you the gory details, let me just say that the DMCA button that was “supposed to be there” was not there. I surfed the internet in my frustration (and consulted a few FB groups with authors meanwhile) to see what other people have said. TUEBL hasn’t hit mainstream popularity the way I thought it would have, but I did find (if you’re into fighting piracy) this, this, and this <— this was my favorite.
Update: I did some more research and found that a group of authors really banded together against this piracy group and made some great strides. You go, fellow pen-swordsmen. You go.
So I sent this email.
Then I passive-aggressively planned this blog post while I waited.
To my surprise (and perhaps to some small credit) I got an email back a few hours later.
But any credit I thought of giving him quickly evaporated. He sent me on another goose chase, and that’s simply all his email did. There was no DMCA button that magically appeared. So I sent the following email.
Do YOU see a DMCA button there?
The big question now is: who hid the DMCA button?
My thoughts, and other authors thoughts, on pirating.
Actually, the big question is this: What is your opinion on pirating? Should you play the “whack-a-mole” game and try and get your book taken off all the piracy sites (surely MMSFG is somewhere else), or just let it go and be glad someone is reading it?
I’m getting varied opinions from most of the authors I’m speaking to about it. Some say, “Awesome! People are reading my book!”
One FB writing group deleted my piracy question to authors as spam, citing, I guess, that because my book was in the link I was just trying to get traffic or something. (WTF, right? Maybe they’re with the pirates, eh?)
Another guy on FB helped me out by trying the removal process himself, and reported he was also stumped because HE couldn’t find the elusive DMCA button either.
One guy on FB said this, to which I raised an eyebrow in muted disbelief and a vague sense of . . . maybe . . .
Others (ahem, Shieldmaiden) say, “Those (*$&%)#(. Let’s take them out back and ()$%^*#). Then I’ll *($)^(*#”
While I say . . . hmmm. I’m undecided.
To be frank, however, yes, I will do everything possible to get MMSFG off this website. Mostly because, honestly, if they are going to pirate my book, at LEAST have the decency to have a good website, you know? Or at least OWN that you’re a dirtbag who is helping people spreading the douche-baggery.
At that point, if he’d just stop messing with me and say, “Yo girl. I took your book. I’m trying to profit off it. But to be cool, I’ll read it and leave a review, but continue pirating in the meantime.”
Then I’d at least think about it.
Update: After another round of emails, I found the elusive DMCA button and have successfully filled out their form to remove the book. The piraters showed some grace in emailing me back yet again, and then the button magically appeared on a page where it hadn’t been before. (It’s now a tiny box in the very bottom corner, not “on the book” or “right next to the downloads” as stated previously.)
I’m not making accusations . . . I’M JUST SAYIN.