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Author, Agent, Publisher: Beware

Written by Vicki Hinze

On December 26, 2010

There’s currently an enormous buzz about copyright infringement and book piracy–and it appears that a significant number of authors are victims, which makes agents and publishers victims, too.

Reports are coming in about websites allowing uploads of entire books.  Some are very cooperative on taking them down once they’re notified that the work is copyrighted.  Some are not.  They do not include a search feature from the home page that one can access without becoming a member.  And there are reports of of some hiding the work behind adult sites.  If you want to search to see if your work is on the site, you must buy a lifetime membership to the adult porn site.

Suggestions I’ve seen on checking to see if your work is affected include running a search on Google, Yahoo or another major search engine.  Search the author’s name.  But also search the book title.  And be aware that there are also reports of the author’s name/title being corrupted.  i..e., Jane@Doe or Jane&Doe or Jane-Doe or Jane.Doe.

It’s troublesome to me, and I’m sure to other authors, agents and publishers who all have a vested interest in this, that the copyright of our works isn’t being protected.  That these uncooperative sites are deliberately infringing and taking subversive actions to do so.

Unless we come together and collectively protest this, we’re all going to suffer the consequences.

If laws need to be changed, then we need to encourage our writing organizations to work to change them.  Everyone in the process–authors, agents, publishers–needs to be diligent about reporting these sites so that we collectively can act against the theft of our works.  Authors need to invest the time to check their works, see if they’re being stolen/pirated.

Waiting and allowing this to go unchecked is not in our best interests.

Also, authors who write articles, short stories, non-fiction:  check your work.  Some of that is also being discussed.

Ask your writing organization or group to spearhead an offensive to this theft.  The longer we wait, the greater the challenge.

Blessings,

Vicki

©2008, Vicki Hinze

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