Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
Like the pirate talk? It’s appropriate, because I’m going to rant in this post about e-piracy. This post will have language and various other “Dina has been sent into orbit” visuals.
You have been warned. NSFW, 18+, etc.
Still here? Read on.
Okay, first, go here. Go on. Oh, all right, fine. For those who don’t want to read/clicky, here’s the gist:
Skyla Dawn Cameron once cancelled a book series/didn’t write something because of e-pirates. Shiloh Walker did the same thing. Here’s more from Shiloh about it.
Seeing a trend, here?
What’s set me off, you might ask.
People looking for copies of my work on illegal filesharing sites isn’t new. I’ve been dealing with piracy of my stuff since I was first published back in 2008.
People looking for copies of BOOKS I HAVEN’T EVEN WRITTEN YET on illegal filesharing sites is new. People REQUESTING, already, my NEXT BOOK in my first series.
This, contrary to what some might think, is NOT flattery. Some would say, “Well, Dina! Your books are obviously getting popular! That’s so great!”
WRONG. That’s like saying, “Wow! You have the nicest house on the block! No wonder people try to break in and steal your stuff every day!” or “Wow! You have the best car in town! No wonder people steal it constantly!”
Get it now? E-piracy is NOT flattering. It’s not indicative of popularity. A publisher isn’t going to say, “You know, that Dina James is always being pirated. She’s obviously hella popular. Let’s offer her a contract and pay her lots of money because she’ll sell really well. Look how popular she is on all those torrents!”
Yeah. NOT gonna happen.
Now, we have formerly (questionably) sane politicians in Europe wanting to make it even easier for people to steal (via Plagiarism Today).
I had a big excerpt from that article here, along with my own snarky translations as to what it REALLY means, but it disgusted me so much I deleted it.
Bottom line is this, people: If you like my work, DON’T STEAL IT.
Because you know what? If this shit keeps up, you’re going to piss me off to the point to where I won’t write another fucking word JUST to deny you the ability to post anything else of mine. Out of nothing but pure spite.
Honestly, why should I write anything else? What incentive do I have to create a world for people to enjoy for a few hours when there are those out there who honestly believe they have the right to steal from me because I have something they want? Should I do it because there are people out there who want to read my stuff and pay me for it?
Yeah, I know. Believe me. It’s the real, true fans that I think about whenever I see someone hitting my site looking to steal from me. Whenever I get a Google Alert from YET ANOTHER filesharing/torrent site telling me that my work is YET AGAIN available for one’s stealing pleasure. It’s the people who enjoy my work that I think about, and it helps. One fan makes a hundred pirate hits worth it.
But it’s seriously frustrating to see people looking for things I haven’t even written yet. Vultures circling overhead. Thieves stalking me as I walk down the street, just waiting for me to stop so they can snatch my purse. Honestly, it’s disheartening.
HEAR ME, PIRATES. I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND. I don’t care who started it, I’ll fucking finish it.
I’m evil, and I’m spiteful.
I’m also dispirited. It’s not even release day and I already have people looking not only for the novel that’s due out on Tuesday, but for the next one, another novel I haven’t even written yet, and two others I’ve only mentioned.
Again, this isn’t flattering.
This is sad.
Now I go to drink tea, knit, and watch movies I’ve legally purchased and forget about assholes for awhile.
Thank you to all the awesome, loyal readers and fans out there who wouldn’t dream of pirating my work. You all support me in more ways than monetary. It’s for you I continue to write, and fight pirates.
For the record, I wouldn’t really stop writing. I wouldn’t give pirates the satisfaction.
Sure sounds like you’re popular… 😀 *ducks to avoid thrown objects*
Seriously though, and I’m not trying to be antagonistic, I’m intrigued by the sharp contrast between this outlook, and the sort of things people like Cory Doctorow say. (“Piracy isn’t my problem, obscurity is”, etc.) Both views seem so logical… so, how do you figure out how much $ you’re losing via piracy vs how much increased exposure you get? I know that I have spent money I otherwise would not have to buy something from an artist or author whose stuff I happened across for free online. Cory Doctorow, for instance. I downloaded a lot of his free stuff, because “hey, free!” and then turned around and bought one of the things I’d already read, so that I could pass it to someone else to read. That particular book was one I would not likely have bought from the back cover summary, if I hadn’t already read it.
Am I horrible because I read a lot of things I didn’t pay for–either through the library (do you get paid for each time something is checked out? or just when a library buys your book? I have never really thought about how that works), or by borrowing books from friends, or buying second hand? I just cannot afford to actually go buy new all the stuff I want to read.
Same applies to music-I have a lot of stuff that was given me by friends. I suppose technically I’m a pirate, at least judging by some of the suits that have been filed, but frankly, I wasn’t going to go buy those cd’s if I hadn’t been given them. I’d just listen to the radio instead.
No, you’re not horrible because you read a lot of things you didn’t pay for, or listened to a CD someone ripped for you, Jes. People who pirate, though, are taking away so much, and the main thing they take away is choice. It’s my choice to give away work for free. It’s Cory’s choice to do that. He and Neil Gaiman and a few others – who already have a huge audience, mind, and have moved into the realm of “I won’t miss what you take so feel free” – don’t speak for the majority of authors. So many people think because THEY don’t have a problem with it that it isn’t a big problem, and that’s wrong.
Libraries are different and awesome. A library buys a copy of the book and lends it multiple times. Authors only get paid the one time, but the average book can take about 25 lends before it needs to be replaced. Again, it’s just ONE copy. One copy that the author was paid for. Now, if you checked out a book, scanned every page (hi, Harry Potter!) and uploaded it to a pirate site for everyone to download for free, that’s illegal and wrong. That’s theft. Borrowing books from friends? A-okay. Buying second-hand, again, fine. They’re single copies that the author has been paid for. E-piracy hurts.
Here. This is an awesome article I hope you’ll read that answers so many questions. It gives an awesome perspective on how e-piracy hurts. My favorite part is the example of the dollar. http://www.deadlinedames.com/?p=2700
Weirdness–I couldn’t see any of the comments (including my own) on your website for a while. Is there a way to get email notification of replies? (What, I’m not spoiled. No sirree!)
I’ll go read that article (bookmarked it, but lunch break is almost over and I need to get back to work).
Valid point about taking away choice. Should have been obvious, and in retrospect, totally is.
I’m not sure about the comment thing. I’ll look at the options for comments on the blog. It’s WordPress so I’m still getting used to it! I’m glad you looked at the link. So many people (including some authors!) think that e-piracy is actually helpful to authors (“It’s sharing! Just like lending!”) when it so isn’t.
*goes to sort out comment thing* I have it set to where comments have to be approved by me before they can be posted. I get so much spam it’s the only way to do it.
Skyla Dawn Cameron says
First, exactly what Dina says: It’s about choice and consent. That’s the wonderful thing about intellectual property rights: content creators have choices. We all have the same rights and we can choose what to do with the work. Epirates take away our choice, disregard our consent, and violate our rights. Me? I don’t bloody well care what some other author says. I don’t care IF (and I don’t believe it for a second) piracy helps sales. It takes away my choice in the matter. That is not okay. And looking to steal someone’s intellectual property which hasn’t even been created yet is fucking douchey, no question. We got to work writing knowing we might never be paid for the work; that’s a given. Having to open up Word to write when we just had half a dozen people hit our sites looking to steal the very thing we’re working on is draining and painful and feels utterly pointless.
As for libraries, a point that isn’t brought up often is that in Canada and the UK, there are public lending rights. This means that once a year, writers are paid by the gov’t according to how many of their books are in a random sampling of libraries. I don’t have a problem with people reading my work without paying for it. I have a problem with people illegally copying and distributing my work. There is a huge, huge difference.
“As for libraries, a point that isn’t brought up often is that in Canada and the UK, there are public lending rights. This means that once a year, writers are paid by the gov’t according to how many of their books are in a random sampling of libraries.”
That is freaking cool. Though I’m not sure it should be the gov’t that pays it, as opposed to something like an annual fee from the individual library if they checked the book out at some point during the year…
Skyla Dawn Cameron says
Although you already know my opinion on the subject, I’ll say it again: the Green Party adopting those policies for their platform makes me seriously, seriously ill. There are a lot of times I want to quit publishing for good. If copyright was ever “reformed” in such a way that hurt content creators like that, it would be the one way to guarantee I’d close up shop. Just…physically sick at the thought. I’m very much an advocate for more rights for readers, but not when they trump my rights as an intellectual property owner.
Rant on, baby, rant on.
Yay, rantage! I always feel a little better when I rant. And yeah, I’d be right behind you. I won’t write because some asshole feels entitled to be entertained by me.