Plagiarizing reviews, pirating books: a shout out to authors

4 Apr

I was made aware a while back that author Delilah Marvelle had found that someone had plagiarized a number of reviews of her books from an English speaking reviewer.

As I get so little traffic (and have a Creative Commons License posted pretty prominently on the blog), I’ve never been too terribly concerned about plagiarism. Still, I checked–and found that at least two filesharing (aka, pirating) sites seem to have posted some of my my more positive reviews.

I say ‘seem’ because I am not about to register to either of these sites to check–I will say that it’s a pretty safe bet to say that they are using positive reviews to encourage users to download those books. Which pisses me off.

Here’s the thing–I cannot start sending DMCA notices on behalf of the authors, because only the copyright owner can do that.

So far I’m aware of a handful of filesharing sites–which all conveniently ‘blogroll’ each other–that have these reviews and these books up.

Doing a search for a random paragraph from my review of Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels brings back three pirate sites. Two of them, and have DMCA pages. Beware, though, an unrelated site will open in another tab or window in your browser. Their DMCA page basically says that you have to send written notice, prove you own the copyright, and then they’ll take your content down.

And I’m sure they will–for about five minutes.

The third site is even worse–the link says, and apparently links to a comment on the review, but there’s a popup overlaid on it. When you try to x out of the popup, it opens page after page after page of dog knows what. Seriously, if you see any link like that, don’t follow it–who knows what crap is that sending to your computer, or what information it’s getting from it?

I have written about piracy several times before–though not recently, and while I understand that most of the people who seek out ‘free’ copies of books that are for sale, are either people who revel in the act of stealing the content, or readers who would rather pay for the books but, because of stupid geographic restrictions, do not have access to legal copies of the books.

There is really nothing authors can do about the first group–people who like getting away with stealing are not going to stop, no matter how many restrictions (DRM or otherwise) are put in their way.

The second group, however, would much prefer to have access to legal, affordable copies. As a rule, readers want authors to make a living off their work, because we want authors to continue writing the stories that sweep us away, that make us think, that move us.

I know that there are authors, particularly in the self-publishing-savvy community, who are making their work available as widely as possible, and in as many languages as possible; the more authors who push for this in their contracts, the better it is for everyone.

This is not a cure-all for piracy, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

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