Saturday, December 16, 2017

Anne's Wandering Mind

Sometimes you just gotta vent. Or wax philosophical. Or just ramble on...

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I've been robbed!

Posted by on in Time to Vent
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I just found three of my books being shared online. One of them, a relatively new release, has more downloads than my royalty statements say I've sold. So, right now, I'm really bummed.

Am I being selfish? Why shouldn't someone who has purchased a book be able to share it? After all, if I buy a paperback book, I can share that with my friends, or even sell it.

Well, I'm going to tell you why not. You buy one copy of a paperback book, you have one copy. You can only share one copy. You can only sell one copy. An eBook is not a paper book. Only one copy of an eBook may exist on your computer or reading device, but you can take that one copy and send it to 100 friends. You have just made 100 copies of that book.

One hundred illegal copies. Illegal copies that neither I nor my publisher are receiving anything for.

Am I being selfish? No. I write because I love to write, but if all the hours of research, plotting, character creation, world-building, writing the book, editing, finding a publisher, another round of editing, keeping my website updated... you get the idea. If all that means that somebody will decide that they have a right to deprive me of a fair return on my work, then why should I do it anymore?

Many small and independent press publishers do not use digital rights management control on their eBooks. This means more convenience for the shopper. You can buy your books and put then on any device you have. This also means our books are easy to steal.

Yeah, I said steal. If you buy a book from a bookstore or publisher and upload it to Scribd or some other sharing site, you have committed a copyright violation. You have deprived us authors and our publishers of the fair return for all our work. You have stolen from us.

By the way, Scribd's terms of service do not allow uploading copyrighted material. If you look in the front of the book, you'll see the copyright information. If it's copyrighted, you are not allowed to upload it or otherwise share it. You own a license to read that digital media. You do not own the book.

I'm sure most people don't even think about what they're doing. Maybe they enjoyed the book so much they want everybody to know about it.

Please resist the temptation. I write better when I'm not bummed.

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Anne Manning had to have been a Texan in a previous life. This time around, she got to the Lone Star State as fast as she could. When she's not writing, she raises herbs and trolls the Food Network for new and exciting recipes to use them. Her latest passion is learning about website design and adding fresh, interesting content to her website. Her muse, Calliope is contributing her own column to that effort.


  • Guest
    Lissa Bryan Wednesday, 13 February 2013

    I'm sorry that happened to you. I just found one of my novels on a file-sharing site this week. I'm trying to see a silver lining; more people will be exposed to my work, but yeah, it bothers me.

    It's kind of ironic, because I spent the week trying to get plagiarized copies of other authors' stories removed from an online fiction site, where they had been posted as someone else's work.

    The internet may have opened amazing opportunities for authors, but it also made us more vulnerable to theft.

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Guest Saturday, 16 December 2017