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exploding skull 14080484_sThis is not one of those cute, cartoony pirate kind of things; I’m going to talk about probably the most infuriating kind of pirate of all — a pirate who steals via computer.

Earlier this month, I fired up a free MUSO account. They’re an online anti-piracy group that does automatic, targeted takedown notices for you, if you buy a subscription. My free account is for 14 days, and includes up to 5 takedown notices (and persistent takedown notices until the book is removed from circulation on that site). They didn’t even ask for a credit card to sign up. They’re that confident. And they have a right to be. MUSO found 192 instances of piracy of my books in their first search. These are all pirates, not legitimate sites that got mistakenly tagged. One hundred and ninety-two! My puny 5 takedown notices mean nothing.

[Note: since the date I wrote this post, I opened a paid Muso account, and Muso found — are you ready for this? — over 1800 pirate sites either selling or giving away my books (mostly giving away). I’ve set them the challenge of eliminating those links.]

It frustrates and angers me that all these people are downloading and reselling my books, or giving them away for free. On Eddie, My Love alone there were 87 people giving it away for free on torrent sites. That was within 5 days of its release. I figure, if even a fraction of those books were sales, it would pay for a MUSO subscription (approx. $20 for 50 takedowns is the least expensive account).

I don’t mean to be an ad, what I mean to share is a rant. If you are a reader, never, ever download from a site that is questionable. If they’re selling the book for less than Amazon or the publisher, they are doing it illegally. Not only do you do a huge disservice to the author who gets zero for this sale (and who might just quit out of frustration–believe me, sometimes it’s tempting), but you are also opening up yourself to viruses, trojans, credit card fraud, identity theft, and a host of other nasty results. Don’t do it.

So today is P for Pirates. May all their heads explode.

Questions on this blog topic… Authors: Are you fighting piracy of your books? How? Readers: Did you realize there were so many active book pirates out there? What do you think a reader can do to help authors combat this thievery?

Remember: One person who answers each day’s question in a comment for that day’s post will win a $26 Blushing Books gift certificate. You have to comment on all 26 posts to be eligible to win, but I’ve asked easy questions at the end of each short post, so it shouldn’t be onerous. If you’ve missed the previous posts, do a search on “Alphabet Challenge” in the search box at the bottom right of the site. All the posts will be listed for you and you can go back and participate.

PS: I realize this is out of sequence, but for some reason, my blog platform didn’t release it on time. It says, “missed schedule,” which it’s never done before. Of course, this had to happen when I was on vacation and less attentive. Grr. Anyway, things should progress more smoothly from this point onward.

For your hopping convenience:

6 Comments

  1. It saddens me greatly to hear of all these books being “stolen” because that is what piracy is! Stealing from one person for another’s personal gain. It is wrong. :O

    Now if you want to read about a hot sexy pirate, that is wonderful. Like CHARLOTTE & THE PIRATE (ROMATEK) which was a great story, with mystery, a great cast of characters and spanking! 😀

  2. I only heard about book pirating recently and I haven’t even looked to see if my book was on any or not

  3. I had no idea there were that many pirate sites out there. I think because it never occurred to me to do anything less than pay for the books I want to read and to not give them away after I’ve read them. If you don’t look for it, you don’t find it I guess. I hate that authors have to deal with this kind of crap.
    The other pirate that I hate the authors have to face and as a reader you can’t avoid is publishers who take money for the work of authors and then don’t pay them what they are owed. As a reader you have done the right thing and bought a legitimate copy of the ebook you want to read and the author is still robbed.

  4. Wow! I didn’t realize it was so rampant. I buy from multiple sources, but they are all reputable sites.

  5. I didn’t realize that books were being pirated. I only buy books from amazon, blushing books, or Barns and Noble. Making readers aware is one step towards stopping the thief. I would hate losing authors because of this practice. I guess that it’s no comfort to know that you are a valuable author for pirates to steal your material.

  6. Muso has been worth the money. I posted the cover to an upcoming story and MUSO found a URL created to be ready to pirate it the second it comes out. I’ve since changed the title of the book and don’t mention the name of a book until it’s released now. I now say it’s the follow up to… or the genre. So sad.

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