So my topic for this first Thursday in June may spark some chit chat. I received this message from one of my groups on Goodreads and I can't stop thinking about it. I don't know what the answers are -- I'm just not that smart -- but I think it's a problem that someone should figure out. An author found her book on a torrent site and is completely horrified. Here is her letter as it was sent to me.
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I wrote The Undead Heart (the first book in The Blood Thirst Series) and a few days ago I found out I was ROBBED! I worked for months writing the book and have gotten some really great reviews but noticed that more people were reading it than copies sold. A friend called and told me to look up The Undead Heart torrent and that I wouldn't believe what I found. She was right, I was shocked! Someone had taken my book and uploaded it on a torrent site to be given away for free! It spread from there to many other torrent sites as well. After some investigation we found that The Undead Heart has been illegally downloaded over 50,000 times. I'm not a rich or famous author. All the money that went into publishing The Undead Heart came out of my pocket and now I have nothing but lose to show for it. It's unfair and unstoppable! As far as profits are concerned it breaks down like this: The Undead Heart e-book is for sale on Kindle and Nook for $6.99 per copy. My royalty is $4.83 per copy sold. If the 50,000 illegal downloads had been legally purchased it would have netted me a profit of $241,500.00. Instead, I got nothing. I can't begin to describe how hurt, angry and disappointed I felt when I discovered this theft. To have someone take a piece of you and just give it away to everyone is incomprehensible! Blood Thirst (the second book in the series)is completed and nearly ready to be released. Because of the theft I actually consider not publishing the last 2 books in the series. My friends said they understand my anger but to not publish the next book would be unfair to the people who did legal purchase The Undead Heart and who were so kind with their comments and reviews. I don't know what to do! I'm sure I will publish Blood Thirst but would love to hear the thoughts and advise from the group! What would you do? Please feel free to repost this wherever you like! Advice and comments can also be sent to email@example.com
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I sincerely feel awful for this author. I have mixed feelings about what happened. I feel that anything that gets put on the internet, is wide open for anyone to steal or to use in any way they want. Is that right? No. But it's the way it is. That's why I hate Facebook. All that information is there for anyone to see. Anyone. Don't tell me about privacy settings. Things are easily hacked into. On the other hand, I see where it's wrong that people do that. There's a morality issue here. On yet another hand, I think that it should be okay for people to lend any of their ebooks out. If I have a hardbound book (or even a much loved paperback) and I'm having you over for coffee and I tell you about this great book and you want to read it, chances are, I'm going to lend it to you. The same should be for ebooks. Now, if I lend that book to a printer and they mass produce it and sell it, then THAT is absolutely wrong. Same with an ebook. If I put it on a torrent site, then that's just theft.
As I said earlier, I'm not smart enough to know the answers, but there are big problems out there. Some people go anal crazy on piracy issues, some are more lax on them. Some are absolutely afraid to talk about any of this and I might stir up some sort of problem by posting this. I keep thinking about it though. Wondering and trying to come up with some sort of solution. What about you? What are your thoughts on this issue?
for Book Lover's Hideaway