It was brought to my attention last night that my short story, ‘Watcher’, (available here on Amazon Kindle – never miss an opportunity to promote…) is available for illegal download on a file sharing site.
Now, piracy is bad, it deprives people of what they’re legitimately due for their work, and so on and so forth… There’s two ways of reacting to your work being available on sites like these. The first is to get mad, run around like a headless chicken. Wave your hands in the air and wail about the injustice of it all.
The second is to smile wryly and accept it for what it is. Yes it’s wrong, yes it’s annoying. But also, think of all that free advertising! Let’s be honest here – the sort of person who is going to trawl file sharing sites just to save themselves a few pence by illegally downloading a book, well, they’re not the sort of person who would have legally bought it in the first place. So, there really isn’t a lost sale in the equation.
There is a sale gained out if it though – somebody had to buy the said book in order to get a copy of the file – score 1 to the author. And then, say somebody does actually download a copy – maybe they’ll really enjoy the story. Maybe they’ll mention it to a friend. Maybe that friend will search out the book, and buy a legal copy. Score 2 to the author.
And on top of that – advertising. FREE advertising! That’s priceless. And if somebody completely unknown to you, the author, mentions your name or one of your books to another completely unknown person – well, that’s priceless too.
So score 3 and 4 to the author.
All in all, piracy is bad, yes. But there are also a lot of positives to be gleaned from it, and positives are way better than negatives.
That being said, they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it scot free. So if you do find any of your work on one of these parasitic sites, find an email address and let them know you’re less than happy, and there will be consequences.
This was my response…
Hi. It’s been brought to my attention that you’re sharing a file of one of my short stories, called ‘Watcher’. If you need to search for it, be aware that you’ve spelt my surname incorrectly, with only one ‘s’ instead of two. As I’m sure you’re aware, published works are copyrighted, and as such any sharing of the said work, without the express permission of the author, in writing, is breaking all sorts of laws in various countries. You’ll also be aware it’s in your best interests to not fall foul of these laws.
So, please remove the file of my story ‘Watcher’ from your servers with immediate effect. As it’s Friday night (3rd October 2014), and my lawyer isn’t back in his office until Monday morning, that should give you ample time. Please email me as soon as you have complied, so that I won’t have to bother him about you.
Thank you for your time.
Alen B Curtiss
Quite restrained, I thought. There’s no point ranting and raving.
Well, I’ve had my say.