Rant on E-book Piracy, Sociopaths and Rampant Criminality
Until book piracy happens to you, it is a hypothetical thing.
Crime is crime and theft of property is a serious one. People who steal usually have no compunction about committing violent crimes. It’s sometimes a progression of criminal activity that begins with swiping things that don’t belong to them that leads to such a progression. Some people – in fact, apparently a very large percentage of people – are soulless sociopaths and psychopaths who are incapable of empathizing with their victims.
Like other criminals, pirates have a thousand ways to justify their crimes to themselves and others. One of the lies they tell is that piracy doesn’t affect sales. They even have false surveys that they share online at left-wing sites like Huffington Post to try to convince others that stealing books online is a victimless crime that doesn’t cost. Some of these criminals even go so far as trying to make the case that stealing from writers and publishers helps them.
These ideas would be laughable except that they are so widespread among these online criminals as to be considered normal and acceptable.
Online piracy is organized crime and there is no justification for participating it. Like the sites that resell other people’s books as if they are their own, the P2P (peer to peer) sharing and torrent sites profit from a form the theft of intellectual property. “Sharing” is a euphemism for counterfeiting. And, there are many other euphemisms for this kind of cybercrime.
The unethical people who participate in this crime might be the same people who break into your house or rob banks, but they commit their crimes online mainly because they think there is less likelihood of getting caught and there is definitely considerably less likelihood of being physically injured or killed during the commission of their crimes.
They are extremely well organized. Not only are their actual criminal enterprises, which are criminal conspiracies, well organized, but their not-for-profit supporters are well-organized, as well. They have important sounding names and often disguise themselves as academics who support the freedom of information. But, these organizations and their criminally-minded members don’t just want free information exchange within the boundaries of the law, they want to freely exchange what is the property of other people.
This philosophy was embodied in the person and philosophy of Aaron Swartz, the man who broke into MIT and downloaded millions of files off the JSTOR servers. A Marxist cult of personality has been constructed around this man, who must have been completely insane, before his apparent suicide. You can read Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” at the following link: http://archive.org/details/GuerillaOpenAccessManifesto – if you are familiar with Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto,” you will, no doubt, recognize the same ideology in Swartz’s manifesto. It’s almost like a missing page from the original 19th century document, especially written for the 21st century. It’s as if he was channeling Marx, a man who had no respect for other people’s property or persons to the greatest extreme.
You can read about the 13 charges against Swartz, which were dropped after his death, at the Smoking Gun web site: Caught Red-Handed, Aaron Swartz Was Prepping For Key Federal Court Evidence Hearing. This is the story the mainstream news and the pirates won’t tell you about Swartz’s crimes.
If you see a site that purports to be a place for writers, like Writer’s Cafe Kboards (formerly Kindleboards) look to see if pro-piracy discussions are tolerated. If they are, move on. If you do post, be entirely anonymous. Never reference yourself or your work or give any small details a prospective stalker could use to target you. This has happened to other people. And, it has happened to authors who asked pirates to stop stealing their work. These are hardcore criminals and their supporters are criminals, as well – you never know who you’re interacting with online.
If you have questions about piracy and dealing with it go to sites with professional authors – not just “authors” who sell a couple of 99 cent books at Amazon – but professional authors who earn a living from their work. These are the people who will be most likely to support you in your efforts to protect your own work and your income.
One place to seek help online is from the Authors Against E-book Theft YahooGroup.
The above is a closed group and this is so for a reason. Authors, artists and others who try to protect their work are frequently subjected to abuses. This is something you should be aware of if you become a victim. Look for support carefully – again, not from just writers (because some amateur writers are so desperate to have their work read that they support thievery), but from professional writers.
Also, don’t be afraid to call a local copyright attorney if you have a case. Get screen shots of the violations before you send the DMCA takedown notice. There are numerous sites where you can find the template for this notice, this is only one such site: http://www.savingforsomeday.com/how-to-file-a-dmca-takedown-notice/
This entry was posted on March 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm and is filed under authors behaving badly, badly behaving authors, book piracy, copyright, copyright infringement, crazy people, criminals, popular culture, society, trolls, writing with tags Aaron Swartz, books, copyright, copyright infringement, ebooks, kboards, kindleboards, piracy, theft, thieves, writers cafe, writers cafe kboards. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.