Archive for the copyright Category

Rant on Nuts in Writing Forums

Posted in book piracy, copyright, copyright infringement, crazy people, criminals, misogyny, popular culture, sexism, society, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by The Solution
Nuts

Nuts: What you will often find in online forums

Forum culture is not what it used to be.  It’s very different from the way it was back in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, it was a lot more anonymous and a lot more civilized.

It seems like less anonymity would make people behave better, knowing that literally anyone could see their information – their faces even sometimes – and attach it to their behavior. But, it seems like since the days of MySpace (when people were first asked all kinds of invasive personal questions to join a social web site) things have gotten a lot worse online, in general, and in forums, in particular.

Now, you might think that a forum dedicated to the subject of something like writing and publishing would be pretty civilized. You’d expect that authors would not want to put their bad, abusive, nutty behavior on display right next to their names, images of their books with links to sales pages, links to their web sites and sometimes even their faces.  But, if you ever venture into the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards (formerly called Kindleboards), a site devoted mainly to the Kindle, but with a section for writers called “Writer’s Cafe,” you might be surprised at what goes on.

It is a  haven for nuts!

Every so often they have threads of interests to writers and self-publishers. But, many posters there complain that they are attacked when they post about certain subjects like traditional publishing or copyright infringement. New posters are often treated with less respect than established members of what they call their “community.”   Consequently, many new members come and if they are mistreated, they quickly leave and do not come back.

If you enjoy lots of drama and watching people make fools of themselves, Writer’s Cafe at Kboards is the place. Here is an example of how the moderators there run the show: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,145383.0.html#.UUpN2ze8gsI

Other forums for writers and publishers, which may be more beneficial depending on your needs:

Absolute Write Water Cooler  (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/) This forum is very diverse. When you post here, pay special attention to the different sub-division of forums and keep the discussion within that range of subjects. For instance, do not praise the virtues of independent publishing in the sections devoted to traditional publishing.

WritersCafe.org (www.writerscafe.org) This is not the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe! This site is very good for fiction writers who want to discuss the art of writing, itself.

KDP Community Support (https://kdp.amazon.com/community/forumindex.jspa) For those who publish on the Kindle Digital Platform, through your dashboard, you have access to the KDP community. This is a very helpful group, especially when you’re just beginning or if you have any kind of technical or account-related questions.

Another forum is WattPad’s Industry Insider Forum for Writers: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/categories/32-club

All forums have nuts. Not all forums are as nutty as others. Some are more serious-minded and are the best places to post about a particular subject. The above four have been most beneficial to me, personally.

Some nuts are harmless, but some can be dangerous. Even though you may feel safe at home behind your keyboard, forums can present a danger.

Therefore, when you use forums, remain anonymous. If you are an author, don’t give details about your business, your location or your books. For example, don’t use your real name, don’t post pictures of yourself or your children, don’t post pictures of your books with links (like you are encouraged to do at Kboards). Many people have learned the dangers of nuts in forums the hard way. They’ve been stalked, their sales pages have been trolled and they’ve had a lot of other problems. Simply being there with a picture of yourself (especially if you area woman), could cause you a problem. You can suddenly begin having problems with someone because you posted about something someone else doesn’t like – narcissists see themselves in everything you say and may take offense to something not directed anywhere near them. Then, they may stalk you. If you do not have any personal information about yourself anywhere, they will be limited to stalking you at that forum.

Keep in mind that some moderators are nuts, too. And,  you never really know who they are. For example, the moderators at the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe are all volunteers. They’re nobody special and they likely have no special qualifications to be volunteer moderators. Moderators set the tone of a forum, just like managers set the tone at a business. If you have nutty, narcissistic moderators, you may, also, find a collection of nutty, narcissistic posters.

If you happen to go to a forum where the moderators are unstable and you sign up using your e-mail address, they may be able to see that information, even if you make it private. If you send private emails to other posters, they can see those. If a forum moderator (at any forum) turns out to be unstable, they have information with which they can stalk you. When you sign up for your forum accounts, do not use your main email account. You can get temporary email accounts at www.hush.com, which will usually work just fine. Again, don’t sign up for an account that contains your name or anything that would help them identify you. Protect yourself.

If you look at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe forum link above (it’s a big kerfuffle involving a litany of complaints by posters about behaviors on the forum, including some very disturbing ones), you can see why you might not want to disclose your gender or sexual orientation, especially if it is different from either straight or male. That particular forum has a history of allowing men with sexually aberrant behaviors to remain on the site, despite complaints. This is just an example, of course, these people could be at any forum and you will be safer if you do not disclose gender or sexual orientation at any of them.

In fact, there’s really no need for them to know anything about you, ie. marital status, creed, race, nationality, religion, lack thereof, etc.

The best thing to do when you go to a forum is ask your question. Thank people if they give you good advice and get out. Avoid the places that are high drama.  Most of the people who get involved in the high drama are not going to help you with your writing or publishing efforts. If you find yourself having to “ignore” a lot of posters who are harassing you, be advised that just ignoring some people (for example, narcissists) only makes them more aggressive.  So, the “ignore them” advice that you’ll inevitably get if you should have a problem with a nut in a forum doesn’t work.  It may work in the short-term, but it won’t’ work for long.

Look for the forums that seem to have the most successful people and give you the most benefit.

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Rant on E-book Piracy, Sociopaths and Rampant Criminality

Posted in authors behaving badly, badly behaving authors, book piracy, copyright, copyright infringement, crazy people, criminals, popular culture, society, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2013 by The Solution
demon02last33

May book thieves be cursed to a swift and violent death and condemned to hell!

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.

Jheronimus_Bosch_Hell_(detail)

Devils are friends of mine.

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.

swartz-hides-face

Aaron Swartz hides his face with his bike helmet in this image from http://www.thesmokinggun.com/ while burglarizing MIT. This is the hero of the free information movement and the online pirates

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/