Well, I haven’t ranted for a while, but this is going to a be a fun one!
I recently popped in on my most unloved writer’s forum, which is just a honey pot for professional writers who step in there once in a while thinking its a real writer’s forum only to discover that it’s mostly a bunch of amateur on-line marketers trying to figure out how to game the ebook self-publishing system.
Most of the time, this little corner of Kboards called Writer’s Cafe is just a bunch of narcissistic blowhards tooting their own horns. Many times, I’ve had the impression someone there was successful only to run across a thread where they admit to selling 20 books a month. Or I catch them making statements about publishing that are simply incorrect, but apparently nobody there has the experience to know this, so they just keep repeating it to every new person there who comes into the forum and asks a question.
Well, in the past day or so, the honey pot attracted an interesting guest in the form of a successful writer, complaining about one of the forums bugaboo topics: Piracy.
He mentioned multiple problems revolving around piracy, including the problem of serial returners of ebooks at Amazon.com, which is an ongoing problem. I ranted about this before at Rant on Serial Ebook Returners at Amazon.
He talked about the substantial portion of his income lost to online thieves and mentioned the over-sharing of accounts, something I’d never heard of because I don’t have a digital book reader and I have no plans of ever getting one.
Now, the thread is in a downward spiral of denial that the forum is supportive of piracy. In my observation, the majority of alleged professional writers in the Writer’s Cafe are, in fact, very supportive of piracy. They post celebratory threads when they discover one of their books has been pirated because apparently this is the only way most of them can get anyone to actually read their work. And, many of them are poseurs who are extremely desperate to have their work read by someone other than a personal friend or family member.
I’m amazed at the number of people, including a moderator there, who claim to know pirates. Here’s my advice to anyone who knows a thief: Get far away from such a person for your own safety.
I used to know a person who pirated material from the internet and anything else he could get his hands on. He turned out to be a not only a cyber-criminal, but a common, ordinary IRL thief, as well, and – surprise, surprise – a rapist.
The fact is this: Immoral people who steal books or other materials online don’t usually confine their crimes to one type or simply to the internet.
I’m amazed at how common this self-entitlement to other people’s property (their minds, their bodies, etc.) is, but if you followed my last post, you see that false-self entitlement is pretty much the legacy of W. Europe and Britain. So, here we are.
Stealing is immoral. There is simply no two ways about it. Yet, I’ve read and heard just about every justification for this crime imaginable. And, I have personally suffered some unpleasant consequences because of pirates, including a substantial loss of my income.
We need tougher laws against crime, in general, and we need to have a way of dealing with world-wide crime on the world-wide web. Government isn’t supposed to interfere with people’s lives, but they are supposed to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility. I’d like to see some of that justice and peace in the form of putting criminals (like internet pirates) on trial and putting them away for a very long time.
Meanwhile, if you a writer who doesn’t enjoy being robbed, you might want to stay out of the Writer’s Cafe at Kindleboards because if you mention anything about it there, you’ll get stung. That’s because most of them are not professionals and quite a few of them in the past didn’t mind admitting their lack of scruples.
What’s hilarious is that just a few days ago they had a self-congratulatory thread regarding how much better they are than the people at another forum. Some of the people there don’t seem to realize that anyone can read the comments there – it’s not an exclusive club – and no one who reads there could arrive at the conclusion that the posters there are superior to anyone – at least, not in morals, talent or intelligence!
See some of my older rants related to this subject: