Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"I'm Mad As Hell..."

I have Google alerts set up to bring me information about all of my pseudonyms. You never know when some website will review one of your books. It’s nice to hear about it.

But yesterday, my good friend Google returned to me a link to a website that I found disturbing.

In 2007, I published five e-books under the name Delia Carnell. Three of them were with Loose-Id and two with Cerridwen Press. When I followed the Google link, I came to a website that offered all three of my Loose-Id titles for download. Free.

I don’t know when I’ve ever been so angry.

During the seven years that my mother and I lived together, we routinely swapped books back and forth. I have no problem with that scenario. I wouldn’t expect two people living in the same household to purchase two separate copies of a book. In addition, it’s good for the book industry and writers alike for families to read together, to enjoy books, to talk about what they’ve read.

I have serious objections, however, to some unknown entity putting my work up on a website for the whole world to access. I wrote that book. I struggled with each sentence, each word choice, each plot twist to make it my very best. I did the research, the promotion, the advertising copy. I own the rights to those works.

And just like the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, I want to be paid for my work. I should be paid for my work.

What this website is doing is theft. It is piracy. It is AGAINST THE LAW.

It’s time for the publishing industry to take a stand just like the music industry did against illegal downloads and file-swapping. And I’m sure they will. I don’t expect this particular website to last very long. In addition to my three little works, yesterday they also made available four books by Nicholas Sparks. No doubt he and his publisher have much bigger lawyers than I could ever muster.

Poking around a bit on the website (whose name I will not reveal; they don’t deserve the publicity), I found the place to state my objections to my work being offered on their site. I followed the instructions, filled in the form, stated my case. I received this in response:

“Thank you. Abuse report was submited.”

They don’t even have a flippin ‘ spellchecker?

It doesn’t matter. The fact remains that the illegal download of ANY copyrighted material is wrong. It is theft. Don’t do it. And if you see it, please report it.

Thank you.