I’m on a lot of author loops and there has been much discussion about copyright laws and piracy. So today’s blog is about this serious topic.
My comment is a question to you as regards copyright and whether places like Google Books should be allowed to post my entire book for anyone to read for free. Why should the books I produce be given away free unless I want them to be free? I work hard on my stories. They are a commodity like anything else manufactured. Sears does not give away their tools for free. Starbucks doesn’t give away their coffee for free, so why should the right to sell my work be given to someone else so they can give it away for free? I work hard on each story. They take years of my life. And Google and other pirates want to just give that away? So… if I want to advertise on Google, will they give me that for free? Yeah, I didn’t think so. These pirates are taking money out of my pocket the same as any thief stealing from a store. They think they have a right to my work – to give it away. But why? Why do they have the right to give away what I produced? It is *my* work – not theirs. I make almost no money off my work as it is, and giving away copies takes money away from me.
To illustrate this a little better, let me use an example. One of my friends recently self-published a book. It’s a really good action-adventure romance story and the second in a series. She has been following sales and checking “free” sites frequently. So far… she’s had three sales – all of them to friends of hers (yes, I was one), and over 2000 free downloads from various sites. Two thousand! That’s two thousand sales she is out of.
And yes, back years ago, when the internet was new, things like free downloads didn’t garner much attention because people didn’t know about copyright laws back then. But we do now. It’s common knowledge that, unless the person who made the product agrees that it can be free, they should be paid for it. Pirate sites who blatantly ignore copyright laws and ethics should not be allowed to continue with their thievery.
On occasion, sellers and authors do offer their works for free. That’s fine. That’s legitimate. But be sure the site you’re getting it from is a legitimate site and not a pirate.
Please think, the next time you go to download something. Is it free because the seller and author offered it for free? Or is it free because the site owner grabbed a copy and doesn’t want to pay for the work?
Thanks – I’ll get off my soapbox now.
2000 downloads, 2000 people reading her work, and not a penny earned. That seems grossly unfair. It’s one thing if you put work out for free as a publicity stunt, or out of the goodness of your heart… I hope she got some good reviews after all of those downloads.