Authors should be more concerned about obscurity than piracy. This is the conventional wisdom. However, piracy does happen. When it happens to you, do you know what to do about it?
Not too long ago, I received a Google Alert that my books had recently been listed on some websites I had never heard of; so I checked it out. It turns out that the websites were pirate sites that allow free PDF downloads of books.
Lo and behold, my books had been pirated. They were being offered for anyone to download free-of-charge on these sites.
Fortunately, I knew what to do and flew into action. I immediately sent each site a DMCA Takedown Notice. Both sites responded—surprisingly—quickly to my notices and reported that they had removed the books.
Do you know what to do if your books are pirated? Here are my suggestions.
1. Sign up for alerts.
To stay on top of where you and your books are appearing on the world wide web, you should subscribe to an alert service. Alert services include:
These services search the Internet for the words you give them and let you know where these words are showing up online. These sites will send you an email notifying you each time a new listing is found.
If you use your name or the title of your book, the alert service will send you a notice when it finds a new listing of the phrase on the web. These alerts allow you to know who is talking about you and your books, and they allow you to monitor if your books are being pirated.
2. Send a DMCA Takedown Notice.
If you find a site that is listing your books as a free ebook download, you need to take immediate action. The best thing to do is to send a DMCA Takedown Notice to the site administrators. DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
To make it easy for small publishers and independent authors, Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) offers a free downloadable Reference Guide on DMCA Takedown Notices to our Members. This Reference Guide includes a DMCA Takedown Notice template to follow when sending such notices.
If you write and publish Christian books, you can join Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) for just $90 for the calendar year. Then you will have access to this Reference Guide and the many other supports and guides that the organization offers its Members.
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