Anyone that knows me knows that I put out a ton of free reads. On the heels of putting out a new one just the other day ("Homecoming" from the Xxan series), I made a discovery that horrifies me.
A site that allows authors to load their own work to sell is being used by pirates. No, that's not the horrifying part. It ranks somewhere down around the urge to beat my head off the desk and the urge to laugh at how persistent these buggers are. Not even the fact that the pirate in question is selling a free read is horrifying. It makes me mad as hell that the pirate is cheating people that should be getting the book for free by selling it, but it's not horrifying. I've seen it before.
So what horrifies me? The pirate has taken a read that is erotic romance and listed it with no warning on content...for sale. Now, it has always bothered me that pirates giving it away might not have the content cautions listed, and kids might get them that way. I don't feel personally responsible for it, since the ratings and cautions are in place on legitimate distribution channels. I am being responsible.
But I want to know what's going to happen if said pirate illegally sells that work to a minor. Will the federal government step in and charge the creep for provinding adult content books to minors illegally? Sadly, the answer is probably 'no.' That bothers me. It bothers me that the pirate isn't even responsible enough to make sure kids don't purchase the work. It bothers me that the distribution site has made NO move to remove the work, knowing that's it's not only illegal from a copyright standpoint but also from the standpoint of contributing to the delinquency of minors, knowing that they are as culpable for that crime as the uploader is, if that work sells to a child. And it bothers me that there is no clear way to report this and expect any action on it.
Do me a favor. Put my mind at ease...I beg of you. If you want free reads from me, please get them from Smashwords or ARe/OmniLit...or my home site instead of from pirates. I give them away. Honest. I want you to have them, but don't encourage pirates to continue offering them with no warning at all as to the content.