11 April 2008

e-Books and Pirates

For months, people have asked me when I'm going to break down and put up a petition about dealing with pirates. Looks like I finally did.

Fact- The FBI, by their own account, are charged with investigating and shutting down cases of piracy involving copyright infringement (the illegal copying and distribution of works, in their entirety, on grand scales). The FBI does so, if it's digital media like films and music. But, they don't do the same for books, whether they are e-books pirated as e-books or print books converted and pirated as e-books.

Fact- In addition to breaking copyright laws (which a pirate recently told an author friend of mine are "useless"), these pirates are often breaking the Millennium Act, as well. No matter what justification they make for it, they are breaking laws. I've even seen a recent "sharer" claim that the laws don't take right and wrong into account and so should be disregarded. No matter what they say, no one is getting rich in this business...at least not in indie/e...save, perhaps, Ellora's Cave. Still, that doesn't excuse pirating anyone's work, even EC's.

Fact- The FBI talks a good game. They have a blanket warning to put in the front of e-books, talking about the penalties. They've given permission for authors and publishers to use this warning, as long as we don't use the FBI seal with it. That's not enough. Where are they, when the chips are down? Certainly not helping the industry enforce those warnings.

Fact- The FBI has been provided with information about the e-publishing industry, our use or not of DRM, our warnings in books, the methods of pirates to pass both e-books and print books in e-formats...and information on several major and longstanding offenders. To date, there has been no movement on this by the FBI. Why?

Postulation- They don't realize that anyone cares, except a few vocal individuals. So, this is our chance to prove we do.


Let's make a wave. Invite anyone willing to sign...authors, publishers, editors, cover artists...indie/e and NY...interested readers. I mean this. Blanket permission to pass this call is encouraged. If you're in this industry, you have an interest in protecting it. Let's make them take notice.


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