Here's something to think about. A couple of days ago a colleague of a relative offered a DVD containing what he claimed were approx. 24,000 Kindle titles. My relative refused, pointing out that most authors expected payment for their work, just like any other artist.
I have only three short children's titles on Kindle, but many of you have far more tiltles available. How safe doe we believe our work is from being copied, shared (except of course via Amazon's programme) and generally pirated? I signed up to Kindle feeling confident they had their software sorted so as to avoid the enormous problems faced by the music industry in the last decade. Any thoughts?
"Safety" (from pirates and plagiarists) is a relative term. Even back in the typewriter days, someone could prop up a printed book next to his machine and type it in, give it a new title and try to market it under his own name.
Anything on the web is of course even easier to access and copy. There are multiple sites that offer thousands of books for download via bit-torrent. And, as you've discovered, some people are putting these books on DVDs and trying to sell them on the black market. If it's any consolation, they aren't going to make a lot of money, and the number of people who decide not to buy your legitimate Kindle book because they already have it on a pirate DVD is miniscule.
Digital rights management keeps the amateurs from copying your book but not the pros. The main thing we have going for us is that most people are honest and don't want something that's clearly pirated.
Yeah I'm thinking of revising my earlier statement, I must have sent out half a dozen DMCA notices today for my new book, and it's only been out a week!
So here's my revised answer:
Your book is perfectly safe...until it starts doing well. Then you're going to find pirated copies of it everywhere. My fantasy books have never (to my knowledge) been pirated. A collection of short stories I wrote that hit the bestseller list briefly on Amazon and elsewhere has been pirated a couple of times. I got the illegal copies removed within days. My latest baby is doing really rather well (I am equal parts thrilled and astonished) and it's cropping up on torrent sites all over the web.
How much of a big deal that is is another question altogether. Piracy will always be a problem to some extent. You have to fight it when you find it, but don't lose sleep over it. In all probability the people pirating your book would never have paid for it anyway. Consider it like a free promo, just make sure to cap it as soon as you can. Yes, right now people are torrenting my new book. But others are still buying it legitimately from Amazon and elsewhere. And karma will get the pirates in the end...I'm praying they all download a virus that destroys their computers
Consider it free advertising. The number of people who will buy pirated works are small. Why would they? The original from Amazon is probably very inexpensive. The only way anyone is going to buy a CD like you cite is if it's filled with big-name authors.
If your work ends up on a pirate site, those who like it will go looking for more.
Not safe at all....I found several of my titles in many pirate sites giving them away for free.
I've come to the conclusion internet can never be pirate free...there'll always be such sites unless authorities ban them altogether.
Anyone who is determined can do anything they want. So, no, it isn't foolproof. Even a paper book can be photocopied or scanned (and have been). That's just life.
But, the odds of your book being pirated in any significant amount is pretty small. Yes, a few people may pass your book around electronically, but most of the copies will come through your sales channels.
On the street I knew a guy who would buy crack with fake twenty's. I remember when Bill Clinton wrote a book. They said bootleg copies were on sale in china before Barnes and Noble got their copies. I wouldn't worry about it, if amazon and B&N aren't worried about it.
Besides, how many people do you think have downloaded bootleg copies of your book? Maybe 5.
I've found mine on file-downloading sites. C&D'd them., but I'm sure there are some I haven't found. (And people wonder why I don't froth at the mouth about anti-piracy laws like some of my friends--no, I'm NOT going to steal movie/TV show/album just because I want it now now now whine, I don't like it when people steal my intellectual property, either.)
That can get you killed unless you are up front about it. If you are getting a twenty dollar rock and tell the dude you will give him 3 really good fake twentys that's cool. But to stiff a dealer is a big NO NO. Word gets out fast. Someone always knows where to find you.
Thanks for that - I'm certainly not at the stage where I seriously expect anyone to think it worth trying to pirate my work!
Does anyone know how difficult / hard Amazon make it for someone to copy / share our Kindle books? (By that I mean illegally, not as part of the Amazon share programme). Of course we all need to be vigilant, but hopefully our books are reasonably difficult to pirate.
you can add DRM to the file, but honestly any pirate worth their salt can break it in about thirty seconds. Hell, I can probably break it, and I'm no techno-wizz. General consensus is that DRM is no deterrant and just annoys the honest people who have bought the book and want to read it on their ipad instead of their kindle or whatever. I'm sure a percentage of the sale&returns the bigger selling books see is someone downloading it to copy the file and share it (people are always loath to share with the masses something they've paid money for themself...).
As the publisher, it is [i]our[/i] responsibility to protect our work. Amazon has no obligation to do so, and you wouldn't get far trying to penalise them if an Amazon copy of your book did turn up on a torrent site somewhere.
As I said before, it's irritating, we have to be vigilant, but it's not worth losing sleep over.