The long and short of this post will basically be this. Pirating, BAD. Don't do.
If you really want, you can stop reading now. You've gotten the message. It's a simple message, right? Don't illegally steal stuff. Don't bilk the creative people out of the money they're owed. You'd think we'd all understand that by now, wouldn't we?
Alas and alack and awoe, it seems the answer is no. (Rhyming makes my incandescent rage more managable.)
Last night, Twitter exploded when it came to light that Twitter user @tuebl runs and operates a website that offers free downloads of novels without the authors' or the publishers' permissions. Needless to say, the authors were furious, I was furious, bloggers were furious. Crapbucket @tuebl is the scum of the earth and refused to acknowledge he was doing anything incorrect. His logic was asinine and his legal knowledge negligible. No, fool, providing free downloads of books without permission is not legal. You are exploiting a logistic loophole in the system so you can continue this practice. "Because apparently DMCA says it's okay" is not a valid argument.
He called out me and other authors for not understanding the law or how completely in line with it his site was, and followers of his got quite nasty with us, claiming we were "telling people how and where to get their books". Whaaaaaatever.
(Also: duh, of course I'm telling you where to get your books. I'm not infringing on your right as a free citizen of the earth by making you obey the laws of society. This is not Big Brother swooping in and denying you your Right to Bear Books. Just get them from legitimate places. I tell people not to steal, and they act like I kicked a puppy. Yeesh.)
I'm not here to recap the Twitter shitstorm in its entirely. Other estimable bloggers will do a much better job of that (I'll provide links when I find them). No, I'm here to box some soaps. Soap some boxes. Or whatever.
|I find the creepiest gifs.|
Here's the thing: that vomitous sack of feces wouldn't be able to run this (highly illegal, despite his claims to the contrary) site if people didn't want to illegally download books. So please, please, please, DON'T EVER READ OR DOWNLOAD A BOOK FOR FREE. Unless the website is CLEARLY associated with a publisher or is a site like Amazon, the Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, or the like, DO NOT DO IT. Pleeeeeeease.
I don't want to tell you how many times I go on Tumblr, peruse the tag for one of my favorite book series, and see an illegal download link. It crushes my soul, so I can't even imagine how the author feels when they come across that post. Oh wait, I don't have to imagine it. A couple months ago, Susan Dennard, author of Something Strange and Deadly and A Darkness Strange and Lovely, spoke out on Tumblr about people pirating her books. Here are a few choice excerpts from her deliciously sarcastic put-down:
Getting an illegal download of the book is the equivalent of stealing a book off the shelf at a bookstore. You. Are. Stealing.
I know I'm most like preaching to the choir with this, but it's a subject I felt like addressing anyway. Do you like books? Enough that you're willing to break the law to obtain them? Great! You are passionate! Guess what, though? If you do break the law to obtain your books, the sales of your favorite authors suffer, and then guess what? They don't get to write anymore.
Not being able to afford a book is a sucky experience. But you know what? Libraries exist. LEGITIMATE sites like gutenberg.org, which only features books whose copyrights expired long ago exist. Ebooks can be quite cheap. Your friends' book collections are even cheaper. Used bookstores can be cheap. There are chain book lending sites like Book Mooch. Bloggers often have (very generous) giveaways for books and swag. There are other ways to get books. If you have exhausted all those options and still don't have access to the books? Then, I'm sorry, you'll have to wait. You really will. But there are so many other books in the world that you do have access to.
If you have access to a library, but are pirating illegally, you are hurting libraries. Your library will disappear, and then the people who relied on it for books or for livelihood will suffer.
You are NOT supporting publishing and authors and books in general if you download illegally. You are not a great reader. You are not a bibliophile. You are stealing from the dozens of people who have books as their job. I'm not saying you're a bad person, but I want you to know that the books you love will cease to be if/when the illegal impact sales. (DO NOT give me that drivel about "blah blah free copies increase sales blah". NOT YOUR CALL TO MAKE. Let the publishers and marketing department decide if that's true.)
After posting my advance review of Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, I got several messages on Tumblr asking me to post the entire book online because "it would make a lot of people very happy."
You know who wouldn't be happy? Sarah J. Maas. Her agent. Her editor. All the folks at Bloomsbury. Celaena, who'd cut your face and my face and the face of whoever was next to me, just for good measure. And you. Because you stole from your favorite author. You made it less likely that there will be another book.
Here is a really brilliant article that is about the Free Culture movement and illegal downloads of music. Different medium, yes, but similar ideas.
Pirating, BAD. DON'T DO.
|I'm watching you. All of you.|