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Agony Aunt > Pirated books being sold online

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message 1: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Appleby-Dean (benjaminappleby-dean) Hello, all. This is more of a PSA than anything.

I discovered this week that copies of both my novels were being sold through - a site I've certainly never heard of or dealt with. They took all copies down as soon as I sent them DMCA notices, but I've read elsewhere online that the site is notorious for people selling pirated books through it, and thought our other author members might want to check none of their own work has wound up on there?

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim | 22037 comments There was a site, Blasty, that claimed it would find them for you.
Then if you paid for the premium service it would zap them for you and make them take the books down.

So I thought I'd give the free service a try and it turned up scores and scores of sites
It turned up far more sites claiming to sell one title than I'd ever sold of that title. Seriously with one title at the time about a dozen people had bought it and there were over a score of sites 'selling it'
So either they were sharing the copy between them so they could all have it, or they were basically hackers just using it to tempt people to download stuff onto their machine.
Or somebody was ramping up the numbers to make it look like their premium service was worth having

I haven't a clue which is true but at this point I shrugged and walked away, unsubscribing to Blasty as I did so.

message 3: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25094 comments I take no notice of these things. I've deliberately not looked. The only one I did look into, because someone told me about it, set my malware alerts off like a fire alarm. As far as I can see, people grabbing freebies would never have bought them, so I'm not losing income, and they deserve all the malware and viruses they get.

message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1729 comments I've taken the same view as you, Kath. Though I am forever grateful to those who take the trouble to blast such sites. I've heard that they often exist just to pass viruses around.

What has surprised me is that I have seen posts on GR asking for links to these free sites and the people didn't seem to have a clue that they were thieving. GR must have taken a stand on it because I haven't seen such comments for ages.

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments We've certainly never tolerated links to those sorts of sites in our group.

I certainly hope no one would attempt to purchase through the link above that Benjamin posted.

message 6: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Appleby-Dean (benjaminappleby-dean) I can remove the link if it's an issue - but they did actually take my books off the site when asked (instantly, in fact), so I thought some other people here might find it helpful?

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I'm certainly certain today...

message 8: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Appleby-Dean (benjaminappleby-dean) How about I edit it out after 24 hours? That gives everyone a window without leaving it out there for people to click on.

message 9: by Anna (last edited Jul 20, 2018 04:46AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1729 comments Rest assured Patti, it wasn't in this group. You're a very aware mod and I happen to have just sent an invitation to someone to join this group.

I can't remember which group(s) but I do remember people asking and others answering. My stomach turned. Really. I wondered later if I had misunderstood but... Anyway, I've not seen anything like that in the last few years.

As for anyone here being likely to go looking - well Kath's spelt out what can happen!

It's good that Benjamin has reminded authors that it still goes on.

message 10: by David (new)

David Edwards | 446 comments Kath wrote: "... The only one I did look into, because someone told me about it, set my malware alerts off like a fire alarm. As far as I can see, people grabbing freebies would never have bought them..."

I agree with the Free point, but this site isn't offering things for free. I followed their Kindle eBooks link and looked at one example; Jacques Derrida's 'Margins of Philosophy'.

The author has been dead since 2004 and the stated publisher last filed accounts in 1998. What's on offer isn't the most recent edition of the book, even though it has been out of print for decades.

Looking closely at it, it appears that someone has scanned a paperback. They've used OCR on the scanned text to give the reader some ability to search through it, but they haven't manually corrected the scanning errors and reset it; you're basically buying a PDF consisting of pictures of the paperback pages.

They're asking twice as much as I sell my novel for (although it's a fraction of what people are asking for second hand copies on Amazon, and there's no electronic edition to be found on Amazon).

I'm not in a position to establish whether the owner of the copyright is getting any benefit from this, but said owner wouldn't benefit from the sale of a second hand book either.

As far as I know this is the only electronic version of the book available.

If the copyright owner is getting no benefit, that's clearly wrong, but the mainstream publisher I have spoken to about doing this on dead author back catalogues didn't believe they'd see a financial return on the effort, and as a consequence those authorial voices are being gradually silenced :(.

message 11: by Benjamin (last edited Jul 20, 2018 09:31AM) (new)

Benjamin Appleby-Dean (benjaminappleby-dean) That's what concerns me about this site, David - it's not just pirated copies of books for free, it's people who aren't the authors profiting from them.

message 12: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1729 comments It's even worse if they are making money from someone else's hard work. Sounds like a very amateurish set-up. They'll likely come a cropper. With a push or two...

message 13: by Kaftogr (last edited Aug 14, 2019 08:53PM) (new)

Kaftogr | 1 comments I discovered this site from searching around the groups about this site. So far from what I have been reading lately on writers blogs and other users affected by this site is that KissLibrary has been operating since 2017, its now 2019 and it is still online and thriving.
This is because its complying with the legal requirements and hides its true business model behind the theory that users are uploading the content and its not their fault.

What is interested is that an ebook anti-piracy service company recently discovered that the site is not actually hosting the eBooks its claiming to be selling.
But instead Its an elaborate scam/scheme to just make a quick buck and run.
You can read more about it on their twitter:

They discovered this when they tried to buy an eBook of one of their clients with a dummy PayPal account to see if they would actually receive anything. Fun fact, they received nothing!

KissLibrary has simply scraped the content from multiple (hundreds if not thousands) of Amazon authors and put the data together in a website undercutting the authors prices in hopes of making sales and stealing from the authors profits.

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