Authors Without A Yacht (AWaY) discussion

Piracy Horror Stories > The Lowest of the Low

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message 1: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
I’ve always said there were two distinct types of pirates: those that don’t know they are doing something illegal and those who know and don’t care, whatever their reasons are for pirating. The following is my “lowest of the low” list...the ones who know and don’t care that what they are doing is wrong. They are the lowest of the low, because their senseless selfishness astounds me.

#3 I’ve caught pirates heisting an Amazon Short story that only costs $.49. How cheap do you have to be to pirate something that costs less than a dollar, to begin with? At that point, we aren’t even talking the price of a large frou-frou coffee anymore. We’re talking the price of a candy bar.

#2 Pirates that sell or pass copyright protected books are bad enough. They’re taking money from my pocket, and as much as I hate it, it’s part of the business. But the pirates that sell stories I give to my readers for free really burn me. It’s not just that they are breaking my Creative Common License, saying that it may be passed as far and wide as you want to for free, but it cannot be altered or used for commercial uses...ever. It goes beyond that. I offer these stories for free. Some download more than 1000 times in the first month and keep downloading, depending on subject and length. And someone is selling them? That’s cheating the readers. Whether it’s an established reader or a new-to-me reader, that read was a gift I offer, not something for someone out there to cheat someone into paying money for.

And my #1 lowest of the low? Most of the authors I deal with, in NY conglomerate but especially in indie press, donate to causes we find worthy. Some donate books to hospitals (especially military hospitals). Some send books to deployed military. Some donate books to struggling libraries and literacy programs. Some donate time to read to children or to judge children’s writing contests or to read to the blind or sick. And some donate works to charity anthologies. In other words, the authors donate stories that ultimately form the whole of the anthology, then donate our time and effort marketing the book to potential readers...and those books get every ounce of our sweat and tears, because we want them to succeed. The editors and cover artists and sometimes even the publishers and distribution channels (especially the lovely ladies at ARe) donate their portions of the sale price to the charity, so some of the Coming Together anthology sales benefit the chosen charity with 100% of the sale price. How can you beat that? You purchase an anthology and 100% of the money you pay for it goes to charity?

But some pirates out there do beat it. They do so by pirating charity anthologies that are intended to aid and support premature babies, victims of domestic violence, people who have lost everything in wild fires and hurricanes, autistic children...or to help to find cures for cancer or other illnesses or birth defects. Those are noble causes that authors try to support with books and stories that could sell and earn us (depending on length) hundreds or thousands of dollars each. And some pirates feel the need to not only infringe on the donating authors but also take money from the coffers of the charities we’re helping. That is truly the lowest of the low.

message 2: by Serena (last edited Mar 14, 2010 06:59AM) (new)

Serena Yates (serenayates) Posted on behalf of Rowena Cherry:

Not only are the thieves robbing us but they're actually getting paid for it!*!#!*!

This is from the faq section...

How do I get paid for my file downloads?
You receive a commission for every complete download of your files, including non-unique downloads. This is a great advantage of our service. Rates depend on the size of your files as well as your account status. An average rate for 1000 downloads is 10
USD, and it can be elevated up to 20 USD. We pay for downloads from 36 countries equally, a full rate table and country list can be found on our site, in the For partners section.

One of my author friends shared this with me when finding her recent release up on the site already...if you can offer suggestions, I'd love to share them with her...

Jon Michaelsen

message 3: by Guido (last edited Mar 15, 2010 07:14AM) (new)

Guido Henkel (guidohenkel) | 54 comments Mod
Piracy and illegal copying/sharing has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of a product. Many people think that if they lower the price of their product, they will beat piracy that way, but that is really a pipe-dream. All they are really doing in the process is destroying their own market by devaluing their own product.

I've been in the computer and video games industry for 27 years and I've seen it all. Everything gets pirated. The best games, the worst games, the most expensive games, the cheapest games, even the free games. The same applies for music and eBooks, of course.

First there are the actual pirates who do it for fun. They enjoy, in their misguided belief, to stick it to "the man" considering anyone who is selling anything to be greedy. They never stop to even think where their own paycheck comes from - oftentimes because they don't have one because they are spoon-fed students with too much time on their hands.

The next layer are the people who then take that pirated content and download it, share it and further distribute it. In 99% of the cases there, people simply never really stop to think about what it is they are doing. The stuff is easily available on the Internet and because it is so readily available with a plain old Google search, it can't be illegal right?

"I was just clicking on the link..." is what they tell themselves and justify their actions that way, even though they know it is illegal.

Of course then you have the morons on top who try to convince everyone that "copying" and "downloading" stuff is not stealing because there is no physical damage. The idiocy of these people simply knows no bounds, but again, it is all really only to justify their doing. In their hearts they do know that what they're doing is wrong.

But again, let me point out, that pricing has absolutely nothing to do with it. Authors need to stop deluding themselves that by making eBooks cheaper, piracy would drop. Other - more mature - industries have proven long ago that that is not the case.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree completely with what Guido says. Both "buyers" and "sellers" steal because they can get away with it and/or profit from it. If you're in it for profit (ie, the actual pirate or seller), the lower your cost of goods sold, the more profit you make. And what can be lower than free? If you're the "customer", why pay 50 cents when you can get it for free? You've already convinced yourself that what you're doing is all right, so why pay money, even a small amount?

message 5: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
You are absolutely right, deleted member. What is more, piracy is profitable in ways you don't see, too.

Storage sites pay commissions for traffic, for instance.

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