E-book Piracy

In today’s age of e-books and digital publishing, piracy can be a very real concern for authors – both traditional and self-published.

It can be very distressing to discover your books have been pirated. If this happens to you, there are several things you can do to combat the situation and prevent it from occurring again.

How to locate pirated copies of your books

Unless someone draws your attention to the fact, it can be quite easy for an author to be completely unaware that their e-books have been pirated. For this reason, you should regularly check online for illegal copies of your books.

Go to a search engine and type a variation of ‘[Your Book Title] free download’ or ‘[Author Name] book torrent’. You may be surprised by the results.

Upon finding any pirated copies of your books, note the page link and details and proceed with one of the following steps.

What to do if you’re with a mainstream publisher

If you become aware of pirated copies of your traditionally published book, you should alert your publisher immediately.

Mainstream publishers have established methods for dealing with piracy. Your publisher’s legal team or representative should take measures to remove any illegal copies of your books, as well as pursuing any further legal action that may be required.

What to do if you’re self-published

Things are a little trickier if your self-published book has been pirated. As the author and publisher, it’s essentially on you to deal with the situation.

One option is to write a strongly worded letter to those running the website hosting the pirated copies. This letter can sternly threaten legal action – which won’t be a mere bluff, either, as it’s well within your rights to take such action against blatant copyright infringement.

You can also contact the Arts Law Centre of Australia or the Australian Copyright Council, which has copyright lawyers on staff.

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