eBook piracy is always a tiresome topic that writers and self-publishers have to grapple with. Still, this should not be a reason to stop writing or publishing any more eBooks. We’ll show you how to protect yourself against the illegal trading of eBooks.
What Is eBook Piracy?
There are platforms on the Internet that offer pirated copies of eBooks illegally for free or for a small amount of money, without having the necessary distribution rights from the author or publisher. Without these rights, the offer is illegal and thus the download of these eBooks. But why are eBooks even offered illegally? eBooks are not that expensive …
First, eBooks do not have a large amount of data and can, therefore, be easily and quickly sent or downloaded. It’s no easier or harder on an illegal pirate platform than on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel & Co. Contrary to novels, which are often offered for only a few euros, textbooks are a lot more expensive. Especially students who are often financially restricted, have to buy several textbooks per semester and thus spend an amount in the three-digit range. It is also common among students to resell textbooks as soon as they are no longer needed, which is entirely ok for printed books. For eBooks, however, it is forbidden to pass them on, not even for money.
Where Are Ebooks Offered Illegally?
The most common platforms on which eBooks are offered illegally are
- Download sites
- Payment pages
- File sharing
Some well-known sites include:
How to Fight Back
You can integrate a copy protection (DRM) on your eBook. This is not always pleasant for readers (who bought your book legally from an online store), because not all eBook readers and tablets can display an eBook with copy protection error-free.
If, despite all precautions, you find your eBook on an illegal download page, you can do the following:
- Find the hoster. If it is a domain with a .de extension, you can find the hoster through Denic. Otherwise, you can do that via WhoIs.
- Click through the pirate page until you get to the download link and copy it to the clipboard.
- Now you can go to the website of the hoster. There you have to search for a takedown form.Fill it in, insert the download link and ask for a takedown.
Does That Really Help?
Yes, that actually helps. Because all hosters must offer( according to international law) a takedown for copyright infringement.
It is also important for pirates to be able to quickly, easily and simply distribute eBooks. If you, as the author and copyright holder, keep rebelling and increasingly triggering a takedown on a portal (which may be necessary), your eBook will gradually disappear from the platforms. The operators are too cumbersome to put your eBook online again and again. You should therefore really consider taking the work on you.
Hire an Agency
If you do not have the time to search for illegal platforms and apply for takedowns, you can assign a professional agency specializing in prosecuting such illegal offers. One of them is CounterFights Anti-Piracy, which mainly combat counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet. The focus of their investigations is on a court-enforceable documentation of the crime and the investigation of the perpetrator(s) in order to enable the right-holder to pursue a civil or criminal prosecution. The big advantage for you:
If you publish your eBooks via Feiyr, they can be automatically listed at Counterfights.
Alternatively, you can always go to a specialist lawyer.