Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head  WARNING:RANT AHEAD!! (Language warning, too. You've been warned.)

(For my readers who buy and read any book, print or ebook legitimately, I LOVE YOU! This is not aimed at any of you. There is a growing problem out there that is forcing authors to stop writing because of lost income. If you believe theft is wrong, please visit this page and sign.)


Well, it happened.

My first book was pirated. I guess I should be grateful that it took this long. I mean, it's not like I need the money to buy bread or anything (Yes, that's sarcasm. My book royalties have pulled us out of the fire a couple times this year, but thanks to the pirates... eh. I'm screaming at walls.)

You know, we should all just steal everything. Farmers can steal gas to plow, we can steal food, and hey, the banks won't care if we don't pay mortgages, right?

Nooo? Oh. you mean, because you know that is wrong?

But pirates (lets lump 'em all together shall we--music, movie and book) don't have a care in the world when it comes to stealing intangible property, especially if it's a file on the internet. There are thousands of requests on hundreds of forums for FREE stolen books that they want to share, so long as someone posts it first for free. Well, see here's the deal. Books, like music (and movies even though you don't want to hear it) aren't sharable in digital formats. You can't scan a print one either and say it's free, because like rabbits, those copies multiply. There's also this little legal law called a copyright but pirates, even though they steal books (et al) to read, these same thieves can't read a copyright law and understand it. I know! They must be stupider than dust bunnies.

Before I go getting insulting, because it's tempting, all I'm going to say is if you want it, go to the library, the used bookstore, but for shit's sake people, let me feed my kid. BUY the books you read. PAY for them legally. There are no rich writers anymore. The economy drove that line into a sandbar below sea level. The average pay on royalty for a PRINT BOOK (listening?) is 8%  AFTER COST. I'd ask the pirates to do the math, but since their intelligence is in question...

Want the low down? Check out these links here and here and here (<this is probably the best and clearest example on the net right now).

But for some reason I can't fathom, pirates (ha! Get the joke?) just don't care that they are stealing not only our property, but our right to a livelihood. A right to EARN a living, because they deign to give it away for free FOR us? How nice of them... (Yes that's more sarcasm.)

So while someone is downloading a book they may not (but probably do) know is illegal, that's two (or thousands of) book sales that would result in royalties that could have bought bread, or milk, or gas when I really needed it. But you know, my world means nothing to them, so when there's no more books to steal worth reading, it'll be their fault, because writers, any creative person will quit when they have no choice. The government doesn't care if they have books. They're cutting library funding like a bad salami. Schools while they need them, can't afford them. And hey, half of America is already illiterate, why keep writing at all?

It's really no better than walking down the street and getting mugged. Only when it comes to downloaded property, it happens tens to hundreds of times A DAY.

Hope you don't get mugged on your walk to work tomorrow. It's a suckass feeling.

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