Yesterday, after reading an article in Romance Writers Report about 4shared.com, a website that allows members to upload copyright protected works that aren't their own, I decided to check the site to see if any of my works were illegally posted there. And they were.
I immediately sent a cease and desist notice to the member who posted my content and infringed on my copyright, plus I sent a similar message to the site owners. Many hours have passed and as of yet there has been no reply from either, and my material is still on the site. Many of my author friends have discovered today that their works are illegally posted there too. If you're an author, check! Then report the copyright abuse and demand your work be removed.
To say that I'm pissed is an understatement. Over the years I've refused to partake in sites like Kazaa and other illegal sharing of music because I knew that those music artists should be paid for their works. Just like authors should. As it is, most authors barely make a living. We aren't rich and hugely successful like the Margaret Atwood, Stephen King and JK Rowling. Most authors couldn't even live on their earnings. So to be taken advantage of in such a way makes me feel very angry.
If you want to read a book, there are plenty of authors who are offering free books or ebooks throughout the year. I do this often. But this is my right as the content creator. What makes 4shared.com even more reprehensible is that according to an article by Erin Fry, this website is raking in $64,000 A DAY from memberships and advertising. Meanwhile, the authors whose works are being ripped off make $0.00.
Seriously, dear readers and book lovers, please reconsider how you get your books. Writing is my passion and I work very long hours every day, writing and promoting, so that I can provide you with my very best work. This is my job, my career, my life.
Please show your support of authors and buy a book today. My Whale Song ebook is only $1.59 at KoboBooks.com, and many other authors offer low prices like this. You don't have to buy mine, but please support authors by not downloading illegal PDFs.
Author JA Konrath defends copyright piracy
UPDATE 3 - some resolution
Buy a book and support authors. Thank you.
Cheryl Kaye Tardif