THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF

Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Konrath says "steal this book"; Tardif says "please don't steal mine"

So the debate over book piracy is still alive and kicking over at author JA Konrath's blog. I, for one, don't have the time or energy, to be beating this issue with a stick on a daily basis, but I have put my two cents in here and there and I did successfully get some of my material removed from a pirate site. Piracy is theft; it's that simple. Copyright laws are in place for a reason and until those laws change, I won't and can't condone copyright infringement and piracy, unlike my fellow author Joe, who embraces it and welcomes it. However, I'm not going to spend my days hunting down every pirate either; I have a business to run and novels to write.

I'm busy working on creating more value for my fans and more new works, but don't think I'll shrug it off if I find one of my works pirated. A lost sale is a lost sale. If you were interested in a book enough to search for it on a pirate site and download it (possible viruses and all) for free, you should still be interested in it if it's priced affordably (ironically, Joe believes in making ebooks affordable too.) My ebooks are $1.99 and $4.99 (the latter going down to $2.99 in July.) My new release Lancelot's Lady will launch in late September at $7.99--for a brand new book. You can't tell me these aren't affordable when the majority of books are priced much higher.

So how inexpensive do these book pirates want them? What's their price point? DUH! Free, of course. That's why they go to the pirate sites in the first place. Sadly, many get caught in the "free" cycle and that's where they stay for the most part. When they want a new book, they request someone download it. I'll admit, there are probably some who WILL use pirated copies to "test" an author out, as some pirates have defended. Then they'll run out and buy the book or another of the author's works, or so they tell me. I just don't see this as being the majority.

Since I got involved with the pirate debate, I've had about a dozen admitted pirates take up my offer of a free ebook (for their own personal use only)--and all said they'd consider buying it or another of my works afterward. As far as I know none of them have done this yet--and I asked them to let me know.

With Joe's "experiment", I believe he's cashed in quite smartly on this controversy. Kudos, Joe! He's using the hype of the situation to create awareness, publicity and branding. But don't get too caught up by the numbers he's quoting. Let's get real here: Joe sells exceptionally well --period. Just read his blog and you'll see his numbers. So, for me, his experiment does nothing but prove he's good at capitalizing on free publicity (something I'm fairly good at doing myself). It certainly won't and can't prove his claim that piracy doesn't hurt sales.

It's a skewed experiment that will show an increase in sales. Joe will always have great sales--because he's good at marketing his books and because all his new pirate friends who accepted his free ebook will want to defend their belief in piracy so a few will now pay. More than likely, the increased sales are from non-pirates who happen to read his blog or like his work or read about him online...or read about the experiment. There is no way to determine where those sales came from. Joe may not view the 15% or so he's lost to piracy as a big deal (or as real lost sales) because he's still making more than enough to pay his rent/mortgage and bills (and good for him!) For the average author, that 15% could mean the difference between having enough food for the month or keeping their home--especially in today's still-recovering economy. Not so good for them.

So while Joe says "steal this book", I'm saying "please don't steal mine." If you're interested in my books, download free samples from Kindle, Kobo or Smashwords, or visit my site and read samples on the cool BookBuzzr widget. (You can flip pages like a real book :-)

Here is MY challenge to pirates:

I challenge those of you who pirate books on a regular basis to read one of my FREE samples--you can read larger portions (50%) of my novels via Smashwords--then email me when you've decided to buy one of my novels at any of the ebook retailers I mention above and send me proof of purchase (the receipt). This will show me that pirates DO take pirated copies because they're looking for a way to sample an author's work and that the authors do then benefit by future sales. Of course, I'll be looking for staggering numbers, not just a handful.

I'll take my challenge one step further...you can call this The Tardif Effect ;-)

If you're a pirate who enjoys suspense thrillers, read a sample of my thriller THE RIVER on Kobo, Kindle, Smashwords or my site and email me when you're done. If after reading that sample, you're still intrigued by my novel, let me know and I'll give you the ebook for FREE. However, if you accept this challenge, you'll be honor-bound to email me with proof of purchase of any of my novels within, say, 6 months. This free ebook offer to pirates is good until the end of August 2010.

You can even share the file with 3 people--WITH my permission. BUT those 3 will be held accountable by the same terms. They'll need to email me to tell me they got the free ebook from you and then later email me to tell me that they've bought one of my novels. This should be quite fair in establishing that sales do result from piracy and that pirates are basically honest people--arguments I've heard numerous times.

I'm not saying "steal this book", I'm saying "please don't steal mine, but here, I'll give you a free sample, maybe even a free ebook and you'll have a chance to show me that piracy will help my sales, not hurt them." Prove this to me and I may change my views about book piracy.

Again, don't get me wrong, I think Joe is a great marketer. I just don't agree with him on this issue. I DO agree with him on most of his marketing advice though. So if there are any brave pirates out there who want to show me the error of my ways (or beliefs), please follow the above instructions. Without naming names, I'll report the results in as much detail as I can on my blog The suspense is killing me!

(No, really! The suspense IS killing me!!! lol)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling Canadian author
http://www.cherylktardif.com/

42 comments:

RowenaBCherry said...

Good morning, Cheryl,

I think you are right about the price. As an experiment, I have Forced Mate (ebook version) listed on the jexbo.com site for $1.99

jexbo.com/items/108

I've made six sales. I've sold more elsewhere at $6.00 through a legitimate retailer. (ebookisle.net)

ojm said...

"Piracy is theft; it's that simple."

No it's not. It's copyright infringing or something, but it's not theft. It might be illegal at some places, but that makes it a crime, but not a theft.

I can copy a full book at library without paying authors, that's legal, and not a theft either. Why is that?

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Hi ojm, thank you for your comment. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your views.

If you want to argue terms, that's fine.

Piracy is illegal. Copyright infringement is illegal. And most people who are against piracy view it as theft. You're taking something for free illegally. It's virtual shoplifting, in a sense. Copyright laws are in place for a reason. So are distribution rules with publishers and authors.

As for the library argument, which has been clarified many times, it is NOT the same thing, and anyone who wants to use libraries as their reasoning or excuse just doesn't understand the difference. The agreement authors and publishers have had with libraries has been long standing. Libraries buy the books and loan them to one person at a time.

If you're from the US, ojm (and anyone else who pops by), I am not sure of all the legalities concerning copying books at libraries in your country. US authors should check that out.

In Canada, there are programs set in place that COMPENSATE authors monetarily for having their books in libraries. I have no problem with my books being loaned by a library, or copied as per the library rules and regulations. This is a small price to pay for being an author.

But what isn't acceptable to me and many others is having our work copied and distributed without our permission, without our publisher's permission, or Amazon's for that matter when talking about hacked Kindles.

Many countries (developed and non) have copyright laws in place to protect content created by authors, film makers, music artists and others.

Cheryl

RowenaBCherry said...

My local library doesn't allow me to copy an entire book. Nor does Kinkos.

Are you sure, ojm, that what you are doing *is* legal?

If a library charges 10c a page, you'd be better off buying the book, wouldn't you?

Under the Google Settlement, there will be one designated terminal where ebooks can be printed off, but there is going to be a fee, and the authors will be paid out of that fee through the Book Rights Registry.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

I was kind of wondering about this too, Rowena, but since I don't live in the US, I thought maybe you had looser laws regarding copying library material.

I'm wondering how ojm is copying books. Hope he/she comes back to clarify this. Maybe ojm can explain how it's legal for him/her to do that.

lee-rowan said...

Copying an entire book at a library is not legal. It's copyright infringement.

It is also -- if you're paying the sort of copy machine fees most libraries charge --one incredibly stupid way to steal a book. You could buy a brand new copy cheaper.

But nobody said pirates were at the tope of the IQ charts.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

I agree that copying an entire book would be kind of silly when you could probably buy the ebook for a fraction of the cost, a print copy too.

I appreciate your comments, Lee-Rowan. Thank you.

Cheryl

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

A note to anyone who may leave a comment here: my goal is to have open communication for copyright advocates and those who believe in file-sharing. I'm trying to learn as much about both sides of this issue, regardless of my own personal belief that piracy is wrong and hurts my sales.

This being said, I'm asking everyone to please play nice here. No name calling. No bullying. No threats. Comments that aren't civil won't be posted, though I will post any comment from either side of this debate as long as people are fairly respectful.

Cheryl

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

So I found a post on JA Konrath's blog addressed to me. Someone by the name of "anonymous" wanted to ask me some questions about the above post here on my blog but didn't leave the comment here because I don't have my blog set to accept anonymous comments.

First, let me address that concept.

If you don't have the guts to post your name, don't expect answers. I usually ignore comments on other people's blogs if they're posted by "anonymous". At the very least you should have the courage to post your first name. Why are you so afraid to do so? I don't get it. Stand by your convictions.

Ok, this being said, let me address a couple of points that dear old "anonymous" asked about...his or her comments are in italics and quotations.

"You want pirates to sample your work and then prove, with a receipt, that we really do follow up our free reading with a purchase. Because clearly, you don't think any of us do."

Prove me wrong.

"My problem? I use pirating to decide if an ebook is *worth* buying, just like I use the library for DTBs. What if I hate your book? What if I can't get past chapter one and delete it right off my hard drive?"

Then you've lost nothing and neither have I. I said I'd GIVE you the sample--50% of the novel. I'm not very good at math, but I do believe that should take you past the first chapter.

"If I buy it to meet the requirements of your challenge, will you then give me my money back as a dissatisfied customer if I ask?"

Nope. If you bought it, it's because the first 1/2 interested you. Since THE RIVER happens to have good reviews and is used in book clubs and some schools for novel studies, I know many people will enjoy it. You might not like it, but there's no way every file-sharer out there won't. You might not be my target audience. Have you read the free sample yet?

"Your challenge demands that I buy no matter what, and that defeats the whole purpose of pirating."

So you're saying you pirate books to get them for free then, not to sample them and buy later? Hmmm... By the way, I don't demand you "buy no matter what". You might want to read my challenge again.

"If I was going to buy it, good or bad, I'd just buy it to begin with."

Then why are you using pirate sites? Why not get legal samples via Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords or any other ebook retailer? Or from an author's site? It's a great way to find authors you've never read before.

"The point is to screen out stuff I don't like, and reading your sample would let me do that, but if I don't like it I'm not going to turn around and buy it from you just to take one for team-pirate."

I didn't know there was a "team-pirate". I'd never even know you'd read the sample, so I wouldn't know that you DIDN'T buy it. Unless you email me and tell me. I've never gotten an email like that. I get emails from fans though.

More of anonymous's comments coming up...

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Anonymous's comments and my replies, continued...

"Put in an anonymous poll for folks who sample and don't buy that lets us give our reason: We didn't like it enough to buy it, or we liked it but not enough to pay what you're asking for it, or we liked it but just don't want to pay *any* amount for it."

You do like anonymous things, don't you? :-) Sounds like you've already made up your mind you won't like it. People are free to write reviews and post them wherever. Polls, while an interesting concept, have no way to be verified.

"You can't lump us all into one category - at least, not honestly."

Um, with respect, NOW you're talking about honesty?

*** Final thoughts on anonymous's comments ***

Funny, this was EXACTLY the kind of response I thought I'd get from an admitted pirate. Though I really had hoped to get the opposite.

So to date, no one has proven my observations on piracy wrong.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif
'Support Authors, Buy a Book!'

ojm said...

Eh, I left a really long comment and still can't see it. I'm pretty sure I was playing nice, but do tell me if that's why it didn't show.

I'm not going to write the whole thing again. But I'll make it short. I never said *I* was copying books, just that it's legal here. I like them hard-cover and I often read them at library. The ebooks I like, I buy.

But I live in Finland and the law says it's ok to make a few copies for personal use. Our new copyright law is a mess, but it does say that pretty clearly, also it says so on the page of ministry of education and culture or whatever it's called. So Rowena, yes I'm pretty sure it *is* legal. Though I never said I was doing it. Also, there are other ways of copying, like having your own scanner, camera, or even just writing the text again if you feel like it. Those don't cost much.

Our libraries buy the books too, and pays library fines according to numbers of loans. Even though people have gotten messages that libraries don't have money so they get nothing. That's weird eh?

"The actus reus of theft is usually defined as an unauthorised taking, keeping or using of another's property which must be accompanied by a mens rea of dishonesty and/or the intent to permanently deprive the owner or the person with rightful possession of that property or its use." Theft means that the owner loses the stuff. Copying is not theft. It may be crime, illegal, immoral or whatever, but please don't say it's theft. It would be like saying it's rape, which it's not either.

But about the library comparison.

Library buys the book.
Library pays a fine for loaned books (if it has money).
Library lends to one at a time. Exept that if the book is liked, they will have several books, so everyone can loan it anyway.

Pirate buys the book.
Pirate pays a fine for stuff he burns on cd or saves on hard drive, usb-drive... Here in Finland, there is a fine on cd's and stuff that makes them a bit pricey, but it goes for content creators. And for some weird reason, sharing is still not legal. Go figure.
Pirate shares for anyone.

Really, a file-sharing site is just a more efficient library. Also, it's a bit weird it's ok for you if you accept the copying when library says it's ok, as it's a free copy anyway, and theoretically you are gonna lose as much sales to both.

You don't have to accept piracy, but it's not gonna go anywhere. It would need a big-brother society to get rid of it. That's a too big price to pay. The problem is that only the voice of those who have the money is being heard, so copyright laws have only grown tighter. There is no reason ones grandchildren should get money from, Lion King for example. Especially when Disney stole the whole thing themselves :D http://www.kimbawlion.com/rant2.htm

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Hello ojm,

I checked my deleted and trash boxes to see if your last comment ended up there by mistake. I haven't seen it. The cybergremlins must have stolen it, I guess.

Thanks for clarifying that you aren't illegally copying books at your library. Finland laws are obviously different from North American ones.

I do want to clarify one part of your latest comment.

You say:

"Pirate buys the book.
Pirate pays a fine for stuff he burns on cd or saves on hard drive, usb-drive... Here in Finland, there is a fine on cd's and stuff that makes them a bit pricey, but it goes for content creators. And for some weird reason, sharing is still not legal. Go figure.
Pirate shares for anyone."


It would be more accurate then to say:

One pirate buys one book...etc., etc...pirate shares with hundreds or thousands of others.

It puts things into perspective. And shows a potential loss of hundreds or thousands of sales.

You ARE correct that piracy will be around for a long time. It seems that even $1 or $2 ebook prices aren't cheap enough for some people.

I'm not sure what you meant about the Lion King/Disney bit. Are you saying an author's heirs shouldn't inherit the rights to their parent's works when the parent dies? Or was your comment lost in translation perhaps?

Cheryl

ojm said...

Yeah, the cybergremlins are some wicked folk...

"One pirate buys one book...etc., etc...pirate shares with hundreds or thousands of others.

It puts things into perspective. And shows a potential loss of hundreds or thousands of sales."

Oh no. Several pirates buy the product, and the shared result will be a copies of several differing qualities. There are lots of different quality pirated movies, comics, books... And like I said, at least here here we have fine on cd's going for creators. Though it might be only for musicians as it was made for c-cassettes.

Also, there isn't that much of a loss, I'm sure of that. Studies say, that for music, pirates actually pay ten times more than others. Another study says that 16% of Finns are pirates, so that makes pirates here buy twice as much as the rest of 84%, 160:84. And for that 10x study, the proof of purchase was required.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/163565/music_pirates_more_likely_to_buy_songs_too_study.html

Yes, the Lion King comment was to say that it's really not ok to inherit rights to books and stuff. Also that the media houses don't really play fair either. Disney is one of the big lobbies for copyright laws, they don't respect copyright themselves, and then they want the laws tighter so that they can sue people around. Music labels have the same thing going around too. It's really not the pirates that are the *only* dishonest people.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

There are studies that show piracy hurts the music industry. By those standards, it's safe to say it hurts authors too. We could go back and forth on this one, ojm. You show me yours; I show you mine. You could discredit the reports I find; I could discredit yours. Such is the way of this topic.

As for the Disney battle, that's a similar issue. Part copyright infringement, part plagiarism, from the looks of it.

Regarding my daughter's inheritance...what right do you (or anyone else) have to say that I can't leave my daughter my written works? Who else would I trust with them? I am very proud of the fact that when I die I'll leave behind a visible legacy--no matter how big or small that may be. I hope my daughter can support herself on my works and follow her own dreams.

This is no different than someone leaving their son or daughter the family farm. A farm is a business. Writing is a business. My works are my business.

I'm not sure how this works in Finland, but I am very grateful to live in a country (Canada) that recognizes my right to leave my writing to my heir.

I'm also not sure what the time is in Finland, but it's 3:17 AM here and time for me to stop redesigning my blog and get to bed.

I shall dream of pirate ships. Sinking ones. :-)

Cheryl

ojm said...

"You could discredit the reports I find; I could discredit yours. Such is the way of this topic."

Right. so if you do not want to show me your records, and talk about what makes others more credible, then let's stop talking about those as it would be just a waste of time. You seem to already have made up your mind.

"...what right do you (or anyone else) have to say..."

It's called the freedom of speech. I have the right to say things that people may not like. Though, it of course does not apply to private blog comment sections.

"This is no different than someone leaving their son or daughter the family farm. A farm is a business. Writing is a business. My works are my business."

Yes it's totally different. You see, if you have a farm, the kid has to work to get his living. If you publish some books, he just needs to sit and watch tv, and the money comes in. Not that it's really the truth, as most content, be it games, books, or music, makes most of the dough in first 5 years anyway. So it's really not giving your heir anything, if it'd not a megahit like anything Michael Jackson or someone like that makes.

For it to be the same thing, you'd need to TEACH the kid to write books, so he'd inherit the profession, like what would be the case on the farming. If you want to give your kid something, you should save the money from the sales you make, like most others.

Your farm is your business, and when you give it to your kid, it's his business then. But your writing does not become his business. Or should he be able to give monopoly to your writings to his grandkids? Do you think copyright should be permanent?

The whole 70 years after the death of author, is because of Disney made good money from Mickey Mouse, and it would have gone to public domain, but they lobbied the copyright law longer, so they could get even more money out of it and sue people's brains out. Also US gets some nice taxes from Disney, so why not? The law is also called "Mickey Mouse Protection Act".

It's 12:22 here. Still got hours to go.
And this version of the blog looks pretty nice, it's easy on the eye too, I like white text on dark background.

Sweden gave us the Pirate Party, and it's in EU now. There are over 30 PP internationally now. They will oppose lengthy copyright laws, big-brother society and want to revise the patent system.

The pirate fleet will not sink. Anonymous are legion.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

ojm, I actually posted two links to reports that talk about piracy hurting content providers at JA Konrath's blog. At this time I have too many other projects on my plate so searching for more doumentation (which IS out there) isn't something I choose to spend my time on at this moment. Perhaps at a later time when I'm not so busy working on my next thriller and getting ready for a new release launch.

Wow...your skewed reasoning about inheritance from authors' works is mind-boggling. If I left my son or daughter a farm, they'd probably sell it and keep the money rather than work it themselves. And good for them. That's life. That's what happens every day when people leave a business to their kids. Not all children see the same dream as their parents.

And yes, I expect that my daughter will work--but if me leaving her a bit of money helps her, then good for me. And her. Every parent I know wishes they had something monetary to leave their kids.

I have a hard time understanding your attitude. Perhaps you don't have children. Perhaps your parents left you with nothing but debts. Or just nothing. I don't know.

I don't know of any other author's heirs who have just sat on their butts doing nothing while the money rolls in. Most have their own dreams and goals. And having the finances to pursue those dreams is wonderful and awesome.

I am very glad to live in a country where I can leave my children something of value.

I'm glad you like my new blog design. I quite like it myself. :-)

Cheryl

ojm said...

Now I know, why that one message didn't get through, I use so much time writing that it doesn't accept the captcha anymore...

"Wow...your skewed reasoning about inheritance from authors' works is mind-boggling.

If I left my son or daughter a farm, they'd probably sell it and keep the money rather than work it themselves. And good for them. That's life."

Riiight. I was kinda talking about the "Continuing the Legacy" point of view which you talked about. Had to look at the dictionary, didn't know about the other definition, that is, money from a will or something. I thought it was just your kid continuing on your footsteps and so on, if that makes my point any clearer. But like I said, your kids probably will get 0$ from the rights to your texts anyway, so it's weird to protect them so earnestly. Only the really big guys get any money from their works after a few years. So the copyrighthingy doesn't need to be so long.

"Perhaps you don't have children. Perhaps your parents left you with nothing but debts. Or just nothing."

I'm still pretty young, got no kids, and wonderful, and living, parents thank you.

"I don't know of any other author's heirs who have just sat on their butts doing nothing while the money rolls in."

Do you know any other author's heirs who get any money from their parent's works?

And you didn't comment on the saving thing. That every other people who wants to give things to their kids, save things for them. There's no some weird law giving money to children of coders for example.

"I am very glad to live in a country where I can leave my children something of value."

You better not hold on that too much. The laws may change, and probably will. If you want to give your kids something of value, then save some of your money for them. You should not think laws are always going to stay the way they are now.

And continuing on the studies argument, I'm not going to go on about this much, but have you read any criticism about those studies?

Here is some of that for this study. http://www.ifpi.org/content/library/DMR2010_KEY_HIGHLIGHTS.pdf Which I had to hunt, because it wasn't on those 320+ messages, but on some earlier blog posting.

http://torrentfreak.com/pirates-are-the-music-industrys-most-valuable-customers-100122/

"On average, file-sharers actually spend more than non-sharing music buyers. At least that’s what Mark Mulligan, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester Research who conducted the study for IFPI told us."

The people who made the study says pirates are the best customers, and then those cheapskates twist the conclusion and tell media otherwise!

Please, at least read that, and comment, please.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Hello again, ojm, I only have a few minutes as I'm in the middle of two things, including answering questions about writing, publishing and marketing over at Goodreads. I'll try to address the key points.

"But like I said, your kids probably will get 0$ from the rights to your texts anyway, so it's weird to protect them so earnestly."

No, you're wrong about this, especially in today's publishing industry. Ebooks have opened the door for perpetual sales. My books will keep selling long after I'm dead as long as we have access to ebooks or other formats of books. My heir can republish the books to accommodate any tech changes too.

And there's nothing weird about wanting to give an inheritance like this to my children. Obviously you aren't an author and don't understand my industry very well. This has been so for decades.

"Only the really big guys get any money from their works after a few years."

Also untrue. JA Konrath isn't a big name author. He's not Stephen King, JK Rowling, Dean Koontz, Margaret Atwood etc. And you've seen his numbers. His author friend Karen McQuestion is even lesser known and she's doing well too. She'll continue to do well as long as her work is available. I believe I will do better and better as time prgresses.

"I'm still pretty young, got no kids, and wonderful, and living, parents thank you."

Ah, that explains things. :-)

"Do you know any other author's heirs who get any money from their parent's works?"

Haven't researched this, but do a search for authors who have passed away who left behind kids and you'll find the heirs.

"And you didn't comment on the saving thing. That every other people who wants to give things to their kids, save things for them."

You are very young, I think. Most parents have a hard enough time saving for their own retirement, much less saving MONEY up for their kids for an inheritance. Not one of my friends is doing that. Life insureance (not sure how that works in Finland) does take care of some expenses after a parent dies--if they have it.

"The laws may change."

I'm sure they will. They always do. Who knows what the future brings. But I do know that content creators will be taken care of. If they aren't they won't create.

"And continuing on the studies argument, I'm not going to go on about this much, but have you read any criticism about those studies?"

Yes, for every study, there are always people who will rip them apart. On both sides.

"On average, file-sharers actually spend more than non-sharing music buyers. At least that’s what Mark Mulligan, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester Research who conducted the study for IFPI told us."

I read those reports (and others) reports a while ago. You can't believe everything you read. That argument works for both sides. You don't know who's really doing the research, the asking, etc. That also goes for both sides.

I can really only look at things from my perspective. If you copy one of my works, you've infringed on my copyright. You've broken the law. If you've shared my work, you've done that illegally, based on the current law. My work is governed by Canadian law, Canadian copyright.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

I'd like to add that I suspect we will see a big shift in copyright laws across the world. I'm not exactly sure what that will entail, but I'm hoping it will mean easier methods for people to transfer ebooks they've purchased to multiple devices and at the same time, a way to discourage pirates from copying and distributing illegally gotten content.

I think the bottom line is to find out what's standing in the way. Why do they really pirate? What's encouraging piracy? What's standing in the way of them spending $2 for a book?

Is it that books are priced too high? I've heard this excuse given by pirates. (Not all books or ebooks are $10+. I have one for $1.99, so is even that too expensive for pirates?) How low do we go? Until we can't afford to write any more? Until we're forced to give up our careers?

Is it that pirates want more freedom to be able to share an ebook across multiple devices like PC, laptops, smart phones, every kind of ereader? I've heard this excuse for piracy many times. Will this really stop piracy? Will it even cut it by 50%?

Or is it simeply that some people believe laws don't apply to them and that that they have the right to do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want? Do they believe that art should be photocopied and sold? Should they have the right to rewrite someone else's work, then call it their own? Where do we draaw the line?

This, I think is the key problem with our society--too many people don't know when or how to draw the line between what is right and what is wrong. Look at the news.

Now I have to go chat with people interested in what a writer's life is really about. Cheers.

ojm said...

"Is it that books are priced too high?" It's part of the reason.

"Is it that pirates want more freedom to be able to share an ebook across multiple devices"
It's part of the reason.

"Will this really stop piracy?"
No.

"Will it even cut it by 50%?"
Probably no...

The thing is, that there are lots of pirates, and there are lots of reasons. The contradictions happens because of that. And of course (at last I spelled that correctly) there are also those who just don't want to pay. Spotify dropped piracy a bit, so you could say part of the music piracy was because there was no competing easy service. Also it's free, with ads. Voddler came, and the video piracy will drop a bit. They will not have a really significant effect, but those reasons are not total lies either.

"Where do we draw the line?"
That's the question. Piracy is happening, legal or not, and it didn't crush the industries. It can't be stopped, it just is. You are selling fine, Konrath is selling fine. Would you sell better without piracy? I doubt it. The line should be in accepting that piracy will always be part of the system, like lending books, selling used books, libraries, and things like that are. Anything other is either whining without effect, or going towards the big-brother society, where every personal message is read and you can't run or hide. We techies can use encryption and other fun things, but others can't and so pirates will win again, and consumers lose.

It's really all about this. How many paying customers should suffer because of pirates? The answer, should be none.

ojm said...

"If you copy one of my works, you've infringed on my copyright. You've broken the law. If you've shared my work, you've done that illegally, based on the current law. My work is governed by Canadian law, Canadian copyright."

Forgot to answer to this one. Nope. I'm absolutely sure that I'm a citizen of Finland, and I'm judged by Finnish law. Canadian laws have no effect whatsoever on me. That's how pirate bay is still alive, they are in Sweden, and they say US copyright laws don't affect them, and they have tried, but haven't proved them wrong. They have never taken anything down because they have been told to.

If I'd download your full book without paying you, I'm pretty sure it would be legal here as long as I don't share it.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

I'm selling but I don't consider my books as selling well. I'm not making anywhere near the numbers Joe is. And there are many reasons why I'm not; I won't get into that.

But I will say that until I'm making a very good living from my novels, I view every pirated book as a lost sale. No, I can't prove that they would've bought it, but without file-sharing sites available, you can't prove they wouldn't have.

What I get from your last comment is that you're saying it's really about what pirates want and that they should get it at any cost and to hell with the authors who spend months or years creating something worth reading. Pretty selfish thinking on your part.

I believe in giving my fans the best books at the best prices (for any that I actually control). I believe my work has value. Entertainment value. Escapism value. Morality value. Life changing value. AND monetary value.

That's why I'm not a one-hit wonder selling my memoirs from my car trunk. This is a job, a career, a business. It's also a passion and a natural exrepssion of how my brain works. I work very long hours, work on holidays and spend a lot of money on supplies and perfecting my craft.

I sell my work and I expect some financial remuneration when people want to read my work. Why? Because I am an author. And I deserve to be paid when someone reads one of my books--unless I or my publisher gives away a free copy.

So here's a challenge for you, ojm. Go to work for a month. Work FULL TIME, at least 40 hours a day. Buy everyone pizza and coffee every day. That'll be close to what I pay monthly to keep my business going. Then when it's payday, give your full month's paycheck to your coworkers.

Do it! Then tell me how it feels. Tell me how you'll pay your rent and buy groceries. Do it once a month, every year, let's say in December. How does it feel knowing you're going to have to work that hard for that long and not see one dime, even though someone has used your services (as an employee)?

Now let's say you actually did do this for one month but you wanted to give that money to a charity and that's why you're doing it. But your boss has other plans and just doesn't pay you or give money to the charity. How would you feel? What if you promised that charity you'd give them that month's wages? But you have nothing to give them because the person who used your services expects it for free.

Many authors donate a portion of their sales to different charities. I do. I donate every month and every time I get a royalty check for Whale Song. If someone pirates that book, they are taking money away from a non-profit, as well as me.

Or do pirates just not give a damn about anyone else but themselves?

It's sad that we're even having this conversation. You're admittedly from a younger generation. One that obviously feels entitled to take things that don't belong to you, yet you think it's wrong that I want to leave my daughter my novels and a little income.

There's far more to life than piracy, my young friend. Maybe you'll figure that out when you're older. Maybe then you'll value other people's hard work. And their dreams.

Support Authors, Buy a Book!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

ojm said...

Umm, you didn't publish my other comment? There shouldn't have been anything insulting or such. Or did it also get eaten by gnomes? I can believe if you say so, it's pretty late here. Also, I'm still not a pirate.

"What I get from your last comment is that you're saying it's really about what pirates want and that they should get it at any cost and to hell with the authors who spend months or years creating something worth reading."

I said that some people want to get things free, and others want to get the content on every platform, others this, others that. I don't know how you twist my words like that.

"So here's a challenge for you, ojm. Go to work for a month. Work FULL TIME, at least 40 hours a day. Buy everyone pizza and coffee every day. That'll be close to what I pay monthly to keep my business going. Then when it's payday, give your full month's paycheck to your coworkers."

I've mostly completed your challenge, and I've got the legal papers right here for proof. Here we have to go to army, or civil service. I was in civil service, for a full month, AND a YEAR. And I got free house, food, and practically nothing else. A month is peanuts. It was a full time, thankless hard job.

"There's far more to life than piracy, my young friend. Maybe you'll figure that out when you're older. Maybe then you'll value other people's hard work. And their dreams."

Dang it! Why don't you read anything I say?

You use words like "Prove me wrong!" And then you will not listen. You use studies as proof elsewhere, and then when it's proved that those studies don't actually support your view, it's supposed to be trusted anymore? You say you want to learn, but then you don't.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Regarding your country's copyright laws, ojm:

Unless Finland broke all the international copyright treaties they've signed over the years, Canadian works are illegal to copy or share in your country. So are US works and most developed countries' works and others. You and your pirate buddies need to get hold of the treaty lists.

In 1928, Finland signed the Berne treaty - Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

In 1956, Finland signed the UCC Geneva treaty - Universal Copyright Convention.

In 1986, Finland signed the USS Paris treay, also for the Universal Copyright Convention.

In 1995, Finland signed the TRIPS treaty - Agreement on Trade-Related ASpects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Finland also signed the treaty for the WIPO Copyright Treaty - World Intellectual Poperty Organization Copyright Treaty.

So, yeah, Canadian work is covered by that. That's what the treaties are for.

It's interesting to note that in most countries covered by these treaties, once an author files a copyright infringement suit and proves they own the work (which is very easy to do), the infringer/pirate is fined thousands of dollars. In other countries, they're imprisoned.

Tort lawyers would love a lawsuit like this. They could hit one pirate, fine him for each infringed copyright item he shared, do this with hundreds of author clients and thousands of pirates and make a mint.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Your posts are above. You're just not very patient. While you're busy sending me another post asking why your first one didn't appear, I'm busy posting your comment and replying to it.

I AM learning. Are you?

I don't agree with you. I've read everything you've posted and I STILL don't agree with you. You haven't proven me wrong. You haven't shown me how piracy doesn't hurt my sales or how it helps me as an author.

Good for you for being in the army. I come from a family who had members serve for most of their adult lives. My husband was in for 8 years and his family too for a few generations. That's something to be proud of.

But that wasn't what I was talking about. My challenge was for you to go work somewhere where you expect to be paid. That's where there's a similarity to what I do. I don't get a free house or free food. I have to pay for those.

ojm said...

Like I said, sharing is illegal here. That's true, and WIPO for example talks about sharing, not copying. About making available, but not about taking what is already available.

What I didn't tell about pirate bay in Sweden is that they also are smart and don't host the files, so they can't really be said to be infringing. It's the pirates themselves. Pirate bay is like Google, you can find the information on either, and then you download the things from the sharers computers.

I'm pretty sure, that even in USA, they are suing people who SHARE, not who just DOWNLOAD.

And anyway, I just don't care. I think the people on charge here are useless, but they know the laws better than I do. And the law here says:

"Tekijänoikeusrikkomuksena ei pidetä muutaman kappaleen valmistamista yksityistä käyttöä varten sellaisesta tietokoneella luettavassa muodossa olevasta tietokoneohjelmasta tai tietokannasta, joka on julkaistu taikka jonka kappaleita on tekijän tai tietokannan valmistajan suostumuksella myyty tai muutoin pysyvästi luovutettu, taikka teoksesta 11 §:n 5 momentin vastaisesti."

And the important parts translated are as follows "Producing a few copies for private use is not considered a copyright infringement... blaablaa" And the three last words and those numbers, which says it's also the case for works of art, even when it's agains that specific lawthingy that it points to.

If you have something against our copyright law, go whine to someone else. Sue Finland for all I care.

"Your posts are above. You're just not very patient."

Right. There is one missing, the one where I talk about my earlier piratism and my dreams and you not knowing a thing about how economy works. Perpetual sales, I laughed at that... Should have been before that 6:38 post.

"You haven't proven me wrong."

I have proven wrong at least that one study you yourself have used as an argument. Or actually not the study, but that it doesn't mean what you thought it would.

"Good for you for being in the army."

No. I wasn't in the army. I was in civil service, because I did not want to go to army. I don't think it's something to be proud of.

"But that wasn't what I was talking about. My challenge was for you to go work somewhere where you expect to be paid. That's where there's a similarity to what I do. I don't get a free house or free food. I have to pay for those."

I was doing, practically for free, what a professional would have done with a darn nice payment. We here have an actual social security system, so even if the workplace would not have given me anything, the government would have, so it's all the same thing. I practically saw a penny.

I'm happy to live in a country with a working social security system.

RowenaBCherry said...

Hello, ojm.

Thank you for clarifying what the law in Finland is regarding libraries and what patrons may and may not do.

How interesting.

I very much appreciated your definition of theft. Theft means that the owner loses the stuff.

American copyright law has one thing in common with the laws of trespass. If you don't enforce your property rights, you risk losing them either in part or altogether.

If an author doesn't assert her copyright, and doesn't attempt to protect it, her copyright is weakened.

She loses her stuff.

The Harry Potter Concordance case demonstrated that. Really, that case ended the era when authors could pretend not to notice "sharing".

So, if pirates seize our novels and share them without our knowledge and against our will, we risk losing some of our rights under the law.

We lose control of our stuff.

If pirates succeed in proving that the majority of the public want copyright laws overturned, then copyright owners lose copyright protections.

At the moment, I can leave anything that is mine to my heirs. If I can't leave the income from future sales of my books, I think I've had something of some value taken from me.

Carolyn said...

When you copy a book an author has spent countless hours writing because they want to make a living off the sales and you give it away for free you are stealing their income.

A single copy of a pirated book can be downloaded hundreds of times or more in a day and although every download is not a lost sale I'm sure that a significant portion of them are, why else would people be searching for the book to begin with unless they wanted it. You cant lend a hardback or paperback book to hundreds of people in a day.

If copying isn't stealing then you won't mind if someone comes into your work place and copies you doing your job and then volunteers to keep doing so for free. When your employer lets you go because the copycat will work for free will you think they've stolen your job?

For me as a reader price does affect my decision whether or not to purchase a book. If it's to cheap I wonder why, although I don't feel that way about free reads because I know thats a way authors let us try before we buy. At the same time I generally won't pay for more than $10 for an ebook. If it's higher than that I'll be a used print copy or wait for the price to come down.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Thank you for your comment, Carolyn.

I agree. Price affects my decision to buy too. Lately I've been studying my own past buying habits and I noticed that for the most part I'll pay $5 or less for an ebook. Unless it's by one of the big guys and one of my favorites. Then I don't mind paying $9.99.

I've also noticed that I've purchased more ebooks than ones I've gotten for free (legally), excluding the classics that come automatically with some of the ereader apps I downloaded.

My final observation is that about half of the ebooks I've bought are books by authors I'd never heard of. I came across them via emails from Amazon or Kobo and purchased them because they look good.

Support Authors, Buy a Book! :-)

Cheryl

ojm said...

"If an author doesn't assert her copyright, and doesn't attempt to protect it, her copyright is weakened."

Ok, I'm not sure if I understood that, but sounds like really, really weird.

"If pirates succeed in proving that the majority of the public want copyright laws overturned, then copyright owners lose copyright protections."

Well, majority of pirates, or at least Pirate Parties don't want you losing the copyright protections. That would be stupid. They want the private use to be legal and stuff, that's not nearly the same as wrecking down the whole copyright system.

"At the moment, I can leave anything that is mine to my heirs. If I can't leave the income from future sales of my books, I think I've had something of some value taken from me."

Yes, that is kinda true. The thing is, that some of us don't think you should be entitled for those future sales for as many years as it's now. We do think you should have the monopoly for them for a while, like it now is, only not as many years. The issue is really not all about books, music and video. It's also about study material, research material and stuff... Things humanity would get advantage of.

Carolyn: I'm sorry but I didn't understand that about copying me doing my job. Dang it, if that worked, you would have invented something that allows us all do what we want, and let our copies work! What's a better future?

"you are stealing their income."

People always say that, but I'm not getting any income from that!

"although every download is not a lost sale I'm sure that a significant portion of them are, why else would people be searching for the book to begin with unless they wanted it."

That they want it, doesn't mean they could pay. That they download it, doesn't mean they haven't already bought it, or will not buy it afterwards. They often do not search for specific things, they'll just grab the newest movies and watch them all in a marathon or something. Or then they will just lay in their hard drive, and will never be watched. Really, people pirate so much stuff, that there aren't enough money in the world to pay for it if it was 1:1 or anything near that. That's obviously not the case.

Also, pirates do buy stuff. Some sources say, that they buy a lot more than others. If they buy more than others, how are they harming anything?

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

We're going around in an endless loop here. Aren't you dizzy, ojm. I can feel your mind whirling from here.

If you're talking about the Norweigian study, the report states they're "more likely to pay". It's one little report, 2000 people interviewed.

Note: Sweden's Pirate Bay trial resulted in jail sentences (1 year) and fines of 2,500,000 pounds.

Carolyn said...

ojm-You said-
Carolyn: I'm sorry but I didn't understand that about copying me doing my job. Dang it, if that worked, you would have invented something that allows us all do what we want, and let our copies work! What's a better future?

How would it better your future if someone came to your place of employment, learned your job by copying your actions and took over by offering their services to your employer for free. Your out a job and a paycheck. And it’s all because someone copied you. How’s that a better future? True people aren’t copyrighted but I bet if copying caused them to loose their incomes this easily a whole lot of people would be hollering about their rights and wanting new laws in place to protect them.

I said-"you are stealing their income."

And you said - People always say that, but I'm not getting any income from that!

You personally may not be getting any income from that but many other pirates are. Some people are using auction sites to sell the e-books they downloaded for free from pirate sites. Other’s link to file sharing hosts that pay them for the traffic directed to their website via the link for the pirated material. And then other’s set up there own p2p forums and profit off the adds that are clicked on by those who come hunting down the pirated material. There are several ways a pirate can profit from the illegal copies they create to distribute.

Pirates making money, author's loosing money.

And I still say they’re also stealing an author income. Because by making the book easily available for free less people are going to buy it then would have otherwise.

Here’s another scenario. An author writes a book, sends it to a publisher, it’s accepted and then put out for sale and the author gets paid a little bit by every sale that’s made. But because someone copied her work, work being the book and gave it away for free, sales are lower than anticipated. The author hasn’t just lost the money from the sales he or she should be getting off this book but now when their next books ready for publishing the publisher might not accept it because the sales were so low on the first book.

And if you don’t want to call pirating stealing even though right in the front of almost every e-book I’ve seem there’s a warning that says something like the following: “All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without prior written permission from copyright holder. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions”

It seems to me to make more than the one copy authorized in the purchase it’s stealing but based on just that part which I just copied from the front of the book I’m reading now if you don’t want to call pirating or stealing, how about counterfeiting.

Counterfeiting or conspiracy to distribute counterfeit goods can lead to state or federal criminal charges. Civil lawsuits also can result from allegations of counterfeiting. Under federal law, counterfeiting is a class C felony, punishable by up to twelve years in prison or a fine of as much as $250,000, or both. State laws also establish penalties for counterfeiting

Not sure what your laws are in Finland in regard to counterfeiting but the fact is pirates act for all kinds of reasons, all of which are self serving and I doubt very few give two hoots about the law.

You can only speak for yourself. I’ve talked to several pirates in my quest to understand why they do what they do and I’ve heard all kinds of excuses. Most are just that, excuses, most of which make very little sense and are lies they tell themselves so they don’t have to feel bad and acknowledge the truth.

I've also talked to quite a few who would agree that what they're doing is stealing and they make no bones about it because they just don't care.

Zoe Winters said...

Rowena, Is Love Spell your imprint or an outside publisher? Your excerpt for Forced Mate on Amazon has two typos in it. If it's an outside publisher they should be beaten.

Cheryl, it should come as no surprise that I agree with your blog post here. With the Kindle App for PC and the GENEROUS sampling Kindle allows, not a single human being in the United States has an excuse to pirate cause they "don't know what's good."

Give me a freaking break.

Zoe Winters said...

Also it is absolute BS that your copyright protection can "weaken" if you aren't out constantly defending it. That puts the onus on the victim, otherwise they'll be LEGALLY victimized again. That pisses me off so much I have NO words.

I'll tell you this much, one day I may just snap and personally start suing pirates. I guess we'll know where my lost money went and how I'll be getting it back. Out of the hides of jerks who think they can steal something they should have just coughed up the freaking 99 cents for in the first place.

Zoe Winters said...

Oh... one more thing before I go to bed...

On a lark I googled "Piracy doesn't hurt authors" in quotes just to see what kind of asinine crap was being hurled around the Interwebz.

There was ONE result (which wasn't even saying that really. but it was a HILARIOUS post that made me LOL, something I really need after the past few days of piracy pissing me off: http://thelaughingfrog.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html You will laugh so hard you'll cry.)

But anyway... I find it interesting... if piracy really doesn't hurt authors, that there is such a lack of anything on google that says that exact thing. It's not as if it's that long or obscure of a search phrase. I mean come on. "pickled beets are awesome" turned up 8 Google results.

"Piracy doesn't hurt authors" couldn't even turn up that many. How can pickled beets be a more popular idea? Ewww.

It seems even pirates can't even work themselves up to say piracy doesn't hurt authors with a straight face. At least not in a place where Google will spider them.

I'm sticking with my original thought... they know it hurts authors, they don't CARE.

Anyone who will buy a king-sized candy bar instead of stealing it, and tip their waitress for bringing their coffee, but can't pay 99 cents for several hours of entertainment from me... seriously? Don't even wind me up again!

RowenaBCherry said...

Good morning, ojm.

Thank you for saying We do think you should have the monopoly for them for a while, like it now is, only not as many years.

You're not speaking for all pirates. There are some who request authors' books before they are even on the market, and some who share an author's book the day it goes on sale and before even they have read it.

That's what one particularly malicious uploader on Astatalk allegedly did recently.

Obviously, one day or less (or, until your book actually goes on sale) is not much of a monopoly for the author.

If you respect our monopoly for a while, we have a disagreement over the length of copyright, but not over our right to exist as authors and independent contractors.

RowenaBCherry said...

Any file-sharing forum or site that adds "Share This" functionality loses any claim of innocence, in my opinion.

It becomes a political action organization. Either that, or it shows intent to profit from their members' activities.

"Safe Harbor" should not apply.

If an Astatalk member uploads a copyrighted work (be it a Microsoft program, a Cisco application, a movie, a tune, or a book, or a game) knowing that he or someone else could Tweet the link to millions, that is not harmless "sharing".

For those in any doubt, downloaders who Tweet become uploaders.

A. F. Stewart said...

Pirate sites, free-sharing sites and their supporters can justify their actions all they want, but the fact is they are engaged in illegal acts.
They have no legal right to engage in the distributing of copyrighted material; to offer copyrighted material a site must have legal permission. That's what that copyright right blurb in a book means, people.
These sites are, in effect, a virtual "fence". And what's worse, they are encourging people to actively break the law, simply because the law is inconvient for them.

lee-rowan said...

This almost isn't a matter of what country a pirate lives in--except that there are a lot of signatories to international copyright laws and what you don't know can bite you.

The point is the SALE CONTRACT that anyone doing business with an e-book vendor agrees to at the time and point of purchase, to wit: this book is sold to the individual who buys it and may not be reproduced.

Period. That's the contract.

You don't like it, don't buy the book. But to buy it and put it up for thousands of "free" downloads...? That's a violation of the purchase contract and copyright law. The entitlement clan can rationalize it any way they want to, but it still comes out crime.

You wouldn't walk up to an author, punch her in the face, and steal cash out of her pocket, would you? That's what you're doing. It just feels clever when you do it on the Net. But it's still theft.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Zoe, Rowena, A.F. and Lee, thanks so much for dropping by and weighing in on this debate. I appreciate all of your comments. You all make great arguments.

Cheryl

RowenaBCherry said...

Zoe,

Oh, dear!!! "And experiment" and "castratee me".

I wonder if I can fix that. LoveSpell is one of the imprints of Dorchester Publishing.

Zoe Winters said...

Rowena,

Maybe the publisher will fix it. I thought they were an imprint of somebody. I'll tell you this is why I roll my eyes when people tell me self-pubbed books have too many editing problems. There is a serious lack of concern and care for quality when a major publisher can't even get a tiny excerpt up on Amazon without a typo.

I realize most self-pubbed books suck, and there is just no way around that, but I really can't deal with a publisher because they'll obviously do stupid crap like this.