Wednesday, January 05, 2011

21st Century Whack-A-Mole

Status: I conked out early yesterday before I could blog.

What’s Playing on the XM or iPod right now? WHITER SHADE OF PALE by Annie Lennox

In this digital age, pirating is lightning fast. Mari Mancusi’s NIGHT SCHOOL literally went on sale yesterday and within hours, you could illegally download it in a pirated digital edition. We clocked it.

And even though it feels futile, like 21st century whack-a-mole, authors can’t afford being complacent when it comes to pirated digital downloads. Literally.

Best defense is to track via something like Google alerts then notify the publisher. Most have a division that notifies infringers and gets the sites removed. (Yes, I know a new site will appear within a day but it still disrupts them.) If there are advertisers on the site, notify them of the copyright violation. I know that legit advertisers have pulled out of sites that are violating the copyright.

Also important is to educate fans. A lot of young people, in the age of napster, see it as a victimless crime. It hurts the livelihood of artists and that is a detriment to all of us in the long run.

If fans abroad are having trouble legally downloading an edition, check with your publisher or agent on where the digital edition is available and get proactive on disseminating that information. At some point, even loyal, ethical fans can get frustrated enough to buy the non-legal version. I get that so do what you can to help the situation. In general, publishers are moving on territory restrictions and availability issues but they are having trouble keeping pace with almost weekly change.