One of the e-loops I’m on recently discussed the subject of piracy. I was shocked to discover that a newly published author (so new that her books have not yet hit the shelves), found her book on a pirate site. How could this happen? The suggestion was offered that the source was possibly from an ARC (Advance Reader Copy). These copies are distributed when the author does promotional tours, often virtually, and provides an ARC as the prize for a competition. So, in good faith an author provides a copy of his/her work and then bammo, it’s uploaded to a pirate site and the work is available for free. If the author wished to distribute his/her work for free he/she could quite easily accomplish that via their own website.
Writing a book is hard work. Writing a book good enough for publication is very hard work. It can take up to a year to create and that’s after all the years taken to learn the craft. So piracy is not only stealing someone’s work, it’s taking part of their life as well.
Talk about being morally bankrupt.
There’s a reason why theft ranks up there in the top ten.
What could be worse than piracy? Again theft – in the form of plagiarism. And worse than that? Plagiarism by someone you know. The integrity of authors, be they published or unpublished, experienced or newbies should remain above reproach – in this respect at least. To steal your fellow’s work is not just theft, it’s betrayal. It’s disrespectful, it’s egotistical to think it doesn’t matter and it’s illegal.
Some would advocate punishment by flogging. Well, let’s not get carried away, but ostracism? I think judgement should lean that way. As well as public notification of the crime. Maybe like the drink diving ‘bloody idiot’ add, a tattoo across the forehead proclaiming their sin should be introduced.
I’m living in a dream world? Possibly, no scratch that – probably. Maybe that’s why in my books I tend to kill off all the bad guys.
Well, that’s my rant for the day. Some things just push my buttons and theft is one of them.