Book Piracy – How To Protect Your Book In 5 Steps
Dealing with piracy, copyright violations, and unauthorized sales is part of being an author.
You will especially deal with book piracy if you sell eBooks since they are much easier to copy and distribute than physical books.
Therefore, you must learn how to protect yourself in every situation and know the appropriate actions to take.
Even if your book isn’t published yet and you’re still writing, it’s a good idea to learn how to protect your work for the future.
Table of Contents
A Primer On Copyright Laws
If you’ve finished writing your book, it’s automatically yours. You don’t need to file it with the copyright office to get your copyright approved.
Of course, it can be useful to take extra-legal steps, but it’s not necessary to prove ownership.
This is especially true if you have a way to prove that you wrote your work, such as printing a mailing a copy to yourself( leave it sealed in the mailing envelope), a timestamp on your computer of when you wrote it, or a publish date.
Now, someone stealing your book ideas or plots is a different type of category you might have to deal with. This article is more about people selling your book without your permission. But it’s still a good idea for you to know the basics as a writer.
When Is Stealing Worth Pursuing?
Before going after someone for pirating your book, assess if it’s worthwhile. Is the person influential enough to warrant legal action for removal?
It’s often worth it if you see them selling the stolen copy of your book and making good money.
You might decide to have it taken down on principle alone. However, a lot of time, it is not always worth the extra effort to go through to get it taken down, which we will cover.
Consider seeking legal advice from major websites or influential figures instead of relying on a polite email to stop book piracy.
Let’s say you have just found out that someone has stolen your book and you want to know what you need to do to protect your work.
Before getting a lawyer, take these steps to safeguard your book.
Confirm that they are selling or giving away your book.
Many scammers falsely offer free books but infect the person’s computer with a virus or tracking software upon download.
Double-checking can save you time from unnecessary conflict over intellectual property.
Get in touch with the person or website
Once confirmed, reach out to the person or website offering your book.
Look for a Contact Us page, email address, or social media posts for their contact information. If they don’t have it, try using WhoIs to find their contact information.
Many people will respect your request to remove your book, making this step potentially all you need to do.
If no response, reach out to the Host or DNS provider
If you don’t get a response through traditional channels, try contacting the host.
Hosts are wary of the legal consequences of having copyrighted materials illegally on their site. If you have evidence of copyright law violations, their entire site can be shut down. This is a matter that should be taken seriously.
File a DCMA report
In the event of no communication or immediate action taken regarding the theft of your book, it is imperative to file a DMCA report.
It is of utmost importance that you diligently document all the steps in advance, as they frequently demand proof of your efforts to explore other possibilities before reaching out to them.
The best way to find this information is to search, “Name of the (host) Company” + “DMCA”.
Get legal support
If nothing else works or you suspect more significant damages than someone simply taking your book (which is already distressing!), it is advisable to contact a lawyer or seek legal assistance for further guidance.
According to Statista, here are the top sites for illegal eBook downloads
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