Ask Google to Stand Against Book Piracy
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In light of the growing social conversation on book piracy, we're asking Google to help us stand against theft of authors' work, dreams, and livelihoods.
Should all art be free? That's a decision to be made by the artist creating it; the question hasn't been answered otherwise with any greater authority.
Does piracy only affect 'big publishers' who can afford it? Why should anyone, even a corporation in the business of producing authors' work, be asked to absorb the cost of theft? And the answer is no; it affects Indie authors who are making the painful decision not to publish future works, authors who feel the consequences directly.
But piracy has *always* existed, right? It has, and sadly probably always will. Should we stand by while a trickle becomes a flood, complicit in the death of someone's dream because 'everyone is doing it'?
Self-reporting through a piracy site's phony DMCA link is not enough; it's nothing at all. In one case I was able to track the removed, pirated PDF to a satellite of the original site, and onto several others. That was a year ago; now the links that do still function dump legitimate copyright claims into un-monitored email accounts.
If Google provides a venue in which these sites can be searched, discovered, and accessed, they should provide a means for us, the creators of the stolen work, to be heard and protected. While the bottom of a Google site page provides a 'report' button, torrent and PDF subscription pages do not.
This is not an unmanageable task; Youtube* offers a simple, concise format for reporting copyright infringement and abuse that requires a certain level of verification and proof, as well as a reminder that you are liable for false reports.
Ask Google to give us, the author, power to fight piracy and the theft of our work.
Ask them to provide a legitimate, manageable reporting feature from the search page.
We may not be able to stop piracy, but with help we can fight it.
*Edit - People have taken issue with the Youtube example because their reporting system is exploitable. It's only a starting-point suggestion for Google to consider. Despite their flaws, Youtube is the only site I can name where my reported piracy links are removed within 24 hours; on Google the pages of violations grow without any recourse. If anyone has an example where the reporting system is more successful overall, please send it along. We want to demonstrate any instance where reporting is working well. From there, Google can set verification and security measures to make their system valid.
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