Digital book piracy is a major problem facing some 21st Century authors. New York Times tech columnist David Pogue just told his readers why he decided to download an eBook from a BitTorrent site.
At the same time, many publishers and authors don’t have the financial resources to hire a legal service to fight piracy.
For all the authors, publishers and readers who want to defend digital books against piracy, we’ve put together a simple five-step plan to discover and prevent eBook piracy.
1. Start a daily Google Alert for your name and the name of your book. If your book is being indexed on a pirate website, the Google alert will pick up most mentions of your name or the book’s name.
2. Search the most popular file sharing sites. We won’t list them here, but you need to search for your book in all the popular pirate haunts.
3. Send a DMCA take-down notice. You need to send this Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) form letter to every single site hosting a pirated copy of your book. If you visit the file-sharing site’s main page, you should be able to find a “DMCA Policy” and email address. Save this form letter.
4. Save a list of all the sites where you discovered pirated copies and keep checking them. Sometimes pirates will repost the book at a later time or use a file mirroring service to keep the link alive. You will need to send the letter again.
5. Send a list of all the infringing sites to your publisher. Many publishers are also fighting these sites and can help you in this process. (Photo via fdecomite)