Today we are going to talk about theft and how to protect your work from being stolen.
It is virtually impossible to protect a popular book from being stolen and given out for free on the internet. But you have to try and chances are, you aren’t quite as popular as Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling or Stephen King so it will be much easier to protect your work.
Let’s start with the simple way to start the process. Go to Google.com/alerts and enter your name where it says “Create an alert about …” but when you do make sure and enter your name in quotes like this … “Tracy Tegan”.
You want your alert to be an exact name match or you might get a lot of false alerts that will just be annoying.
Now you have told Google to alert you every time it comes across a new entry for your name and this includes when it finds websites offering your book illegally as a download.
Next go to YouTube.com and search for your name or the names of your books. You might be surprised what you find there. I found some jerk had taken all of the Thoughtless series by S.C. Stephens and illegally put them up on YouTube. They’ve been up for over 2 months and in that time thousands of people have listened to her audiobooks for free. She lost so many sales as a result. I mean why buy the book at Audible when you can just listen to it for free at YouTube, right?
So if you find yourself in this situation go to YouTube and report every video that is illegally streaming your books. You can only report your own stolen books. So while it’s horrible that we found someone else stealing books belonging to an author we all know and love, but we can’t do anything about it other than warn her.
Once you click the REPORT button on YouTube, simply follow the stated instructions on the screen.
Now protecting your work on YouTube is really the easy part. When you find your book on other websites it gets a little more complicated. When you find these you have to contact the site’s owner, and web hosting company and issue a DMCA takedown notice.
A DMCA takedown notice is a notification to a company, usually a web host or a search engine, that they are either hosting or linking to copyright-infringing material. It provides them notice to remove the copyrighted works.
If you want to find your book already being downloaded illegally search for something like “download YOURBOOK NAME” and then look for obvious offenders. Then you can send them your DMCA Take Down Notice. Here is a sample for you to use.
SAMPLE DMCA TAKE DOWN NOTICE
My name is INSERT YOUR NAME and I am the AUTHOR of INSERT BOOK NAME HERE. A website that your company hosts (according to WHOIS information) is infringing on at least one copyright owned by my company.
This was copied onto your servers without permission. The original BOOK, to which we own the exclusive copyrights, can be found at:
PROVIDE WEBSITE URL ie: http://amzn.to/1Sx1xL9
The unauthorized and infringing copy can be found at:
PUT THE URL OF THE WEBSITE WHO STOLE YOUR BOOOK HERE
This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future.
Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately.
I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that rights my company owns are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright(s) involved.
Should you wish to discuss this with me please contact me directly.
City, State Zip
Now email this copy to the web hosting company. How can you find that out? Let’s take a look … it’s not always easy. If it’s from Blogger.com or Blogspot.com, then go here and simply follow the instructions.
http://rapidgator.net is a site that illegally hosts books. So what I do first is a WHOIS search. This will hopefully tell me who owns that domain name.
The first thing I noticed is that the site uses Domain Name Privacy protection, so I am unable to contact them directly.
Registrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will however attempt to send my DMCA notice to that address, but it’s not always successful.
Next I look down at their name servers. This site has their own name servers. This is not uncommon when trying to mask your real identity or if they are a big company. Usually however with pirates it’s to try and hide their real identity or who they really host with to try and avoid getting out of trouble.
Name Server: ns1.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns2.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns3.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns4.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns5.rapidgator.net
So what do I do now? I go to a site called http://www.whoishostingthis.com and I search rapidgator.net. This tells me that their hosting company is Netvillage. So if they don’t respond to my DMCA request I will go directly to their web host.
So next I go to the website rapidgator.net. This actually should have been my first step. I found a REPORT abuse link on their website, so I would fill out their form.
However that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you have to find out who their hosting company is as a site like whoishostingthis.com and send your letters there.
I keep doing this for every single website I find illegally offering my book on their website. And every time Google sends me an alert letting me know of a new one, which honestly isn’t that often anymore, I repeat this process. I only takes a few minutes but it’s worth it.
Before I started doing this I found that over 20,000 people had illegally downloaded my first book Absolutely Unforgivable.
That’s 20,000 sales I’ll never get paid on and that’s not okay!
Stealing from someone is never okay and hopefully now you understand how you can stop people from doing it from you.
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