Sunday, June 2, 2013

What to do When You are Pirated - Sample DMCA Take-Down Notice

Some author friends of mine joke that you know you have written a winning story when it begins to show up on the pirate site.  I don't laugh.  As of this writing, my debut award-winning YA -paranormal, SPELLBOUND, has been pirated over 14,000 times.  Really.  14,000 times.  That means that if my book sells for the bank-breaking price of $2.99, and I receive 40% of the net proceeds, then roughly $11,000 dollars has been stolen from me.

If you are an author, you have seen many posts and blogs and articles on what can be done.  The truth of the matter is that most of these pirate sites operate outside of the United States and therefore outside of any prosecutorial area.  Additionally, pirating books is not considered a serious crime.  Of course, when music was being pirated, musicians everywhere cried foul and succeeded in shutting down sites and getting teens and twenty-somethings arrested.  And whenever you view a movie rental, the FIRST screen is about the serious repercussions of copying it.  Whatever.  Don't EVEN get me started.

So, what can you do?  Admittedly, not much.  Sorry, it sucks, but it's true.  One thing that has worked reasonably well for me though, is the DMCA Notice.

A DMCA Notice is technically the Digital Millenium Copyright Act notice.  It is sent, either by snail or email, to the administrator of the site offering your material.  I have done it a number of times and been fairly successful.  Usually, my books (yes, plural...they've stolen them all) are removed from the site within 48 hours.  It won't cure the disease, but it will stop the flow of blood.

For your information, I am including one here.  This one is from an awesome site I frequent called EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition.  I highly recommend you go and visit here:

Sample DMCA Take Down Notice

Send a letter like the following to make your claim:
VIA eMail at ISPHosting[at]
Re: Copyright Claim
To the ISP Hosting Company:
I am the copyright owner of the eBooks being infringed at:
This letter is official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") to effect removal of the above-reported infringements. I request that you immediately issue a cancellation message as specified in RFC 1036 for the specified postings and prevent the infringer, who is identified by its Web address, from posting the infringing material to your servers in the future. Please be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to "expeditiously remove or disable access to" the infringing material upon receiving this notice. Noncompliance may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.
I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of here is not authorized by me, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I swear under penalty of perjury that I am the copyright holder.
Please send me at the address noted below a prompt response indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter.
/s/ Emily Dickinson
Email: hardworkingauthor[at]
After the ISP receives the notice, it should remove the infringing materials.
Infringements are much too common these days. Fortunately, there are tools to fight them. The DMCA takedown notice is one of the more powerful ones.

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