Part 1 of the Digital Pirating Series
Today we discuss the basics. Not long ago I released my first book, and right off the bat was told that it had been pirated. Other writers from the loop I belonged routinely kept watch over their books and had spotted mine. I gained some experience, not all good but still I had some success. Yet it was short lived.
What pirates you say? Arrrhhh! Ahoy matey? No. Not this time.  This matter isn’t something akin to Let's all Talk Like a Pirate that occurs annually in September.
Digital media piracy is of concern now more than ever. As I said my success was short lived because, as soon as one site removed my book, there it was up on another. This doesn't just impact indie authors either. Simon and Shuster just sent a notice (earlier this month) that they will provide their authors with piracy data. Piracy sites are similar to mushrooms cropping up in the dark. Remove one, and another appears when you turn your back.

To fight the good pirate fight what tools are needed? One comes to mind. A legal pitbull. Aka an attorney. And as we all know, these legal gunslingers aren’t cheap.

So what can indie publishers and self-published or independent artist do more? More than wring their fingers? Well that depends on how much time they’ve got on hand.

To begin with, we need to know what we’re dealing with besides frustration. Your creative blood, sweat, and tears isn’t what’s at stake...actually. It’s something more broad than your book or photograph. If you choose to step into the ring, what you seek to protect, like every court case that is taken to court, is a bit broader than the specific issue (creative work) at hand. What you are fighting for is to uphold a law that was created to protect your right. When this right is upheld by the perpetuation of the law in place, your creative endeavor is protected. In the case of fighting digital pirating, it’s known as Digital Millennium Copyright Act, hereafter known as DMCA.
So what are the things that you can begin to do before you actually put on the digital boxing gloves.

To begin with, perform a search engine alert for your name and the title of your book. Search engines such as Google will provide a listing of where your name and your book is mentioned.
Next, if you’re careful you can determine where pirate sites exist. Extreme caution in entering such sites in NOT giving any personal information. I’d caution even the cookies from such sites. 
Then if you do find your book is listed, the next step is sending a DMCA take-down notice.  
Stay tuned for the next post in this series of DIGITAL PIRATING…WHAT CAN WE DO?
Coming up tomorrow we'll look at how to craft a take-down notice and what we need to know before we hit "send."
Anyone with success in this endeavor, please chime in for the sake of all authors and artists.

My recommendation for the holidays!

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