Last Friday night, Jacquline McMahon (interviewed here last week) told me her book had gotten stolen from this website: http://download-file.net When I went there, I saw my own two experimental ebooks listed in various formats. Another author-friend is only in print, and with a large publishing house, and her books were offered (in PFD format). This site is offering books and movies for free (with a less than a five dollar initial membership fee). The authors get no royalties, the publishers no income. It’s theft. It’s wrong. What now?
I hate to be a whistle-blower when it is so soon, when I’m not positive it isn’t a virus scam (i.e., pay to become a member, and *surprise* you now have been gifted with a computer virus). When I contacted them to remove my books, I received back an automated response giving me a reference number and password. A Michigan author wrote the site anonymously to find out if the books were indeed free. They responded to her. Yes, they were all free, after joining.
I suppose with both today’s technology and today’s world laws, something like this was inevitable. One fatalistic writer friend told me it happens all the time. Several friends are contacting their publishers. My livelihood (so far) doesn’t depend on my writing, but for several friends, it does. It will be interesting to see where this goes, with this particular thieving site, and others.