Authors: There’s a Thief in Your House, and Here’s How To Narc on Them.

Huge, mammoth hat tip to Bree and Donna for teaching me the magic that is Whois. And for translating it because I still don’t understand. Now, let me tell you a scary story, then hand you a machete.

ETA: The links in the next paragraph trip a lot of people’s antivirus, and a lot of evidence is pointing now to these sites being not pirate sites at all, that they aren’t giving any books, only mining credit cards. Which is actually a little worse if anyone stumbling into that site genuinely mistakes them for a legit seller.  A lot of authors and pubs are sending take-down requests, but it’s still a serious issue.

This site is selling works without permission. So is this one, but Devin on twitter says they have similar stuff in the guts or something computer-ish that I don’t understand, which boils down to they’re probably the same joint. Except they seem to have different hosts, so maybe they’re twin assholes.

If you’re a reader and you’re going HEY CHEAP BOOKS, please know this is worse than piracy. This is someone illegally selling works they have no rights to. For that measly $1.90, I will receive nothing, ever, nor will my publisher, and thieving jerks will receive everything. These people will also have all your contact information, and your credit card. They have all this language about how they won’t sell it or anything, but since they’re STEALING EVERYTHING ON THEIR SITE, I’m sure you can totally trust them. You might want to give them all your passwords and maybe mail them a house key too. They seem like great people.

Anyway, if you’re not in the mood to shop, let’s bury these fuckers. Start here for RomancePDF, and here for the other one. If you’re an author, threaten their ass with lawyers. Because it wouldn’t take ten minutes to get three thousand of us, and I have a lawyer on retainer, and we could cream these people into the ground every time this happens. Though they’re probably meth heads with ingrown penises, so we can’t get much and we’d be better served writing more books. But yell at them. Be creative! You’re a writer. This is the page where you yell at them.

But don’t stop there! For RomancePDF, we know their host! ETA: Singlehop says they aren’t the host, except people have screenshots proving they are. This is the phone number for their service provider:  +1-2013775952. Be somewhat civil here, as these guys are just a host. But be clear they’re aiding and abetting people selling thousands of titles illegally and that the entire internet is paying attention and getting pissed. You can tell them we’re blogging too. Whatever you like.

You can also email them at abuse-contact@publicdomainregistry.com and abuse@singlehop.com. Here’s what I’m emailing them. Feel free to copy/edit as you like. And if you’re a reader and you want to yell with us, come on in. The outrage’s fine.

***

To whom it may concern:

It has come to my attention that your domain is hosting http://www.romancepdf.com/, a site which is illegally selling several of my books from various publishers, collecting money and in no way paying royalties to me or my publishers. I’ve notified my publishers and the site, who has standard DMCA language about takedown notices, but this doesn’t really apply as they’re outright selling licensed, stolen work and collecting money. This information has been shared with several thousand authors, and their publishers, and now it has been shared with you.

We ask you to not host this site, as they’re essentially using you as their getaway car and bank vault. I’m not entirely sure what you’re legally liable for, but I’d prefer none of us ever had to find out. In any event, we’re hoping you’re a good company made of decent people and that you too wouldn’t like it if your creative work was being sold out from under you and the person’s house it was happening in didn’t do anything to stop it. You will probably be hearing from a lot of us. Authors are well connected, and contrary to popular opinion, few of us live in any kind of glamor. The money from our work is our living wage, which buys food and Internet and the domain hosts for our websites.

Thanks for listening, and hopefully acting.

Sincerely,

Heidi Cullinan

38 Comments on “Authors: There’s a Thief in Your House, and Here’s How To Narc on Them.

  1. Reblogged this on Lane Swift and commented:
    Heidi says it better than I could. Pirates are illegally selling ebooks (no money goes to the author or publisher). Here’s how we can try to stop them.

  2. Thanks Heidi. Will send the server a request to not host.

  3. Can I just say that I hate those fuckers!?! I loathe these scumbags stealing from you authors. Emails going out now!

  4. Neither of my books are on there but I’ve emailed my publisher because other titles of theirs are on the site. Hopefully with Ellora’s Cave behind us we can get these people shut down.

  5. Heidi, can you add a rel=nofollow tag to those links? In the gap between you reporting this and the sites going down, you don’t want to give them more link popularity so they show up on search engines.

  6. You can also issue DMCA notices to Google to have the pages specifically hosting your work removed from search engine results.

    • That’s what my publishers did as soon as I alerted them (issued DMCA take down notices) I normally don’t bother with piracy sites any more (there are so many, my head would be wrecked tracking them) but this site really pissed me off by charging for the damn things on top of nicking them.

  7. Just checked that site and four of my books are up there – and what’s more, one of them isn’t even in print any more, so NO-ONE should be able to buy it!

  8. Not a published writer, have no books on this site. But sent letters.

    Stealing is stealing and its wrong. We all suffer from it eventually.

  9. Thanks for the heads-up. I found my books for sale on this site too – including BOTH of the books that are currently FREE everywhere.
    What a bunch of assholes.

  10. As far as I’m aware, these sites aren’t actually stealing from us. They’re phishing sites designed to steal people’s card details using book data that they’ve mined from Amazon as a lure. A very similar site popped up last year and they never sent a single book to the people who fell for it. While it may not be stealing, I definitely don’t want my name on this site.

  11. I am outraged on all of the authors & publishers behalf. I have shared on all my social media outlets…and narc’d on em as you suggested. Creeps!

  12. I’ve had dealings with the other one before under a different name. They’ve been known to block isps so when you visit after complaint, it appears your books are down. They shut down one page and opened up under another. That said, their traffic at the time was minimal which was encouraging. Another thing to note, my virus scanner hates the romancepdf site. I’ve heard rumours of them stealing card details. I suspect that’s where they hope to make their money. I fear they will continue to pop up but I like the thought of making their life difficult.

  13. Reblogged this on Behind Closed Doors and commented:
    This is a never-ending battle publishers and authors have to face. The sad thing is, readers are duped into thinking these are legitimate sites. They ARE NOT. They steal copyrighted material and either give it away for free, or sell it. No royalties are paid to the authors who work hard to put out the book. Top it off, patrons of these sites usually end up with defective books and/or viruses on their computers…or worse…their identities stolen.

    So think long and hard before you click on those links that offer low cost or free ebooks. Stealing is stealing and if you use these sites, you very well could end up being the victim of the theft.

  14. Pingback: ASMSG Romance Erotica Ezine – Authors: There’s a Thief in Your House, and Here’s How To Narc on Them.

  15. Reblogged this on So, I Read This Book Today . . . and commented:
    Readers,

    These authors work long hours, pouring their souls out onto the page. The least we can do is honour their works and pay for them. Most of them don’t ask much, and as Heidi says, they deserve a living wage. I can’t see anyone working for free and not considering the fact that you like to eat and keep a roof over your heads!

  16. Thanks for posting this. However, I clicked on the first link, and my anti-virus software warned me that the site contained malware. You might want to remove the link to the site.

  17. The first site won’t load for me. I hope it’s because it’s been taken down. I did go to the other site and complain and then reported them to the abuse email. I hope they both are removed. I’m outraged that they are stealing authors works and even more outraged they are then selling them and phishing peoples credit cards. I’m so sorry Heidi.

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing this to our attention! My book is there too! I’ve e-mailed them, but if the book isn’t taken down, I’m all for legal action being taken. Will reblog and share with everyone I know. So angry!!!!!!!!!

  19. Pingback: ASMSG Horror-Thriller Emagazine – Authors: There’s a Thief in Your House, and Here’s How To Narc on Them.

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