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 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.