Saturday, September 22, 2012
The downside of posting to free sites
Ugh, I have just spent a grueling 3 hours sending out 'Take down notices' to various sites that have posted my writings without my permission.
When a writer posts their work to sites like Literotica.com then some people take the stories and share them on other sites where the reader can download them to read on their mobile readers. I don't like having my stories in different host sites that I have not granted permission to. One reason is that even if the file is not for sale on those sites and no one is making money from them/and even if it is a story that I don't intend to publish, I often make updates and edits. I can't control the content that is hosted on another site where I have not given my permission.
But that doesn't even begin to address the problems for an author who then has to remove any free posts in order to publish. It is not fair to people who are paying for the story to have others download it for free. And in some cases a publishing site might refuse to even publish your story if there are too many instances of the story appearing for free on the internet.
That is the dilemma that I've had to face with Beast. I wasn't able to publish it through Amazon because it appeared for free in too many places. Once I got that settled I then had to go on a 'hunt' for other Pepper Pace stories that appear on free sites.
In many of the cases I am finding that the versions that appear on these sites are the versions that appeared on Literotica.com before I published them. And while I don't regret my time spent there and providing the free stories that I did, I do wish that I had removed them all once Stranded was stolen and published without my permission. Literotica is a site that you post to at your own risk...if you intend to ever publish that work then I would definitely bypass the site.
I post stories to my blog for free and trust that my readers will not post them to other sites without my permission. When they are posted for free then yes, it is absolutely okay for you to upload them to your own devices whether they be to a smart phone, Nook or Kindle. But please do not copy and post to other sites for the purposes of mass distribution and download.
Now the ones that really have me heated are the downloads that are ripped off directly from places like Amazon and B&N. And then when they are hosted on sites where it clearly shows an author's book cover with an author's name (which doesn't match the name of the poster) than you have to question why these host sites do not do a better job of 'policing' the content that they allow to upload. A simple Google search would show the true owners of the work. I've contacted Billy London and other writers about this and I am always notified by other writers about instances of copyright infringement.
It is exhausting. But don't think this means that I don't like providing access to my 'free' work. It just means that I want to be the one that controls when and where. You can help me by notifying me at Pepperpace.firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you see my stories posted somewhere illegally.