Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to handle a pirate

Today, I’m going to talk about pirates.

Ahoy, me matey!

Oh, hello there. Wow, an actual pirate. Uh, nice…eye patch.

Arrrr. It was a gift from some rum fellow like yerself. But yo-ho-ho, the lass is resting in Davy Jones' locker now.

Gulp. Really? Well, I’m not sure how to tell you this without totally offending you, but...

Don’t pay an old salt like me no mind. Give it straight, me bucko.

Alright then. But, umm, I’m not really talking about pirate pirates. I’m talking about Internet pirates.


Internet pirates. You know, those sites that post your copyrighted stories on the web for free, without your permission.

Shiver me timbers! Any bilge-sucking blaggard addled enough to pillage me booty will lose their lights and liver. Why, they’ll taste the tip of me cutlass, eat me belaying pin for supper, kiss me gunner's daughter, dance with Jack Ketch—

Okay, okay! I get your point. But I don’t think killing or maiming them is quite acceptable…or legal (no matter how tempting the idea sounds).

No quarter! Dead men tell no tales…especially the tales of me hearties. A pox on ye scurvy dogs! I’ll flog ye with me Cat o'nine tails and make ye walk me plank to feed the fishes. I’ll keelhaul ye—

Actually, I was thinking a letter might do the trick. I’ve been hit twice by Internet pirates now, and both times, all I’ve had to do was contact them and politely inform them the story’s rights were being infringed. The story was taken offline within the week.

It was simple really.

Places like Astatalk (here’s their take down link ) and Scribd (here’s their take down link) already have removal request forms for you to fill out.

Just make sure you have ALL THE INFORMATION they need. If they don’t have a template letter for you to fill out, you can write them something like this:


My story, [ENTER THE NAME OF YOUR STORY HERE] by [AUTHOR NAME], [ISBN NUMBER], available at [PUBLISHER NAME and PUBLISHER'S WEB ADDRESS] - is being shared without my or my publisher’s express consent.

I am the owner of the copyright of this story, and under the penalty of perjury, give my word that the above stated information is accurate.

I would appreciate it if you could remove the link to the download as soon as possible:



[Sometimes they need information on how to contact you, which you could provide here]

If your efforts are still ignored, I recommend you join the yahoo group Authors Against E-Book Theft to help you deal with the problem.

It's not too hard to find Internet pirates stealing your story either. Just sign up at Google Alerts. In their search terms box, type in things like your author name and the title of your story. Might want to put "parenthesis" around your story title so the search knows to look for those exact words in that exact order.

And that's all there is to it!

Blimey! Trust a saucy wench to take the landlubber’s way out. Arrr, me proud beauty. Sounds like ye have everything shipshape.

Oh! Well, thanks (blushes).

I guess I’ll heave ho then and weigh anchor. It’s back to the Briny deep for this sea dog.

Thank you again for stopping by Mr., uh, Pirate sir. I hope to see you again next year on September 19th (which is official Talk-like-a-pirate Day, by the way!).

Aye, me matey. Fair winds and God speed.


Carol Kilgore said...

Very clever!
Pirates should walk their own plank.

Linda Kage said...

I second that. Thanks for stopping by, Carol!

Big Mike said...

Nicely done Linda and very helpful. Thanx.

BIg Mike

Amber Skyze said...

Yes, I've used the take down letters and they do work for about a week and then someone new puts it back up. Very frustrating.

It's a full time job chasing the pirates.

Linda Kage said...

Thanks, Big Mike.

Oh, no, Amber. I've never had someone put my story right back up before. Ugg. Maybe we should just make them walk the plank.

Lydia Kang said...

OMG, I don't know about this stuff AT ALL. Thanks so much for the informative post!