There are many websites that claim to have “free ebooks.” And, of course, when they encourage people to upload copies of ebooks they’ve purchased, that’s a violation of copyright law. Now, some of these sites are actually scams. They don’t have free ebooks at all. They’re simply distributing viruses, or stealing people’s personal information. You can read more about those types of sites RIGHT HERE.
What we’re discussing today is entirely different.
Recently, I was alerted by one of our authors that his book was online at Archive.org, on full display for anyone to read for free. I checked it out and he was right. Worse, I started poking around and the site had a handful of our books available for anyone to read online, again, for free. Their files were scanned copies of printed books. Yes, somebody went to the trouble of turning the print books into ebooks (through scanning), and then putting them online for the masses. In my opinion, this is a gross violation of federal copyright law. The “library” provision in copyright law does not address making digital copies, and putting them online for the entire world to download for free!
I sent Archive.org an angry email, giving them one business day to remove the books. It took them a few days but they did take the books down.
The site states:
“The American Libraries collection includes material contributed from across the United States. Institutions range from the Library of Congress to many local public libraries. As a whole, this collection of material brings holdings that cover many facets of American life and scholarship into the public domain.”
(INSERT SCREECHING BRAKES SOUND HERE.)
Hey, Archive.org, just because somebody sent you a copy of a scanned book does NOT mean that YOU can put it into the public domain. It does NOT work that way!
When I contacted them, I received a stock answer back, trying to explain why they have the books on their site for free. I didn’t fall for their “non-profit do-gooders” garbage and I hope you don’t, either. When anyone around the world can view a book for free online, that can harm an author’s book sales.
I encourage all authors and publishers to check the site for their name (publisher or author), and their book title(s). Ignore the “send a donation” box on the front page. Instead, find the white “search” box on the right-hand side of the homepage, just under the payment request info.
If you find that you, too, are a victim of copyright infringement, you can use the info. below to contact them with a take-down demand. Hopefully, they’ll get flooded with responses. I, personally, think they deserve a class-action lawsuit.
12/4/17 ALERT: An author has notified us that the email address above is now bouncing. Did they get too many complaints?? So, try this one instead, which was used by their office manager, Chris Butler, when he was emailing me:
Internet Archive Copyright Agent
300 Funston Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tell them you’re the author of the book, and provide them with the link to your book on their website.
Tell them that you never gave any individual or firm permission to scan and republish your book. State that you own all copyrights to your work and that they are in gross violation of federal copyright law. Then, demand that they remove your book(s) within one business day.
Expect a canned response from them. Again, don’t fall for the “we’re a non-profit and we’re doing good things!” drivel. They are VIOLATING FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW, which harms authors and publishers. Respond by repeating your demand, and order them to not only remove “access” to your book, but to delete the book file altogether. You never know when someone at the firm might “reinstate” the book if they have a copy of it in their system.
Let me know if they give you a hard time.
Google did something similar and they lost lawsuits over it.
Just because a company is large, or has the words “Library of Congress” or other impressive names on its website, does NOT put them above the law!
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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