A JERK Tries to Sell Me Scanned (Illegal) Copies of Books, and Ends Up Looking Like a Fool!

A JERK Tries to Sell Me Scanned (Illegal) Copies of Books, and Ends Up Looking Like a Fool!

So as not to violate copyright law myself, I am paraphrasing the jerk’s emails below.

JERK:

He says he’s not a writer, but a reader of books. He asks if he can sell me some books in pdf format.

ME, KNOWING THE JERK IS VIOLATING COPYRIGHT LAW, AND SEEING IF HE WILL TAKE THE BAIT AND ADMIT IT:

Are you selling pdf files of books written by other people?

JERK TAKES THE BAIT!

He says it concerns books he’s read that anybody can find on Ebay or Amazon. He says he buys or borrows them in printed format, and then scans them into pdf files.

In his first email, he offered to SELL me pdf files of scanned books. He now asks if our company (BookLocker) wants to trade files with him for free. So, in essence, he’s asking us if we want to violate our own authors’ copyrights by giving him electronic copies of our authors’ books for him to sell or give away.

ME, SCHOOLING HIM ON HIS ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES:

Scanning books and converting them to pdf files to sell or give away is a gross violation of U.S. and international copyright laws with penalties up to $750,000 for EACH INCIDENT.

JERK STARTS CHANGING HIS TUNE AFTER GETTING CAUGHT IN THE ACT:

He says it’s not illegal if they have copyright issues. He does not explain what that means. And, after his first email where he tried to SELL us pdf files of books, he now says he’s not selling anything, especially to anyone in the U.S., which he claims is more than 2,000 km away from him (his email address indicates he’s in the United Kingdom).

ME, CONTINUING WITH MY SCHOOLING BECAUSE THIS GUY IS EITHER NOW LYING ABOUT HIS INTENTIONS OR HE’S A COMPLETE DUMB-A**:

1. All books are copyrighted, even if there is no copyright statement in them. The author automatically owns the rights to their book.

2. You offered to SELL us those illegal files. We are located in the U.S.

You are violating U.S., U.K., and international copyright laws.

JERK REALIZES HE’S BEEN BACKED INTO A CORNER:

He says he does not agree with my first statement above, especially if someone has purchased a copy of the book. He then gives an example of selling his books that he had in college. (Did this guy REALLY go to college? I seriously doubt it!). He makes a comment about copyrights being “passed.” Maybe he thinks his old textbooks have expired copyrights. I seriously doubt it. The more he writes, the dumber he seems. He then claims selling secondhand books on Ebay and Amazon is legal. Then he says he can’t be responsible for me misunderstanding him (notice how he quickly changed gears from pdf files to print books!), and tells me he won’t waste any more of his “precious time” trying to explain the obvious to me.

ME, GIVING HIM A FINAL SLAP-DOWN:

Selling used print books is perfectly legal. Scanning books, creating electronic files of them, and selling those files, or giving them away, is creating new copies of those books. THAT is ABSOLUTELY illegal. When you get caught doing this (you will), you will be liable for actual and punitive damages and even one case could bankrupt you. You could also go to prison, especially now that you know what you’re doing is illegal. That is called willful copyright infringement.

“Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines.”

SOURCE: https://www.kent.edu/it/civil-and-criminal-penalties-violation-federal-copyright-laws

Other countries have similar laws and some of them have more severe penalties. For example, in the United Kingdom:

“If found guilty of copyright infringement in a magistrate’s court, your business could be fined up to £50,000 and you could face a jail term of up to six months. If the case reaches a Crown Court, fines can be unlimited and the maximum sentence up to ten years’ imprisonment.”

SOURCE: https://www.startuploans.co.uk/business-advice/what-is-copyright-law

Of course, JERK did not respond.

I have his name and email address and I will be looking for him online to see if he’s selling electronic files of ebooks. If I find that he is, I will report him to his local authorities, and to the authors and publishers of the electronic books he’s selling.

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About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, 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).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

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Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

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5 Responses to "A JERK Tries to Sell Me Scanned (Illegal) Copies of Books, and Ends Up Looking Like a Fool!"

  1. Linda Richardson  September 24, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks for the invaluable information you put out, Angela.

  2. Kim R  September 24, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Very good explanation here! Not quite the same situation, but I have had folks disobey the rules of article sites and reprint my articles without that credit box as required. I have also had them keep that credit box intact with my name and website address in it, but after having spun the article into nonsense that can hardly be read. A pal suggested I would still get my publicity of the site being distributed, but no…I don’t want that awful “writing” to be attributed to me at all.

  3. El McMeen  September 24, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    I love my **s-kicking publisher!! You go, gal!!

    El

  4. Pamela Allegretto  September 24, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    Hopefully, you have this guy re-thinking his shady career choice. Sadly, most con-men don’t change their stripes.