You know, they should really give people a license before they turn them loose on the Internet.
Last week, I was alerted by a Booklocker.com author who found a fr*e copy of his book on the Internet. It was posted on the foreign website of a CPA. I started composing a letter to the CPA, telling him he was violating copyright laws, etc. In the process, I started hunting around on his website for his contact information. And, hoo boy, did I find that and more! I found not only the copyrighted book, but also his workout schedule, a list of debts he owed to his girlfriend, music lyrics and what appeared to be actual music files, a bunch of tax forms, his resume, other meaningless stuff and, you’re not going to believe this one, a copy of his actual personal income tax return.
I assumed this guy was some kind of exhibitionist weirdo who posts every tiny detail of his life online (kind of like those people who have webcams in their homes). However, when I found his girlfriend’s tax return posted as well, that gave me a huge pause. I was willing to bet she didn’t know he’d posted her entire tax return (which included her tax ID number) on the Internet for the world to see! (They aren’t from the U.S., which is why I’m not writing “social security number.”)
I’d obtained what I needed (his name and address) and finished my email to him. I closed by saying, “Does *Linda know you’ve posted her tax ID number and her income tax return on the Internet for the world to see?”
His almost-immediate response let me know I was wrong. He’s not an exhibitionist. He’s just incredibly stupid. He quickly removed his files from public view and, instead of thanking me from protecting him and Linda from future ID thieves, threatened to sue me. Yes, you read that right. He accused me of “breaking into” his files and said he was going to call his “favorite lawyer” on Monday.
I replied by thanking him for removing the book from his website and then explained to him that you can’t post something on the World Wide Web with no password protection or encryption, and then sue someone for stumbling upon it. I told him anybody with a web browser could view his information and that his files (and, yes, even his and Linda’s tax returns!) were archived by search engines. How else did he think our author found his copyrighted book posted to that site?!
I didn’t bother to wish him luck getting all the search engines to remove the cached copies if his and Linda’s tax returns from their systems. That’s going to take forever.
We, of course, didn’t hear from him again. Gads, I wonder if his accounting clients’ tax returns were posted, there, too. I didn’t look at his entire site. And, as I said earlier, it was pretty boring.
I hope I gave you each a giggle this week…or at least a shake of the head.
*The girlfriend’s name was changed to protect the innocent.
About The Author
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 lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com
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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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE