Last week, we were notified about a website, jeansbet.com, that appears to be giving away ebooks for free. I checked and, sure enough, not only did they have best sellers on there, but also self-published books by a variety of authors, including myself!
We sent an announcement to all of our authors so they could look for their books, too. We gave them two email addresses for the website, and instructed them to send out DMCA take-down notices. I was surprised when I received numerous emails in return, asking me what that is.
First, you should know that there are companies selling their services for handling this for you. I don’t recommend paying someone $199 to send out a letter on your behalf. In most cases, simply emailing the offending company does the trick.
Also, you should know that many overseas sites that appear to be giving away ebooks don’t actually have those ebooks on their servers. Rather, they’re actually giving people viruses to download, which can then invade the downloader’s computer, grabbing their financial and other personal information. Of course, if someone tries to download free ebooks, and gets a virus instead, I call that karma. I don’t know if jeansbet.com is doing that but I do know they were giving away one free ebook by an author who never published an ebook edition of her book. The ebook does not exist. Another author found a short story he’d written for an anthology on there. He said there was specific coding in his title that was only listed on goodreads…but also on jeansbet.com. Did jeansbet.com simply pull title information from goodreads? Who knows? What I do know if they better d*mn well remove my books, and those by other authors!
ISPs can remove websites they’re hosting if that site is giving away copyrighted works. However, getting a foreign ISP to take action can be difficult, if not impossible.
I have successfully had my own books removed from these types of sites by simply doing the following:
1. Finding all the contact emails for the firm that I can, along with any “contact” forms they have on their website. You may be able to find additional email addresses for the firms by finding out who registered their domain name. Use THIS SITE to do that. You may also be able to find the name of their ISP doing that. If you do, get email addresses and any contact forms you can for their ISP as well.
Some of these sites have DMCA links on their websites, telling people how to get their material removed. Of course, that makes me believe they KNOW they have illegal works on their website, which makes them even more evil. Why should the victim be forced to go through hoops to make a company do business in an ethical manner?!
2. Compose a stern letter. You can see what you need to include HERE. Copy all of your correspondence to all email addresses and contact forms, including their ISP.
I don’t paste a graphic of my signature on my emails. The DMCA law states the letter must be signed but I’ve never had to do that.
With a DMCA takedown notice, you are not required to show that you have registered a copyright for your work.
I definitely do NOT recommend ignoring these types of websites. The easier authors make it for them to stay in business, the more likely additional infringers will pop up across the globe.
AUTHOR ALERT!! Is This HUGE Website Violating Your Book’s Copyright? YOU BETTER CHECK!!
“Amazon Won’t Remove My Book! Are They Violating My Copyright?”
Is That Free Ebook Site REALLY Violating Your Copyright? Maybe Not…
Can Your Publisher Get YOU Sued For Copyright Infringement? Yep!!
Enter the Spring, 2018 24-Hour Short Story Contest RIGHT HERE.
The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication
Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!90+ DAYS
Friend of mine told me they were a fake site that downloaded viruses to users. So I haven’t sent off a DCMA. Still, instant karma.
I highly recommend that you DO NOT fill out a DMCA with them – they are fairly clearly a spam site which is out to infect people with a virus. There are not even ads on the site, and most of the content is just skimmed off of other book sites. It’s highly unlikely they have any actual books available. It’s far more likely this is all a front to infect computers with a virus so the end user either gets their computer locked or their content stole. If you hand them a DMCA with your personal information, you’re just adding to the information they can abuse and resell. What I recommend instead is going higher up the food chain and lobbying with their hosting firm to shut down the entire site, as they are clearly running an illegal operation in total.
I sent them a take-down notice but didn’t include any personal information – only my name, email address, book titles, and links to my titles on their site.
Thank you so much. I’m about to share this page with a group of authors I promote with. Several of my books are on the site, even ones that weren’t officially published!!!
I took your advice last week and sent jeansbet.com a DMCA takedown notice. After reading this article I decided to check to see if my book had been taken down from their website.
Surprisingly (or not) I clicked on your link to jeansbet.com as well as did a google search and both times I got a “403 Forbidden” message. Makes me wonder if they folded their tent and disappeared into cyberspace or are simply reincarnating as a new website. Thanks for the initial headsup anyway, Angela and staff.
Since my books are out of print, I was surprised to find two of them (one with all 3 editions) at Jeansbet. Thanks so much for an informative and detailed article. I have sent my notices off per instructions and will check frequently to see if the were effective.
Thanks so much!