Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What I think about when I think about book pirates

So, I haven't mentioned this, but I thought I would. There has, in the last couple months, been a real up-tick in book piracy of LAST DRAGON. It happens. Google Alerts tells me all about it, too.

So, this one goes out to all the pirates:

Guys and gals, I'm not mad. You want to read my book so much that you've stolen it. That's actually kind of cool, even if it's wrong. So, I'm not mad. I don't hate you, or any of your friends that help you steal. I'm sure there's mitigating circumstances that make it hard for you to get all the books you need to feed your need to read. The library keeps making you give them back, for instance, and that always kind of sucked. Your shelves only have so much room in the place you can likely barely afford because the economy is in the crapper and you just don't have the money to throw around on luxury goods. I get that. I've been there, too. I know what that's like. I'm not sending out DMCA notices, nor do I plan to. Frankly, the actions of the large media institutions in the face of such small violations seems a little heavy-handed, and I'm not down with suing my readers, or shutting down their internet over something like this.

So, I'm not mad. And, I'm not even a little upset that you're out there, stealing my shit, because I know that a pirate is not going to buy my book because of the very reasons and situations that make someone a pirate. That's like asking a cat to be a dog, or a dog to be a cat. It's illogical to ask human nature to bend because of some letters on a contract somewhere.

In the name of fairness, here's all I ask of you. If you've pirated my shit somewhere, that's all cool as long as you post a review of it somewhere. Tweet about it. Post a review in the message board you went to when you stole my shit if you're too hip to tweet. Say something on Facebook, Indiebound, Amazon, LibraryThing, GUDReads, anywhere. Post a review. Be honest about the book, and no need to conflate anything.

And, if you turn your situation around a little bit, and got a little cash to spare on luxury goods again, and you feel a little lingering guilt about your life of sin and perdition, make a donation to the SPCA, your local animal shelter, the EFF, any poverty-fighting institution, the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund, the Comic Book Legal Defense fund, GLBT-Equal Rights Groups, or the Local Library. As the head pope of this here personal paper cathedral of fictionalized realities, I propose these sorts of things as suitable penance for a life lived in e-piracy. And, after you've atoned, do come back around to the light where you provide payment to us creators and distributors of the stuff that gets you through the misery and perdition of regular life. Because if we don't get paid, we don't get to reach the place where we can donate to things like the SPCA, poverty-fighting institutions, and local libraries. Also, we can't make more of the stuff you love because we're so busy working two jobs to keep a roof over our heads.

Peace and love, everybody.

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