Book piracy is gaining momentum by each passing day as many books find their way into these websites which offers unauthorized downloads of thousands of books. It has become an alarming factor for an author who has worked diligently in creating a book only for it to end up on some website which robs the book of its sales.
Every book which has a copyright cannot be reproduced in any form without the permission of the copyright owner. Hence if you find your books available on any websites without your permission, then you have every right to demand the website to take down your book.
Here is a comprehensive guide with three approaches by which you can mitigate or put an end to the piracy of your books.
1. Contact the Website Owner
First and foremost, try to directly contact the website owner. As they obviously know that they are illegally making books available on their websites, it is worth a shot to contact them first. Now the question arises, how do I contact them? If you find their details on the website, then well and good. But, many of these website owners do not just directly publish their contact details on the website.
- To find the contact of the website owner, go to this website: Whois.
- Paste the URL of the pirated website. This will give you details on the website, including the Registrant’s email address.
- Scroll through the details until you find the entry ‘Registrant Email’. This is the email address that you are going to send the mail to.
- Certain websites also have DMCA forms. If you find a DMCA form of the website, you can also fill the form.
Now that you have obtained the email address, draft a notice stating your copyright ownership, the link of the page that you want to be taken down and in strong words, mention the steps you will take if they do not comply.
Some websites may take down the book from the website but put it back again with a different URL. Hence it is better to make a list of these websites and check it periodically.
While some of the websites might consider your notice and take down your book, some wouldn’t. That takes us to the second approach.
2. Contact the Host Provider
Now, the host on which the website runs do not want any illegal activity to be happening on their service as it may sometimes lead to termination. Hence, they would be much more willing to help you in taking down your book.
- To find the hosting provider, use the website Host Advice. Enter the link to the webpage which displays the details related to the website and find the one with the entry ‘Name Server’.
- Generally, these piracy websites might be hiding behind a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare which makes it difficult to find the hosting server. CDN acts as a middleman; without providing any details of either the website or the hosting provider.
Fortunately, many of the CDNs have their abuse form through which you can report any copyright infringement.
- Open the website of the CDN and you can find ‘Abuse form’ generally on the Contact Us page. Else, you can type ‘ CDN + abuse form’ in Google to find the page. You can do the same with the website of the server.
- If you want to file a complaint under DMCA, Google search as ‘hosting company + DMCA’. This is the last resort to try it with the hosting provider or the CDN.
Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects the owner’s content from copyright infringement on the web.
Generally, you will find a form which asks you to fill up the details. Specify that you are the copyright owner and attach the link which is in violation of the copyright. If you are sending it to an email id, enclose the same details as mentioned earlier, and attached your digital signature to it.
You will hear a reply in around a week. If not, send a follow-up email. Wait for sometime. Usually, the hosting provider or the CDN will act if all the details mentioned in the form or email checks out.
In case if you haven’t heard back for a long time, then you can implement this last action.
3. URL Removal By Google
If you have tried DMCA and it hasn’t worked out, by asking Google to remove the URL, you can prevent the link from showing up in search results and hence reduce the number of downloads.
- Open this link – Google Content Removal Request
- There is a separate option to report for copyright infringement. Choose that option.
- Enter the details of your book, with proof of your copyright and the link which has violated it.
It takes just a few minutes to submit this form to Google and generally, Google responds very quickly.
Though it is easier to remove the links from appearing in Google search, many of the piracy websites are quite popular and if people directly search on the website, it will appear anyways. Hence it is better to remove the entry from the website than from Google.
AllAuthor’s Piracy Monitoring Services
We, at AllAuthor, wants to simplify the process for the authors in identifying the pirated websites which allow unauthorised downloads of books. AllAuthor helps authors to easily get the list of websites that have the pirated version of their books. Piracy is an unallowable crime and we stand in support of the authors’ community against it. Here’s how you can find your pirated books available:
- Open the page – Pens Against Piracy
- Type your pen name in the text box and it will list all the occurrences of your books, if any, found on such pirated websites.
- You can further click on the link provided below to get the exact page link where your book was found along with the Host, CDN and the links to DMCA form. This free service is available for all registered authors at AllAuthor including those with basic, free accounts. Click here to sign up
- We will keep on updating our directories periodically and if we come across any such pirated version of your books, we will send a mail notifying you of the same.
- After you have tried the first step of contacting the website owner and have ended with no results, for the second approach, you can directly find the Host and the link to the DMCA form for CDN in AllAuthor’s page for Piracy Monitoring.
Through these methods mentioned, you can get the pirated books taken down. Every author needs to reap the benefit of the hard work they have put into, rather than it going into someone else’s pocket. Book Piracy is a lamentable action and we, hand-in-hand with the authors, will try our best in helping mitigating it.