Ebook Piracy Is Rampant And Impossible To Stop

Book And Ebook Piracy Is Impossible To Stop

Pirate ebooks. Have your books or ebooks been pirated?

When I released my last book, God Has Gone Fishing, I made sure not to list my new title on Google Books, due to the problems of well-known book piracy on the site.

However, it made no difference at all, as the book and ebook pirates got to work very quickly without Google’s help.

Almost every book I have ever published has been pirated, BitTorrented, copied in pdf, illegally downloaded or offered under another author’s name.

In an earlier post, I wrote about the problems with rampant piracy on Google Books and Google Play and how Google has taken very little action to stop the fraudulent abuse of copies of books, especially in the United States.

But back to more recent events, and my new book, which took almost no time at all to be pirated.

I did a quick Google search for my book title and found the following pirate sites offering my ebook on the very first search web page. I didn’t bother looking any further. This was within only a few weeks of publishing my book.

Please note that I have not added links to these sites, because I refuse to give these book pirates any traffic.

On top of that, going to these sites can risk getting a computer virus. Yes, some of them can be very nasty.

God Has Gone Fishing ebook pirated and copied

God Has Gone Fishing copied by ebook pirates

God Has Gone Fishing - Book And Ebook Piracy

God Has Gone Fishing - pdf ebook pirates


I make no claim to being a popular author, so I shudder to think of how many illegal copies of ebooks and books by popular authors are being pirated every single day.

So, what can you do if your ebook is pirated? Absolutely nothing I’m afraid, apart from taking it on the chin, feeling grumpy for a while and then ignoring it.

While most online retailers use DRM to protect their own ebook businesses, it only takes a minute or two to strip DRM from an ebook, including Amazon Kindle ebooks, and then for the pirates to be able to make a saleable copy in mobi, epub or pdf.

So for these pirates, it’s all too easy to steal an author’s work.

The problem is not restricted to ebooks either. Here is an example of one of my earlier paperback titles being offered by a pirate, which by the way, is still listed on Google Books, even though I lodged a takedown request with Google over two years ago.

February The Fifth pirated ebook


So, have your ebooks or physical books been pirated? If you’re not sure, perhaps it’s time you checked by doing a Google search. But then again, what’s the point, because there is nothing at all you can do about pirate books.


Related reading: Counterfeit Books on Amazon


But ebook piracy is not all gloom and doom.

On a positive note though, it is worth understanding that people who use peer-to-peer sharing or BitTorrent to access free ebooks are hard-nosed, addicted chasers and collectors of anything and everything that is free, so they are highly unlikely ever to pay for anything. So it’s not really a lost sale.

In addition, file sharing sites are often infected with viruses and most modern web browsers now block these sites due to this risk.

So yes, there are some who will take all these risks to get a pirated copy of your ebook and download for free, but they will probably never read it because all they want to do is to fulfil their addictive thrill of collecting free stuff.

It’s all rather pointless, isn’t it? Well, not really.

I like dark clouds with silver linings, and for me in this case, it is that these pirates inadvertently give me a weird kind of book promotion. I get extra Google Search listings, name and title recognition and occasionally, perhaps even real ebook sales as a result.

As most readers would never use or access file sharing sites for free books, they may see my name and title in a search result list on Google and then pop over to Amazon or Apple iBooks, out of curiosity.

Any publicity, is good publicity, right?

Article update: Goodereader reports that ebook piracy cost authors and publishers $3oo million per year.


Further reading: Malware And Viruses – The Price You Pay For Free PDF Books?


Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

21 thoughts on “Ebook Piracy Is Rampant And Impossible To Stop

  • September 22, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Here’s a puzzle for you…as an author myself, I have found my book available online in supposed kindle format (or pdf) and for free download, just as you have.

    But what is different and inexplicable to me, is that I purposely NEVER made it available via pdf. In other words, you can only buy the book in paperback.

    How then is it available via pdf?

    I have two theories. I’d be interested in your thoughts on how realistic they are.

    1.) If one attempts to download the pirated copy, they will actually only download a virus infested PDF file (and I wish them nothing but agony). The sites I have found my book on are domains out of eastern europe.

    2.) If the pirated download is indeed an electronic version of a paperback only book, then my tinfoil hat goes on and I conclude that someone at the printing level (which DOES have access to an electronic version) has sold the file to a third party. I feel this second reality is far from likely because this is not a high volume book. Unless the printer basically sold his entire inventory (risky) it just seems they’d never pick this title. We’re not talking Harry Potter.

    Thoughts? (And my condolences for your own situation. Creative types get the shaft far too often). J.

  • July 17, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Just purchased an pdf book for a killer deal and got suspicious when it would only download to Google Drive and not directly to my device. Didn’t notice that it is a pdf of an eBook that retails at $184 on Amazon in a different format. All in all, pretty sure I purchased a pirated copy and have deleted if from my devices.

    Does this look suspicious to you?

  • June 15, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Interesting piece of information. Makes me want to look for mine, but as you said, “what’s the point.”

  • April 9, 2018 at 10:29 am

    For what it’s worth I have been using Blasty to get rid of sites illegally selling my books. There have been a number of reports as to if this site is a scam or not. At present time it appears ok but time will tell if it is or not.


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