People can come up with all sorts of lame justifications for stealing. I have no interest in the justifications…and no sympathy for them. Pirating digital works is stealing, and no…no one is entitled to read my stuff for free unless I put that work on free. And pirates, no matter what they think of themselves, are not modern-day Captain Jacks. Also, they totally aren’t Johnny Depp sexy.
That, I guess, would be my position statement on the whole thing. And yet…
This has been an interesting week for pirates. There was a brazen pirate shop that popped up with a huge selection of books (including quite a number of mine)…and that charged for them, too. Well, huzzah! That site has already hit the dust, but of course there’s already another of that brazen sort popping up.
And then there’s scribd.
Those of us who have been around the Internets for a while remember when scribd started up, and that there was a whole big lot of froo ha ha along the way. They’re still remiss; they still allow blatantly pirated works to be posted. But they do take them down if you ask (in my experience).
So why am I not asking?
Because the work currently being pirated there is called Heavy Metal Honey.
Heavy Metal Honey was one of Harlequin’s early e-reads, written to a fairly exacting pattern of chapters and word count. In this case, it was published as a supplement to the Bombshell line, and it’s a story in the world of the Hunter Agency, featuring two of my favorite characters: Kimmer and Rio.
Okay, Kimmer and Rio fans…raise your hand if you’ve even heard of Heavy Metal Honey.
The thing is that Harlequin isn’t doing anything with that story–and hasn’t for many years–but the rights aren’t vulnerable to reversion. So I can’t do anything with it, and I have no control over whether they do anything with it, and no one gets to read it at all, and I like that story, darnit!
So if you like Kimmer and Rio, or if you like the Bombshells, or if you like short fiction with attitude, and you happen to go to scribd, and you happen to search on Heavy Metal Honey…
Well, enjoy! And by all means spread the word.
But pirates still suck. Welcome to the world of the inconsistent human.
So Harelquin is doing nothing with this short, but you can’t have it back for yourself. And if someone wants to read it through Scribd they have to pay up to $9.00. Hmmm. Is Scribd one of those places to grab essays for school maybe?
I suppose you could do a Pollyanna and say “Look, I’m important enough to be on Scribed!” Or not. I’m with you on the whole pirating thing. So much effort goes into stealing someone else’s work, often under the guise of “you should feel honored.”
What? WHAT? *Pay* to read it?
Well, that’s what I love about the blogging/reading community. Learning stuff you didn’t realize. I gather something about scribd has changed, because one did not used to have to pay for stuff there. Ever. I’m in the middle of my writing time but will have to go check this situation out. Sadly, although it doesn’t bother me for this particular item to be for free (for all the reasons I mentioned)…I don’t feel the same about other people making money from my work this way! Or for readers being charged for that read!
(PS yes, what you said in your first sentence. But they’re well within their contract rights to do this. Sucky terms, signed for specific reasons…doesn’t make it less of a wince that they’re just sitting on it, though!)
PPS I don’t feel honored. In this case, it was all about having it available to readers–I thought.
Well shoot. Even though stealing in any form is reprehensible, having the gall to charge for what has been stolen #@%%** and other unrepeatable words.
Piracy is bad enough when it’s there for free. Charging people to read stuff that’s been stolen? That’s really, really low. 🙁
Well, I need to double-check what’s going on. When I went to the link as I was making the post, it seemed to me that I could read it just fine–but I didn’t check the entire thing. At the moment I’ve just finished first drafting for the day, and have to catch up on a massive stack of email before I can start sorting things out. And oh–lunch. Yes. Lunch!
Ahh, I see. This is a sample, and yeah… scribd is charging for access. Well, DMCA, here I come. I’m thinking I’ll leave the blog as it is, because really…watching this play out in the comments is a testament to how complicated things get when it comes to sorting through piracy.
But yes. A guy (theoretically) named Eric Steward is uploading stolen work that scribd is charging to read. Tsk tsk. Bad form, Eric & scribd. Very bad form. Once you start charging for it, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game. I guess this means I’ll sic HQ on them, which is never pleasant for anyone.
(Edited because I still didn’t sort things out right the first time I posted, and then again because WordPress barfed…sigh.)
I’d pay to read this story… But only legitimately. I’m not paying a pirate. 🙁
What Heather said. Scribd seems to bew charging a membership – not for the specific piece, but simply to read Scribd content.
Stupid Scribd. And Stupid Harlequin. Do they have a plan, or is this a case of sidelined forgotten work? Is it worth asking them to revert anyway?
Yep, looks like a membership fee. It’s just a different way to get money for stolen work. Putting the onus on the author to police and ask for removal of work just doesn’t fly in my opinion–especially when requesting removal requires a fancy form, and comes with the not-so-subtle warning that Scribd will post your name and nature of your request in a public list meant to shame people who do so.
I did ask for a reversion of this work in the hopes that something might come of it, and HQ said no (which of course is well within their rights). Maybe I’ll ask again. Or maybe I can get permission to post it on my site (doubtful, but might as well think outside the lines!), since they could ask me to remove it at any time.
If they’re not willing to revert then will they take up the battle to get it off Scribd?
They give us a means to report it…
::raising hand:: I remember it – and liked it, even though it was one of those “serials” that you had to keep coming back to read. I’m with you – pirates suck. It’s hard enough to keep writers in “business” these days, without stealing their work, too.
My blog needs a “like” button…