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Mobilism

Crumbly Writer

Someone just found my book, available for free, on Mobilism. Does anyone know anything about this site. Apparently it's an Android 'share site' (aka. torrenting, but with direct links rather than the cumbersome torrents).

I'm not sure I can do anything about it, and am actually wondering whether being listed here might not just promote additional sales of my others books. After all, I don't mind giving away one free books if I can sell 5 or 6 in exchange.

Anyone else have any problems with the site?

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I would be more interested in how the book got on the site and negative impact it may have on the sale of the book elsewhere. If I had to guess, I would say one of your approved vendors for the story listed it there. If you contract doesn't give them the right to distribute on other sites, you could have the book pulled and possible recoup the commission you lost by it being given away.

IliaVolyova

@REP

Anyone who downloads one of his books can put it on mobilism (or any illegal sharing site) to be downloaded for free; and quite frankly, there is nothing people as small as me and you can do about it.

The bigger publishing houses and the TV/Movie industry can go after the links using DMCA but even then anyone with a little bit of know-how can find and download anything.

Merlyn

It is a piracy site, probably the biggest one for books. On the one hand if something I wrote ended up there I think I would be flattered that someone felt it would be popular enough to pirate it. On the other hand, I'm not sure as a small self-publisher you would be able to really accomplish getting them to take it down without legal threats.

The other thing to keep in mind is Mobilism doesn't usually host the actual files on their site, so writing to them won't work. You will have to check what sites the book was actually posted to like Rapidshare, Zippyshare, etc and follow each of those site's DMCA policies to have the files removed.

Good luck man!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I would be more interested in how the book got on the site and negative impact it may have on the sale of the book elsewhere. If I had to guess, I would say one of your approved vendors for the story listed it there.

No, it's a MAJOR 'book sharing (illegally) site'. I've got another vendor, general ebooks, which smashwords authorized, but when they decided to punish me for complaining about their not addressing problems, I lost the ability to cancel their contract OR get paid for however many copies they sell (i.e. they and SW both continue to get paid, while I get nothing, which points to SW's true motive for 'punishing authors', as it puts money in their pockets ad infinitum).

For anyone interested, the 'takedown' request for Mobilism is copyright@mobilism.org.

Meanwhile, I've got to scream at SW again, which means they'll likely delete my account once again, starting the entire vicious cycle all over again.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Merlyn

On the one hand if something I wrote ended up there I think I would be flattered that someone felt it would be popular enough to pirate it. On the other hand, I'm not sure as a small self-publisher you would be able to really accomplish getting them to take it down without legal threats.

That's my feeling, so I'm a bit conflicted about how to proceed. They currently have three of my 16 books listed, so potentially, everyone who illegally downloads any of those three, might just decide to purchase my other books, however unlikely that is. However, as for your second point, they do have an official 'copyright complaint mechanism', which suggests they'll take such complaints seriously, once anyone notices they're giving their work away for free. I'll see, however.

If nothing else, it means a couple people think my work needs a wider distribution, and that I'm one of the 'big boys' in publishing. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

so potentially, everyone who illegally downloads any of those three, might just decide to purchase my other books

It sounds possible in theory, but I suspect that is very rare.

I'd say that human nature results in some who are willing to do one, and some the other (download illegally or pay for downloads) but almost none will sometimes do one and sometimes the other.

ETA - Buying other books by you would remind someone they'd stolen the first. People will prefer to continue doing wrong because that causes them less psychic pain. Isn't that the eternal truth of Hamlet, Breaking Bad, ...?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

It sounds possible in theory, but I suspect that is very rare.

I'd say that human nature results in some who are willing to do one, and some the other (download illegally or pay for downloads) but almost none will sometimes do one and sometimes the other.

Ordinarily, I'd agree with you. But these sharing sites are not just populated by thieves, but often by people who simply believe in the free flow of information. I know, because I've participated in them many times myself. But instead of just blatantly uploading whatever I could lay my hands on, I'd work to find the difficult to locate obscure stuff, long out of print, and offer it for those looking for particular types of stories.

I too, believe in the free flow of information, and think the newer 75+ beyond the death of the authors is much too long to restrict people's ability to read a story. Many people now view the internet, as a whole, as a vast 'personal library', where everyone is free to share information.

Those people can well afford to purchase books they like, and often do, just to support the artists in question, but after the artist has already earned millions from a single piece, figure they've already had their due, and it's time to let the work live independently from the author's dictates.

And strangely, even though I'm protected by those same copyright laws, I can see that particular logic, and largely agree with it.

For a long time now, many authors will freely offer their own books up to torrent sites, using false names so no one will suspect that they're plants, as a way of promoting their own works, and they (reportedly) increase their own sales by using such tactics. I've never tested it myself, but I'm now thinking the results of my 'experiment' in giving books away for free weren't the result of my experiment, but are actually due to someone distributing my books for free. Granted, 28 books isn't much for the thousands being shared individually, but it's 28 more copies than I'd have sold otherwise, which benefits me, as well as the thousands participating in such sites.

As such, I'm still unsure how to feel and respond to such sites.

In my own case, most of those I helped were trying to access books they couldn't access legally (most notably, books in Dutch of famous American novels). Those were hard to come by, and those people would have gladly paid for them but were unable to.

And I'm a living embodiment of what you describe as being so rare, someone who both read something for free, and then went out and paid money for (though granted, not for the same books). Typically, I'll read something I ordinarily wouldn't have read, but once I did, decided I was interested in the author, so went out and purchased more of that authors works.

So there are those us us who operate in that environment. How many of us there are, though, is an open question.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

when they decided to punish me for complaining about their not addressing problems, I lost the ability to cancel their contract OR get paid for however many copies they sell


If it is in the contract you signed then there is little you can do about it.

Businesses like that count on you not being able to afford to initiate legal action. Since it sounds like most smaller publishers are like that, it puts new authors in a bind - sign the contract or don't get published.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Crumbly Writer

might just decide to purchase my other books,


The most likely outcome of that would be one or more of the purchasers putting those books on a pirate site.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Businesses like that count on you not being able to afford to initiate legal action. Since it sounds like most smaller publishers are like that, it puts new authors in a bind - sign the contract or don't get published.

It isn't really a matter of whether you fight it or not, as you can turn around and open a new account, or even the exact same account the very same day. What it means, when they choose to delete an account though, is more significant, as they are literally deleting their users legal purchases, in an attempt to punish an author who argues with a company representative (which hurts them), but they effectively guarantee that they can legally continue to sell the person's work without having to pay them a single red cent, because THEY are no longer offering it for sale, but the original author can no longer cancel the contract.

Out of all the users who'd bought my book on SW, only about 5 or so will have anything to do with the company anymore, because they lost quite a few books they forked over their own money for.

But the situation, and the argument, resulting from their NOT addressing on ongoing problem for more than five years! So, anyone who's unhappy with their service, and doesn't sound pleased as punch, they're free to punish their readers? Please! They didn't hurt me, and they weren't trying to hurt me, they're looking to screw their own customers, which is why I not longer sign distribution deals with SW any longer, having moved on to D2D, who are MUCH easier to work with.

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