There are a couple of things that I think need to be straightened out. First, as I was surfing the net (yes, I googled my name… Oh yeah, you’ve never done that) I discovered a number of my books were being offered as free downloads. There are apparently many out there who believe that if a book is twenty years old, there are no copyright issues. Well, this isn’t true. The books are still under copyright protection and the penalties for violation can be stiff.
I attempted to download one of the books so that I could get a handle on the site and let the owners know that they were guilty of copyright infringement. But what they wanted was a credit card number. If the download is free, then why a credit card number? If they are selling something in conjunction with my books, then it changes things slightly.
I note here that I have nothing to do with this site, receive no money from it, and believe it to be some sort of scam. I would advise against giving them any credit card information…
And one other thing about this. I do not understand the attitude of some that my work in producing the books shouldn’t be compensated in some fashion. I will note that of the cover price of a book, the writer receives the smallest percentage. Bookstores and distributors take something over eighty percent, which doesn’t leave much for the publisher and even less for the writer. Besides, I supply a great deal of information at this blog with no compensation at all.
Second, there is a rumor circulating that now I have been retired from the military for five years, I am released from my obligations to protect classified material to which I might have been exposed. There are stories suggesting I will now be able to talk about experiences at Wright-Patterson and seeing the alien bodies (and yes, I have sometimes joked about this). These rumors are not true. Material that is classified as Top Secret is considered classified until properly downgraded and anything that I learned would still be classified. As one general told me so long ago, “I don’t know what is still classified and what is not and I’m not going to talk to you.”
So, don’t attempt to download my books for free because you might end up paying for something and probably won’t get the books… and, I’m not about to make some great revelation about the things I learned in the military.