Friday, January 17, 2014

Rumor Control

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.


Lance said...

Kevin, what you are probably encountering is a file sharing service. The idea is that users pay a fee to be part of the service and then they can download tons of stolen digital items like books and movies.

Yeah, its a shady world we live in.

I wonder if your publisher might have a mechanism for squelching this sort of thing?


Steve Sawyer said...

Yes, the awful syndrome of those miscreants who steal others copyright-protected works in order to digitize them and then set up file sharing or "torrent" sites to either provide them for "free" or to illegally sell those works to anyone with an internet connection is not just criminal, and wildly out of control, but also come with an added danger: very often such ripped-off digital works, whether books, movies, or other materials that can be digitized for distribution via the net or copies on CD/DVD media come with hidden malware and viruses that can spy on you, screw your system up, and/or keystroke monitor all of your activities and remote copy your files for covert transmission back to the sources of the "free downloads" of other people's proprietary and copyrighted works.

I'd recommend potentially using a DCMA "take-down" request, not to the owners of the websites involved in this criminal activity, since they'll just laugh up their corrupt sleeves (and maybe, even when asked to take down illegal files, double down and steal even more properties from those who request their property be deleted from the related download sites involved), but to send DCMA requests to the ISP hosting those illegal torrent or download sites.

And, there are additional legal techniques and procedures that can be employed if for whatever reason a DCMA request is not acted upon by the ISP hosting such sites, since some of these kind of ISPs are themselves part of the criminal enterprise, particularly those in Russia and eastern Europe.

You also might want to contact for advice and to see the files and recommendations they may have in regard to protecting your rights and being better able to get your books, etc., removed from such egregiously corrupt sites/ISPs.

Lance's recommendation of consulting with whoever has published your books in the past, which I assume has varied over time, is also a good one: publishers of authors works, you would think, have their own financial and proprietary interests in supporting and protecting their authors works, if for no other reason than a financial one, since as Kevin points out, publishers make a whole lot more money on book sales that authors do, and most legit or established publishers have lawyers available to enforce their and the authors legal rights / copyright.

There is also the "nuclear option" of using digital rights management or DRM software protection for e-books, btw, which make it rather more difficult for criminals to simply copy your stuff for illegal distribution, but there are ways around that, too, if someone is dedicated to screwing you over.

cda said...

I see. If perchance, in the past, you had actually seen bodies or wreckage of the Roswell UFO, or even the suppressed documentation, you would still be under your oath of secrecy not to tell us, the public.

What are we to make of this?

Don Maor said...

To tremble?

Steve Sawyer said...


Christopher, your "straw man" comment and question are both obvious and cynical.


What are "we" to think of it? I would suggest we expect something better of you, and hopefully rather more rational, and less absurd. Please.

Yet another swing and a miss.

I realize the probable charge you must get from your kind of perpetual, evangelistic debunkery is somehow, perhaps, emotionally gratifying, but such comments set a new low for you. Try to be a bit more serious next time, OK?

Ross said...

This 'rumour' seems to be entirely of your own creation. New book in the pipeline perchance?

KRandle said...

Ross -

What a cynical thing to say, especially after all the rumors that have circulated. My favorite was that I worked with Hector Quintanilla at Project Blue Book.

And there is always a book in the pipeline. Some of them are about UFOs.

Kurt Peters said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.