Why I do not care about pirates. Really.

With all the kerfuffle going on about pirate sites and OMG THEY ARE STEALING MY BOOK!!!!!! I have decided I do not care about pirates. Not one bit.

Not in the Cory Doctorow fashion, that I believe in giving away stuff for free to create an audience. I’m already doing that on legitimate sites. If you follow this link, you get a list of books which are all free on all platforms where it is in my power to make them free. That’s different.

I do not care about pirates, because the aim of pirate sites is not some lofty goal of handing out creative works for free because, you know, art. The goal of the pirates is not even to make money off your free books.

The goal of pirate sites is to put malware on your system, or to trick you into giving out personal information they can sell.

I have Google Alerts set up, and I get a couple of these messages about my books every week. When my click on the link doesn’t make McAfee plaster IF YOU VISIT YOUR SITE, YOU DIE!!!!! popups all over my screen, I’ll usually find that what the site has put up is the free sample that’s available from Smashwords. They then link to Smashwords, presumably to get the affiliate fees.

When they put up whole files, they are always PDFs. I’ve stopped selling PDFs, but PDFs pop up all over the place. What’s in these PDFs? No idea. Not about to try. I really don’t like popups with revolting images. I don’t like my computer freezing up on me. I don’t like McAfee going AAAACCCKKKK!!! I WARNED YOU!!!

These sites are so virus-infested that anyone who visits them will need a month in an isolation ward in the hospital after visiting them.

I’m not touching this stuff with a barge pole. I am certainly not going to send them self-righteous DMCA notices in which my underlying message is: Here, have my email address. It’s valid, because I use it for all my correspondence. Now you can sell it to some scam artist.

Pirates. Good luck to them. Not going there. Not talking to them. And if by off-chance someone gets a free book of mine that’s not free elsewhere, awesome. Having hurdled all the above virus warnings, they probably deserve it for their efforts. People who get stuff at pirate sites would not have paid money anyway. They’re not usually people with a lot of money. Students often. Students have a habit of getting jobs later in life, and not having the time to go virus-busting, so they buy from legitimate sites, because it’s so much easier.

Why I do not care about pirates. Really. was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants