On the internet, a breach of copyright is the sincerest form of flattery


February 25, 2017 by ChrisJamesAuthor

psff1This is mainly a post for my fellow bookwrights, a heads-up in case you’ve never heard of a place where people might be able to download your e-book for free. Go to your preferred browser and type in “Paid shit for free” and click the site at the top of the resulting pile, taking a moment to admire the eloquent erudition in that title. Then, put the title of your book into the Search window and see what comes back.

Yesterday, I found my latest novel available for download there, which capped off a quite abysmal first week of publication for it. When I clicked through, my browser exploded with pop-up ads, mostly for gambling sites. I stopped there, feeling that the offered download of my book might well have a virus from such a place (although it has apparently been downloaded nine times).


Paid shit for free does have a page with a copyright disclaimer, mostly along the cowardly lines of “we only facilitate the theft, we don’t got no actual copies, guv’nor!” I sent them an email demanding they remove the page for my book, but, as you might expect, the page is still there.

It’s easy to get offended and angry with such places, but this sort of thing goes on all the time in our wonderful prehistoric capitalist paradise. A more prosaic approach is to appreciate that anyone going there to get your book for free was not likely going to pay for it in any case, so the sale is not lost and a reader is gained. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself *sigh*

Update 26 February, 12.33 GMT +1. So, I just got an email from someone involved with the site confirming that the page has been deleted and thanking me for pointing it out to them. Bless their cotton socks.

7 thoughts on “On the internet, a breach of copyright is the sincerest form of flattery

  1. acflory says:

    Ugh, how demoralising. I found Vokhtah on a couple of those sites as well and was horrified, but…as you say, the people who get books from such sites won’t be buying from any legit. site so we’re not losing anything real. Still, it made me feel violated somehow, and I imagine you’re feeling the same. 😦
    There’s only one cure for this – keep writing. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jo-Anne Teal says:

    Gosh, I had to read this twice. I can’t believe that readers would risk visiting such a site, especially given that great reads on Kindle are so under-priced. Horrible. Sorry to hear about this, Chris. Your amazing novels deserve better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jo. There are lots of these places and I don’t think much can be done about them. I also think that most readers are basically decent people who don’t mind paying the price of a cup of coffee for a few hours’ decent entertainment.


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