November 25th, 2016

Blast Copyright Pirates out of the Water

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*First, a caveat: We at WITS take no money from anyone for endorsing products. If you read it here, it’s because we use it, and we believe in it.*

Okay, button up, because as they say in the vernacular of Texas, I’m fixin’ to gush all over you.

One of the big surprises when I published was how many pirate sites there are out there, posting my work. My sweat. My property! I swear, the only Google alerts I get anymore are when Pirate sites post my books. Makes my blood boil, I tell you. 

Most publishers will allow you to report infringement sites to them, and they send out copyright infringement notices. At least they claim they do. I’m not questioning their veracity, but let’s face it, they’re focused on publishing the next book. And since their marketing ended about a week after they released my book, how much money are they going to put into backlist infringement? Call me a cynic, but I’ll bet this gets under my skin a LOT more than it does theirs. 

Many authors just give up. They tell themselves that the people who download illegal works aren’t people who would ever pay money for their books anyway. They wish those people a parting gift of nasty computer viruses, and move on.

I’m more stubborn (and more pissed). I want to feel the power of blasting those damned posts to the briny deep. 

Well, now you can. And while it’s in Beta phase testing, you can do it FOR FREE.

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I am a huge fan of Blasty 

I don’t even remember where I heard of Blasy first, but I’ve been with them almost from the beginning, probably over two years ago. They’ve been in Beta all this time, because the more Beta testers join, the more feedback they receive. The more feedback they receive, the faster they’ll build an outstanding tool against piracy. I’ve seen it improve in finding more content over the months.

How does it work? You go to a personal invitation link, HERE, and request Beta access. May take a day or two, but then you’re in.

After filling out your profile, you add your books. Your dashboard will look something like this:blasty-dashboard

 

Then you tell it what to look for. You’ll want to consider this carefully: look for too much, and you’ll get a zillion items, much of which is legitimate. The search terms I decided on were:

  • pdf
  • free
  • download
  • torrent

Blasty will then go to work, scanning the internet for your books with those search terms. Here’s what mine looked like this morning:

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All you do is check to be sure it’s not a legitimate posting, then hit the orange ‘Blast’ on the right. Blasty will send a copyright infringement notice, and you’ll be informed when it’s completed. BOOM. Done.

I’ve refined my terms, so most of my results are piracy. But for some reason, it always wants to pick up a review site (legit), that reviewed my books. All I do is add that URL to my ‘Whitelist’, and Blasty ignores it in the future.  

You can also, if you have time, search Google by book, for infringement yourself. Just go to your dashboard, choose that book,  and click on the ‘check Google now’ button on the right. You can scan for anything that your search words didn’t pick up. This also helps you refine your search words.

I don’t know what could be easier. And I get the satisfaction of making those little pirates walk the plank. Argh! 

Have I convinced you to try Blasty? Do you have a good pirate story for us?

    *     *     *     *

About Laura:

Author Headshot SmallLaura Drake is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women’s Fiction and Romance.

She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central.  The Sweet Spot won the 2014 Romance Writers of America®   RITA® award in the Best First Book category.

Her ‘biker-chick’ novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin’s Superomance line and expanded to three more stories set in the same small town.

Laura has realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

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24 comments to Blast Copyright Pirates out of the Water

  • Have you followed up with pirated sites that you blasted maybe a few months ago to make sure your stuff is gone? I’m wondering how effective copyright infringement notices are to people that obviously have no trouble breaking the law already. Is there any consequence to them just ignoring it?

    • That’s one of my biggest questions, too. I guess I figure that if the piracy sites do take it down, it will pop right back up again. OTOH, I’m not earning any money from my books anyway! 😮

    • Actually, there are huge consequences to them not taking them down, Maggie, so I’ve never checked, but I’m pretty sure they do. The problem is, they can go put it up somewhere else. And do.

      There’s no way of stopping this, but Blasty is the only way I’ve found that makes it easy to send takedown notices.

  • sandramastersauthor

    Laura: This is scary. Thank you for posting. I will try Blasty. I’m on my fifth book and I see my book on sale by a UK company for 19 times its list price. Makes no sense to me.

  • Hi Laura,
    Thanks for the great tip. I’m going to give Blasty a try.
    Anna

  • Laura, I had the same question as Maggie and Jen – these are law breakers…does the notice to decease even slow them down? Have you seen a decrease in your piracy rate? How many new piracy sites do you see popping up?

  • Wow! Laura, thank you! This is great. This will save me so much time. THANK YOU!
    I will add that, YES, contacting pirate sites often results in them removing my book. If it is a blogger site I report them to google and the whole site goes down.
    But another reason is to prove due diligence in protecting our copyrights. Otherwise our books can fall into public domain or someone can challenge the copyright by putting the content out as their own.
    Now if someone wanted to provide a book content copyright protection search – I’d be on board in a heartbeat.

    Thanks again!!!!

  • Oh, I should’ve added that by protecting the copyright is much is possible it gives us added legal standing if we ever have to go to court.

  • Thanks Kathleen. I see your point and that’s a strong reason for using this and keeping track of who you blast, to make a case in court

  • I followed up on this company through another site. Supposedly, if I supplied three emails of friends who might be interested, I would receive instant enrollment; if I did not, I would have to wait quite a long time. I supplied the three emails, but apparently something went wrong, as nothing happened. Since signing up a couple of weeks ago, I have heard nothing from Blasty.
    I’m obviously going to follow up, but the sign-up is not quite as easy as it may seem.

  • I’ve been using it for a couple of months and there’s definitely been a drop, although there are some sites that keep popping up. It’s like playing Whack-A-Mole, but at least someone else is doing it for me now. 😉

  • Fae Rowen

    Makes my blood boil, too, Matey! The pirates have no consequences for making money from your work if they take down your title? They should have to pay you everything they collected plus a hefty fine. We need stronger cyber laws for this.

  • jamesr403

    Thanks, Laura! I did not know about Blasty, and it sounds good. I will pass your blog on to a friend of mine who publishes another author’s nonfiction books. Excellent post!

  • I signed up weeks ago, still haven’t been enrolled, so the signing up process is not as quick and dried as just signing up and you’re in.

  • I’ve never even thought of book piracy! I know about film piracy (the same way most people do which is…you know…by being bad and not paying for films.)

    This is really interesting and something I’d want to use if I ever get published. Is it free only during the Beta testing phase? What’s in it for Blasty?

    • Littlemissw – it is free while in Beta testing. I don’t know how long they’ll stay in Beta testing. What’s in it for them, is they can refine the process, and make the product better before they start charging for it. Beta users are ‘testers’.

  • jenny Tavernier

    Now this is interesting! Not only books/ebooks, but wonder if it can be configured for other creative uses, (say music, songs,articles, photos. etc.) Shared on FB

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