Tomorrow the fourth and final book in the Tankbread series is released by Permuted Press.
I was reminded of this through the power of Google Alerts. Which (as the name suggests) alert you when key words appear on the Internet.
I have alerts for the usual key words, Paul Mannering, Tankbread, Engines of Empathy, Cross-dressing Gnomes with bangle fetishes.
The most common alert I get is for Tankbread, and it’s always a link to the latest site offering pirated copies of the book. Which is why I was reminded by Google Alerts that Tankbread 4: Black Snow is out tomorrow.
The pirate sites have it on offer already – or at least they have the page waiting for it to be on offer tomorrow. You can download it in mobi or PDF format.
If you do, you can also go and fuck yourself with a rusty chainsaw.
There have been screeds written on the issue of online piracy. You can probably download all the literature for free from pirate sites.
It’s a difficult issue – you can’t control it. You can’t stop it. You also can’t ignore it.
Responses from content creators (the Millennial term for people who make stuff that people click on to generate advertising revenue for websites) ranges from Pulp Fiction style Biblical rage (And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger…) to the rather quaint idea that all information should be free.
Some will say, “They weren’t going to buy it anyway.”
I’m not going to buy a new Mercedes either, but it doesn’t give me the right to fucking steal one from the local European car dealership.
Others will say, “It’s not really stealing, because it’s copying.”
Yes, it is copying – but I get paid for the thousands of hours I put into writing these books by selling copies. Every time you acquire a copy without paying for it – I don’t get my return on the investment. If you don’t want to buy a copy, don’t fucking read it.
This is like raging at the ocean because a wave came up the beach and made your shoes wet. It doesn’t change anything and just leaves you feeling frustrated, powerless, with wet shoes.
Publishers have to take the losses into account – which is nearly impossible because (the downloaders weren’t going to buy it anyway) so you can’t easily put a value on the lost income.
The only way to be sure would be to say, “If offered the choice, would you buy this book or download it from a pirate site?”
Anyone who says yes to the pirate download, you can quote Ezekiel at them and eat their burger.