I just published a copyright enforcement guide for authors and publishers who are fed up with seeing infringements destroy their livelihood. By including the eBook in Kindle Select, I was able to run a five day promotion where it will be free for anybody, providing they own a Kindle or have the Kindle reader installed on their computer, iPad or phone. [update] The free period ran out, over 600 copies were downloaded. I hope to convince Amazon to add the guide to their permanent free collection, sent them an e-mail on Friday.[update]
My preference would have been to simply hand it out as a free PDF, but around a third of the material in the eBook is from blog posts published on this site, and the last thing I need is more potential duplicate content problems with Google. I took a non-traditional approach for what amounts to a how-to book by saving the why-to for the end. The first half of this short guide starts right off with the tools and techniques for fighting online infringements. My assumption is that authors and publishers who are looking for help fighting copyright infringements already know how copyright law works (and doesn’t work), so I wanted to save them a lot of page flipping. The second half of the guide starts with the basics of copyright law and why copyright registration is important, and closes with a discussion of who is driving copyright infringements and how turning a blind eye to online copying can come back to haunt you.
I went with “Version 1.0″ for the edition number since I hope to make this a living guide, updating it on a regular basis as the both Internet and tools for fighting infringements evolve. I’m very interested in hearing feedback about approaches other authors and publishers are trying, and I’m willing to turn the guide into an ensemble piece if that makes sense.
It’s clear to me that the only way authors and publishers can hope to defend our rights is by making our presence felt. In the corporate world in which we live, that means targeting the bottom line of those who enable the business of infringement by forcing them to spend money complying with the law. If the cost of responding to copyright infringement complaints rises above the profits earned through promoting infringements, the corporations who claim their activities are “protecting” the Internet will change their song. They are in it for the money.
[Update] Amazon replied to my request to make the book free:
Due to operational costs, it isn’t possible to select a $0 price for your book at this time.
It went on longer than that, but the first line was all that matters. If you have Prime membership, you can borrow it for free, otherwise it’s going to cost 99 cents unless you wait 90 days for the next five day promo.
[ end update]