Friday, June 04, 2010

On Piracy

Piracy may, as Gordon says, be a driving force of goodness and innovation. In general. And that's fine. But it sucks to be kidnapped, murdered, robbed, and pillaged, and it always has. That's why piracy is illegal.

Copyright laws are structured so that you can't steal a work for roughly the amount of time that it takes for a piece of information to become stale. That's fair.

All my works are covered under a thick and noxious cloud of curses aimed at any would-be pirateers. Anyone pirating my shit is cursed and will remain so until they click the restitution button over on the right.

Think of it as the merchant vessel bearing arms for its defense.

Note: the curses are specifically triggered by anyone uploading my work to a torrent. If you don't do that, you're fine. That means gifting them around to a few select friends is acceptable, within reason. I'd rather you didn't give them to your coven or lodge without, you know, asking me. I have given my permission for that kind of thing in the past. I'll even make myself available to answer questions about the stuff. Low low rates.

But steal my shit, and you're in for it.


  1. It's always funny to hear people who don't want to pay for stuff try to make out as if stealing from someone is somehow for the "greater good." Of course, it's fine to say that if you're not being hypocritical -- in other words, if you don't mind if your boss arbitrarily decides she doesn't want to pay you for working today, since the work's already done, and she doesn't feel like paying it.

  2. That said, that doesn't mean that copyright law is perfect. But you've got to understand that laws change. In my opinion as someone who has not yet taken intellectual property class, the current copyright period in most north amercian jurisdictions is too long; so, maybe let's change it through careful political, legal, and magical action!

  3. You're actually a very good example, RO, because you've gone into information product sales with your eyes wide open.

    I'm not saying everything should be free, I'm just saying that people need to be aware that piracy is a factor in certain markets... And you need to incorporate that into your wider plans (via curses, a freemium model, etc).

    It's no good being outraged about piracy when you have steered your ship into some very 'piratey' waters. This goes for Electronic Arts and it goes for independent publishers.

  4. I think pirating occult authors' material, especially those who, oh, I don't know, conjure demons for example, is particularly stupid. It takes a special kind of stupid, in fact.

    I do have my eyes wide open in this market, I understood the risks, and there's no way I'll get rich, or even keep everyone from pirating my work. But I have access to demons. You know?

    And for the record, the one time someone did upload my work to a torrent, that I know of, one of the torrent site moderators contacted me and let me know immediately that it had been done and let me know what to do to get it off the site, post haste. He also talked me out of cursing the living fuck out of the guy who uploaded it in the first place. Cooler heads prevailed. But that was when I instituted the instant-crossed-condition-if-you-upload-my-shit-to-a-torrent policy. And I let them have an "out." For $50 a pop. Cause I'm all heart.

  5. And Gordon, I agree that piracy drives innovation in general and can be argued to be a positive influence in macroeconomic situations, but regardless of the positives that come out of it, you do not stand for the kidnapping, maiming, murder, rape, and theft that are the core activities of pirates on the high seas, do you?

    Book piracy is theft. That's all there is to it. When you take something that someone is selling without paying for it, you're stealing. All the justifications and rationalizations and philosophical bullshit doesn't change the fact that theft is theft, a wrongness that opens the thief up to legal and spiritual retribution.

    There's a reason the Arbatel and other grimoires teach the value of living moral lives. It keeps you safe.

  6. Yeah, it's totally theft. Which is why I don't do it.

    Once again, I must stress that the intention behind the post was to highlight the fact that there are ways to adapt business models to whatever conditions are impacting the market in which you are operating.

    It was in no way a treasure map with an X on it. :)

  7. My favorite part of your piracy protection is the curse removal purchase button on the right hand side of your blog, just under where you can purchase the e-books. Love that!

  8. As an aside, how many people have uncrossed themselves in this way?

    Frater EST

  9. @ EST: Frickin' NONE. Either everyone's being good and decent, or they're just enduring the curse, wondering why their lives are so shitty.

    Which brings up the question, would people even notice that they were crossed these days? I mean, life's shitty enough for those of us with no active crossed conditions, honestly.

  10. you could always put it as part of the curse that they will be both physically and psychically aware that they are cursed and why. Through being guided to your page, tugs of guilt, dreams of a red robed hairy wizard beating them up with spirits, flying books and wizardy paraphernalia?

    I dont use (much if at all) piratey type sites. So I am honestly not aware if your books are uploaded. I bought my copies fair and square oh mighty one.

    Maybe if you get more proactive, some random guilty people will pay you anyways even if thats not it and be absolved?

    If I start selling ebooks im totally going to use your uncross button idea btw. ;)

  11. Srsly, EST, too much effort. I barely have time to do Great Work Magic, let alone make time to tweak curses on people. It's a good idea, and if I get time, I'll maybe follow up on the idea.


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