Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Piracy Boomerangs, Bites Thief In His Pension

Anyone familiar with Yahoo! knows that they post the top four most buzzed about stories swirling around the Internet. And yes, I am guilty of being pulled into these little sound bites or snippets of daily news. So, I was intrigued by the recent firing of a film reviewer by his employer when he wrote a stellar review of a highly anticipated and predicted blockbuster X Men Origins: Wolverine.

Initially, I was drawn in because I wanted to find out what he thought of the movie since I think Hugh Jackman is simply delish and Wolverine was the only stand-out character in the entire franchise. And if he'd written a great review, why in the world would Fox News can him.

So, I was totally floored when the article essentially detailed how the reviewer, Roger Friedman was fired because he confessed to going online and downloading a version of the movie.

What a dip wad! Didn't he know that downloading an illegal copy of someone else's COPYRIGHTED material is illegal? I guess not and surprisingly he isn't alone. However, unlike others who commit copyright infringement, Mr. Friedman found out the hard way when his boss Rupert Murdoch, who owns both Fox News and 20th Century Fox fired him despite Friedman's ten long years with the company.

How could this guy be so dumb or oblivious? Well, obviously he was both. Mr. Friedman, who's considered a huge name in Hollywood entertainment news, couldn't put two and two together and come up with one glaring fact. Even though their subsidiary names were different, he was stealing from the same company. Hello...doesn't Fox News sounds vaguely familiar to 20th Century Fox?

Not only that, but this bozo told thousands of readers how and where to download the illegal copy. So far, the unfinished version has been downloaded 75,000 times at a loss of a half a million dollars. And that's nothing to laugh at when the latest installment in the X-Men saga cost his company $100 million to make.

And now Mr. Friedman who was rightly thrown to the wolves by his fellow colleagues is paying for his thievery and ignorance with his pension, health benefits, and reputation.

Why am I even discussing this on Happily Ever After, you ask? Simple. The same thievery is rampant in all aspects of entertainment media, especially e-books. And being an e-book author myself situations such as this hits home. Hard. Damn hard. Many readers think that writers sit around and whip up stories in an hour or less. Sorry, I can agonize over a paragraph longer than that.

And the problem is rampant despite publishers/individual authors issuing a cease and desist order. Once they shut one forum down or scare the bejesus out of a downloader, another pops up in their place. Its virtually impossible when the demand far out paces the diligent few who put time into protecting one's intellectual property.

So, what's the purpose of this entry? Well the next time you log onto to download one of your favorite author's pirated books. Ask yourself this:

1. Do I tip my waiter/waitress after every meal?
2. Do I give a tip to my hairdresser when she/he gets that cut just right?
3. Do I pay the babysitter to watch my dirty foots, while honeydew and I go out?
4. Do I tip the driver from my favorite take-out place when he's delivered my chow mein in the rain?
5. Do I tip the furniture guy when he hauls my antique bureau up five flights?
6. Do I tip the kid at the grocery store for unloading my cart of groceries?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, I want you to think how you've compensated these individuals for a couple hours of work (or less). In a writers world this can amount to the time it takes us to research a heroine's background, sketch out a plot or write a love scene.

Not only do we provide you with a means of escape, but some may have helped you resolve a personal issue, empowered you to reach beyond your normal boundaries, given you the self-confidence to say 'no' or just simply left you with a good feeling.

So, now do you think your favorite author should be duly rewarded for providing you their services? If so, give them the ultimate tip by buying the book!

Koko Brown recently released The Merry Widow, a yummy older woman/younger man romantic tale set in Victorian England. Of course, this book was written for your reading pleasure. And it's heroine will empower you to not care a whit about what others think and when to say "no" when pushed too far.

Want to read an excerpt? Visit Red Sage Publishing's website.


Kristen Painter said...

Great post! Piracy sucks.

Koko Brown said...

Thanks Diva!

Judy said...

Interesting, Koko! I hadn't read about this incident. Too busy writing! Thanks for the post. Your new book sounds wonderful!! Good luck with it.

Savanna Kougar said...

I know what you mean. I can agonize over a word. Until you write a novel, there is just no way to know what it really takes.

Even sadder, IMHO, than disregard for an author's time and talent is the total disregard for the novel as art. There should be a reverence at an act of creation, the reward being monetary in our culture.

Lindsay Townsend said...

I agree, Koko - especially about the buying bit! (Grin)
Or, if the reader can perhaps order and borrow the work from a library. That also helps the writer.

Laurie Cooper said...

Excellent post! Part of the problem is that the internet offers an easy opportunity for the pirates. After all, someone has to put it out there to begin with!! And that's STEALING. Would they lift a video from Best Buy? Maybe people think that what happens on their own turf doesn't hurt anyone. But it does.

Good luck with your book.

Robin S. said...

Very well stated! It's amazing how fast those sites pop up and how regularly it happens. I wonder if anyone will ever figure out a way to end it?