What is piracy?
Anything from piracy on the seas to piracy of books, records, movies.
Piracy on the Seas
SINGAPORE — The Ai Maru steamed alone under night skies on June 14 when a speedboat slipped in from the darkness and overtook the tanker about 30 miles off the coast of Malaysia. At 9:15 p.m., seven men with handguns and knives clambered up over the side, smashed through doors, tied up crew members at gunpoint and bashed the Ai Maru’s communications equipment.
The attackers stripped the 13 crew members of their personal belongings, locked them in a room and spent the next hours getting to the real work at hand: stealing the cargo. A second tanker, this one piloted by more pirates, pulled alongside. The maritime robbers siphoned a total of 620 metric tons of marine gas oil from Ai Maru to their own ship.
Dictionary.com defines a different kind of piracy as…
“The unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.”
If we are honest… we will admit that at some time in our lives most of us have been guilty of this kind of piracy.
Common reasons I have heard for burning, copying for a friend, or lending a book are…
“Well, that company makes millions anyway.”
Yes, usually that company does – but it is still theft. The big company can write off these debts, but the recording artist or author only receives a small portion of the price – he or she is the one most hurt by this kind of piracy.
The shipping company in the first example probably was insured, might have had to pay a larger premium, but people in the second category have no such protection. A royalty payment is lost.
There is another kind of piracy…
When piracy is a scam.
Every now and again I am informed of Hold the Faith being available free in any digital format. This was the case a few days ago – I decided to check it out.
I am sharing this – not because of a huge loss, but because of my discovery of the enormity of the scam.
I know I have excellent antivirus and security software, so I clicked on each of the buttons in turn.
Each button went to a different site – all had the same sign up free page. So, I did an online search.
GoMediaz, PlayJoltz, and Pepplay were the three sites, each linked to one of the buttons. Google listed each of these, and a page (maybe more) of scam warnings.
It saddened me to read of how many people who had signed up for a free account, and had to provide a credit card number, found their card had regular deductions from the company although no purchase had been made.
All three had identical ‘sign-up’ forms…
But I did not want to sign up for anything. I wanted a contact address.
Eventually, I did find addresses for two of them.
I found email addresses for two of the ‘companies’ and sent a short email asking them to remove my book from their database.
Identical email replies were received…
After hearing comments from other authors in some groups I am a member of I decided to write this blog – as a warning to save some from being scammed.
In order to take screenshots I found the ‘alert’ and clicked on the buttons again.
To my surprise, they now linked to another set of three websites.
See the images below.
The extent of the piracy/scamming astounds me.
I decided to contact Google and ask why the addresses from the same alert now led to a different set of websites. (All, like the first three – scammers.)
It was hard to obtain an email address for Google, and I didn’t want an American phone number. Apart from the cost, it is night time there when I am writing this.
I found a link to an Australian Google address.
It was blocked by my antivirus software.
When I was a computer trainer, if I had a class of newbie users, I used to take examples of scam emails from various banks, PayPal, and credit unions to show the class how to identify the scam mails, show them the real sites, as well as tell them what to do.
“Is it safe to go online?” some might bemoan.
A Only if you keep your wits about you.
And remember the old saying… ‘If it Sounds Too Good to Be True, it Probably Is.’
With these free sites – who offer books, music, movies… always remember that not everything is as it seems.
Sadly, it seems to be ‘human nature’ to want something for nothing. For hundreds of people that desire ended up costing them a great deal of money as well as frustration.
I have written this post to raise awareness and so that some, perhaps you, might be spared from these traps.
Troubled by the piracy,