Copyright Theft - Fraud Gone Rampant
We hear a great deal about credit card fraud on the internet, and illegal downloading of music gets high profile publicity. However, those are not the only illegal activities taking place online.
Copyright theft relating to ebooks, articles and software is rampant. People with no rights at all sell the software of others, sometimes even giving it away in a thieves' bundle. The same is true of ebooks. The authors of these products may have spent months or even years working on them. They will, no doubt, have put them up for sale, either directly, through affiliates, or by selling resell rights, at a market price that will make it all worthwhile, and possibly after taking professional advice on the pricing. They will then have planned and set up all the marketing, again maybe with expensive professional advice. The owner has done all the hard work, and now expects the rewards their effort deserves.
Things may seem to be going well, with a few sales rolling in on a regular basis, until one day they find someone selling their product at a knock down price, having no rights to do so. Within hours, that product can be spread around auction sites and the rest of the internet at low or zero cost, while the owner and his affiliates, plus those with genuine resell rights, are trying to compete at the original price.
How can that poor author police such blatant theft alone? Instead of working on new products that people want and maybe need, the author is forced to waste time trying to track down thieves, take legal action, and look for ways to stop it happening again.
Such an occurrence is far from rare; it happens every day. One thief can steal a long list of products and blast them out from a long list of websites, without any integrity or honesty whatsoever. He may even sell or give away resell rights, creating another level of people who think they are owners of a product. They are sucked in by the thief, without knowing that if they offer the product for sale, they could have the copyright owner's lawyers breathing down their neck with a law suit.
Now, we are talking there of one individual. But what if the copyright of the product has been bought on behalf of a membership club, and that club has 1000 members; and most of those members are quite astute when it comes to internet marketing, software and other related skills? Now it's not one pair of eyes looking out for offenders and pursuing those who are caught; it is potentially all the members. So, 1000 members could mean 1000 pairs of eyes, a 1000 people keen not just to stop the thief distributing their products, but to make sure he cannot do it to anyone else either.
I belong to a membership site which suffered such a copyright theft recently. Once spotted, members were very quick to get to work investigating the thief, tracking down his 100 plus websites, and advising all other product owners whose products it appeared were being sold illegally, with resell rights that were not available to be sold, or being given away illegally.
Multiple members contacting payment processors, hosts, and domain registrars had a fairly quick impact on the criminal action of that particular ?gentleman?. That thief can have no doubt now that his dishonest activities are going to become more and more difficult over the coming days and weeks. He faces the prospect of multiple lawsuits, and maybe criminal charges for fraud, selling items he had no rights to sell and offering rights which were not his to offer.
Let us hope there are more instances where copyright thieves are pursued, cornered and put out of business, leaving the hard working and honest authors and internet marketers to earn a just living.
About the Author: Roy Thomsitt is the owner and author of http://www.change-direction.com