Hi everyone. I was first notified a few months ago that someone was offering a pirate copy of my book over on the lulu site. I did try to do something about getting it removed, but didn't get any joy. I didn't pursue it any further for a while, being distracted by small matters like relocating to my new apartment. Recently, several people wrote to me again to let me know about the problem, and this time I was able to get some help sorting it out. The offending listings have now been taken down, and the people at lulu seem pretty good: very apologetic about the pirate copy, very aggressive stance against copyright violation or piracy.
According to information I have received from lulu, the person selling this pirate copy was called 'Evgeny Shaverin' and may be based in Israel. I have not taken steps to verify this information; it may not be correct; it may be the bad guy using someone else's name, like when spammers use an innocent email address as the 'from' address; it may even be a pseudonym. I'd love to find out the actual perpetrator and have a discussion with him about his motives.
Even though the lulu listings have now (at last) been removed, this is of course not the end of the problem. The person who did this went to enough time and trouble to scan my book and make it into a downloadable file. At least a few of these were downloaded from the lulu site. The perpetrator knows that since this file can be instantly copied and forwarded with a single mouse click, the file he has put out there will probably be copied many times, therefore depriving me of potential revenue. Whoever did this probably feels really smug, satisfied and clever about having done this, and is probably happy that there's nothing I can do about it.
I offer three observations about this. (1) The person who did it may be feeling smug, but I think I'd rather have my life than his. I created the book and had whatever talent was needed to write it. All he can do is copy, and cheat, and steal. I think I've got the better deal, and the nicer life. (2) The perpetrator obviously doesn't know about the law of karma. If you do bad things, bad things will happen to you. There's no escape. (3) I sometimes get asked if I could reprint 'Sense of Touch' or publish the new mentalism book that I've had ready for years. My response? First of all, someone needs to find a way to get rid of the piracy problem. Because until they do, it's just not worth it for a small operator like me to go to the time and trouble of publishing stuff, since it gets ripped off the very next day. So whoever did this isn't just hurting me (or trying to), he's hurting anyone who would like new material to be published.