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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » File Sharers at it again (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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entity
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As I said a few posts back, I already imprint the buyer's name on every page of the ebooks that I sell.

I also code the text to each individual buyer, which is why I have some of the information that I now have and can begin to take steps to clean this nonsense up.

- T. Baxter
Mr. Mindbender
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Quote:
On 2010-10-04 00:18, Jerry wrote:
Members of the actors academy (Oscars) were so bad at giving movies away, that they started encoding the DVD's with an ID. So they would know who gave away the movies.



Jerry, you bring up an interesting fact -- and it's not just the actors, it's been members of the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild.

You would think that people within the industry, people who are the ones to create the material that is eventually being pirated, would have enough respect for the material to not be part of the problem -- yet they pirate like everyone else -- that's unreal to me.

I always used the argument that "If you ever created something yourself, you wouldn't be so quick to steal someone else's material", but I guess I have to rethink that idea.
Ben Harris
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Mr. Mindbender

That has always astounded me, too.

Benny
+Inventor of the world famous Floating Match+
+Author: Machinations (Vanishing Inc, 2020)+
EVERYTHING BEN HARRIS
Jon_Thompson
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Quote:
On 2010-10-03 01:16, Dick Christian wrote:
While there is no way to prevent theft, IMO the best protection is to publish only in traditional print format and NEVER in digital. While it is true that anything printed can be scanned and digitized, print media that consists of hundreds of pages poses a challenge that is apt to discourage anyone who does not have access to a high-speed automated system. It is nearly impossible to protect anything that is in digital form.

Last year, someone who had spent the best part of $50 on Naked Mentalism took the book apart and scanned it page-by-page, then assembled it into a PDF document and uploaded it to Scribd. It must have taken him hours. A quick DMCA Takedown Notice later and all his misguided hard work was gone within 12 hours.
DekEl
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I've always wondered if stolen material actually works. In other words, because there was no sacrifice to get a hold of the material, often times I wouldn't be surprised if those who downloaded off file sharing websites simply don't put the effort into making the effect work, they get the secret, but I don't think they would put the effort into getting it to work --not even counting the fact that most of them wouldn't have the skill or guts to pull it off.

Just an interesting thought I had while I was pondering how children given all they want rarely enjoy any of it, but those who receive gifts only occasionally, or buy the toy with their own money have more fun with it because they feel obligated to use it.
You can purchase my works at: http://www.GetMindTricks.com
Dick Christian
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While nothing is 100% foolproof, I try to follow two simple rules whenever possible. #1 know who you're buyin from (and try to make it the original creator or source if possible) and #2 know who you're selling to (especially if it is something that you intend to have limited distribution).

I'm fortunate in that I no longer buy a lot and the only stuff I create and sell is intended for a very limited market. I earn my living as a performer, not as a creator/seller to the mass market. The only exception will be the reference work on forcing books and book tests that I'm writing and even that is intended for a very small "niche" market (magic historians, scholars, researchers and book test aficionados) and it will be both a very large book (estimate 750-1,000 pages) and very costly to boot (several hundred $$ a copy) that is not being written as a money-maker -- if I can come close to recouping the cost of publishing it I'll consider myself fortunate -- but as my way of giving something back to magic.
Dick Christian
BarryTX
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I am new to the Magic Café, but as this topic hits a hot button of mine I hope you don't mind my chiming in. I think there are several aspects to the problem - first, as Rocketeer says, kids today think nothing of 'sharing' their files, probably because there is no physical product to hold. We as parents are responsible for implanting some ethical foundation and understanding into them. When my oldest kids were in high school one asked me to burn a new CD I had for her boyfriend's uncle - what they got instead was my long and drawn out dissertation on theft and a detailed suggestion that Uncle Buck could afford the $16 CD himself. I believe that was the last time the idea of copying a CD for someone floated itself in my house.

A second problem, though, is the anonymity of the internet and ease of transferring files. I think this eases whatever small conscience is present in these thieves. In addition, it encourages those to whom the whole file sharing concept is somehow equated with taking a 'rebel stand against the establishment'. Some of these idiots end up collecting thousands of files, of which they use none other than making them available to other pirates. They don't go out into the real world and accomplish anything but instead rack up enough stolen files to become a hero to other pirate losers that spend night and day online hacking other people's work.

I think Entity is absolutely on track in putting the name of each purchaser in the file. People are less likely to share a file with their name attached to it, in part because everyone does understand how shared files get replicated so quickly and easily.

Lastly, I think each of us needs to be proactive when we run across pirated stuff. I recently purchased an older version of a software program at a discount from the current version. Before I bought I asked if it was a legitimate copy and was registrable with the developer, and was told yes to both. Upon receiving it I went ahead and checked with the developer and found out, based on the registration code, it was not legitimate. I removed the program, contacted the web site where it was sold and got a refund, and reported the seller to the developer so they could pursue. Lesson learned, even though I tried to make sure it was an honest deal, dishonest sellers will lie to you about that also.

Barry
entity
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While I make my main living as a performer, Dick, I'm fortunate in that I like to write and I like to explore topics in mentalism and magic that I think are worthy of sharing with others. I also like to be paid for my work.

When selling to several hundred people, or if your work is published by a publishing house rather than just a print-on-demand or vanity press, it is impossible to know who is buying the books. The Nail Writer Anthology is available in magic shops around the world.

RE: File sharing -- I've received quite a few emails from people with varying perspectives on the issue. Let me make it clear that I'm targeting the torrent/sharing sites specifically. In order to do that I am putting a number of strategies into motion. One of those strategies is to compile a list of members who frequent such sites and use the sites to share files illegally. As I'm going to make that list available to concerned parties, I thought that I should make that clear.

If you've traded a video or an ebook with a friend once or twice, your name won't be on the list, and I'm not interested in hearing stories in that regard. It's the file sharing sites that exploit creators on a massive scale that concern me.

T. Baxter
Mentalist Sam
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Security on PDF files is a joke that can be cracked with free software. So putting the name or email address of the purchaser isn't going to stop most of these guys because it's easy enough to remove.

It's an unfortunate situation magic creators find themselves in with this stuff, but it's not going to change, especially with young people. Not all young people listen to mainstream music, so that means they're listening to indy bands who encourage you to share their music with anyone as a way of promoting their music. Also there are some known bands who also encourage you to share their music. One band even release some blank CDs, with artwork printed on one side so you can burn your own album of their music. There are a lot of mixed messages these folks are getting.

Another factor is PayPal. Most magic creators accept PayPal. It's easy to switch PayPal accounts. So if one person was suspected and called out for uploading material and the creator refused to sell to them again, they could easily switch to another PayPal account, with a different name and buy it anyway.
entity
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It's up to those selling their e-books directly to customers to, whenever possible, verify the identity of someone who orders but is not known to the seller. If I can't do that, I don't sell to them. It's time consuming, but the internet is a great tool in that regard.

Unfortunately, some of the people we "know" are the ones who frequent the file-sharing sites, I'm finding out.

T. Baxter
mindpunisher
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<<<<Security on PDF files is a joke that can be cracked with free software<<<

I never knew that! But now I do and 30 sec search on google showed up a page full of software..

Posting this on an open forum isn't helping.
Steven Keyl
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As a professional software developer I can more than sympathize with your situation. I have had all of my software at one point in time available to torrent/software crack sites and it can be extremely disheartening. The time and energy expended investing in your work is trivialized by the fact that somebody is able to make it available for free through these piracy sites.

All software companies, even big ones like Apple and Microsoft, have spent billions of dollars to curb the tide of piracy but have largely been ineffective. Authors too, both e-book and traditional print, suffer from these issues globally; it isn't confined to the magic/mentalism community.

Given all of this, my best advice is to do what you do and try not to obsess about it. As a software developer I've seen some of my close friends go to extraordinary lengths to curb this kind of behavior and they only end up hurting themselves. Their current and future projects end up suffering because of a complete preoccupation with something that is ultimately beyond their control.

The two biggest reasons for your completely justified anger are that you're losing money in sales and that your content is freely available to anyone that can download it.

To that I can only say:

  • The people that are illegally downloading your material aren't people that would have bought it anyway. So you're actually losing less money than you might imagine. Of course there are some that would have bought it but for the fact they can cheat you and download it for free, but those people are by far in the minority.
  • As far as your work getting disseminated, most of the illegal downloaders are hoarders that would never actually take the time to read any of the stuff they are stealing. Even those that take the time wouldn't really understand it and even if they did, any half-way decent presentation would fly right by these people that are supposedly "in the know."


To be clear, I'm not trying to dissuade you from doing anything that you feel is necessary to protect your intellectual property. Rather, this is just a reminder that one can become so side-tracked by this issue that you lose sight of what it is that you actually do.

I purchased your Open Prediction e-book and just recently your Nailwriter Anthology (which I've only started reading) and have been extremely pleased with both purchases. Keep doing what you do!
Steven Keyl - The Human Whisperer!

Come visit Magic Book Report.com!

"If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause, and reflect." --Mark Twain
DekEl
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I highly agree with you Sam. In addition, names and email addresses can be fabricated in minutes --or worse-- replaced with names of real individuals --not the thieves-- so if anyone gets in trouble, it wouldn't be them.

That said, anyone who would want to steal your work probably wouldn't buy it in the first place even if it wasn't available for free.


All that said, if I ever decided to release something I would undoubtedly release it free of charge and receive funds from any individual who felt that my work was worthy of paying money for. I'm quite certain that there would be enough moral individuals on the Café to make it worth my while --not that I plan to release something, just as a hypothetical situation and possibility.
You can purchase my works at: http://www.GetMindTricks.com
bevbevvybev
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Steven Keyl - spot on - totally agree

I will add that the software industry continuously releasing updates and support for their own products is also another good way to ensure that people do ultimately buy the products they like for the updates and stuff not breaking, and new features.

That's one of the reasons I keep updating my books (apart from thinking of new stuff to put in them that is!). People like to have the latest version. Even people who've previously 'obtained' my ebooks sometimes turn into customers after having enjoyed their 'obtained' version, but wanting the updates for life and finally hitting that Paypal button.

Think out of the box. And don't shave years off your life getting too hot and bothered. A certain amount of feather and tarring is of course required. But don't perspire early for a cause that was lost well over a decade ago. It's just not worth it.

Bev
Magnus Eisengrim
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Things are so bad right now...

I co-authored an academic book that will enjoy very small readership. About a week BEFORE the book was published it showed up on a pirate site in India. If large publishing houses are losing the battle, I don't know what we little guys can do.

Yours in despair,

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
baggins321
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This thread should be moved to 'Right or Wrong'. There are already several postings about this, including a twelve page thread by Richard Osterlind.

IMHO, file sharing within this community is a vicious circle. People can't afford it, so they download effects illegally. In response to this creators make limited printings and increase their prices (thus causing even more people to download their material).
DekEl
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Another thing to be aware of is that torrent and filesharing websites often autogenerate false information depending on a users search, or if a large volume of search on their website (or even not so large) is directed to search of one product, chances are it will be listed there even if it is in actuality not really available unless the user signs up to something --so in other words many times torrent seekers themselves are tricked.
You can purchase my works at: http://www.GetMindTricks.com
entity
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I've discovered a few things that can be done, and I'm not gnashing my teeth about it. I'm just doing those things and seeing what effect they might have.

I've already eliminated some people from my "trusted customers" list because of my findings, and have warned other creators about those individuals. In turn, creators are approaching me with their own discoveries in this regard, sharing their information. The list is growing.

This is a good thing. Unlike the software business, the magic publishing business is rather small, with a limited number of players and buyers. Weeding out the bad apples and sharing their names publicly will put a dent in the file sharing sites, I think.

T. Baxter
Davidicus
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Great, yet another blow to consumer privacy. Guess people should revamp their "we value your privacy" statement.
entity
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That's like saying that we should look the other way if we see a robbery taking place. Or not cooperate with police if we know who is behind a crime.

- entity
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