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Saturday, 30 June 2018

I don't believe it!

Last night – quite by chance – I discovered that the eBook version my latest book – GRIDDED NAVAL WARGAMES – seems to have been converted into a PDF and is now being made available online as a 'free' download by someone called Yelich Mulac.




I have contacted Lulu, who assure me that this individual IS NOT part of their distribution network. They have also supplied me with a formal letter that I have sent to Yelich Mulac requesting that he remove the download.

As his profile features the Guy Fawkes mask from V FOR VENDETTA and his blog includes a long list of other 'free' book downloads, I suspect that Yelich Mulac regards himself as above the conventions of normal society, and that providing free downloads of other people's work is helping to 'destroy the tyranny of capitalist society'.

48 comments:

  1. I always hate seeing intellectual property abuses such as this. Best of luck putting this cat back into the bag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      I'll try to stop this particular example, but somehow I suspect that I won't be able to.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Much as I'd like to see the tyranny of capitalist society destroyed - well, it is already in the process of destruction by Milton Friedmanite rentier economics - and have fulminated some on the crying need to liberalize the whole area of patent, trade marks and copyright; even I regard this action as unconscionable. This even if this Yelich Mulac cove isn't making any money from this and (though I doubt this!) is well-intentioned.

    Actually, I find it hard to fathom what this guy's motive might be. Is Lulu a giant publishing house exploiting the creativity of writers seeking an outlet for their literary efforts? Then what alternatives are available to authors wanting to see their creations widely read?

    Perhaps he thinks he is doing the authors a service by broadening the exposure of their writings? But that undermines what income they might otherwise derive. After all some work went into their writing, illustrating, arranging and designing. That work deserves recompense. This dude isn't doing any favours to the authors of the books in his downloadable inventory.

    Is there some sort of 'left wing' socio-economic motive behind this? As a rule, I have never been favourably impressed by the intellectual equipment of right wing types. But not a few left wing types could benefit from a sharp lift under the earhole, and all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I have no idea what this person's motives are, but judging by the list of 'free' downloads that he offers, this is not the first time he has done this.

      The list of other downloads is interesting, and the one thing that I did appreciate was being included on the same list as people such as the late Philip Roth! True fame indeed!

      I would welcome a dialogue with Yelich Mulac about why he has done this, but so far I've not had a reply. If and when I do (I don't hold out much hope that he will contact me), I'll keep my regular blog readers informed.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Archduke! "Milton Friedmanite rentier economics?" I would not have imagined a reference to good ole Milton in a wargaming post. Good job! Let's just call a spade a spade and label this as parasitic.

      Delete
    3. Jonathan Freitag,

      At first I misread Archduke Piccolo's post, and was trying to work out what Morgan Freeman had to do with economics.

      I really must get my eyes tested.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Me again, Bob.
    If you have a friendly neighbourhood silk, you might want to run this thing by him. I followed your link and something about the 'terms and conditions' Bothered me. I think it might be wise to put yourself on the qui vive - at any rate, to jump all over these guys. It might not be such a bad scheme to let Lulu know, as well.

    I was going to add more, but it seemed, on rereading, perhaps a little histrionic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I have informed Lulu about the downloads, and they are giving me what support they can. I have also contacted the organisation whose services Yelich Mulac has used ... but as yet they have not replied.

      Many years ago I had a set of rules 'ripped off' by someone, who made very minor changes and then sold them in the US. I did try to seek legal redress, but the cost of doing so was going to be horrendous. I suspect that the same will be true here, and that once the genie is out of the bottle, I am not going to get it back in. Very annoying ... but without a massive amount of money behind me, I doubt if I am ever going to get proper satisfaction.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. This must be incredibly annoying and the steps to stop it occurring very frustrating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter,

      It is very, very annoying and almost impossible to stop without the person involved accepting that they have done something wrong.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. It's on many sites as a download now so the above fellow might not be the instigator but is simply reposting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jacko,

      That is something that I did not know. I only discovered this download because I was checking the Google Book Search was working, and it came up fourth or fifth on the list.

      It would seem that the genie is well and truly out of the bottle!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Yes sadly. There are several sites I can check to see if a user has posted it but usually they do anonymously. Cheers

      Delete
    3. Jacko,

      I have seen anonnymous posters defined as being those who lack the courage of their convictions but who can't resist inflicting them on others.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Really bad form,l hope you get it sorted.
    Alan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

      It is a very annoying situation, but I doubt if I will manage to stop it from happening,

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. Bob, that is awful news! And so soon after publication too.
    Am I right to assume that the perpetrator must have either purchased, or otherwise obtained, an e-book copy of GNW and then converted it into a PDF?

    Too late for GNW, alas, but I suppose a 'solution' in respect of future books would be to publish only hard copies, and to withdraw your other existing e-books from sale.

    Best wishes,
    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      Whoever converted the eBook into a PDF must have bought a copy of the eBook to do so. Thus will not - however - stop me from producing eBooks of any future publications.

      I have since discovered more links to the free download of GNW ... and that some of my other eBooks have also been 'cloned' into free PDFs. This seems to be a major problem ... but no one seems to be doing anything to combat it. If it were software or videos produced by a big company, then action would be taken.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. Bob,
    What is happening to you-stinks! Obviously a low life individual behind it all. Some years back I had the misfortune of writing a set of 7Yrs Wargame Rules...only to find MY work and ideas published in full by 'Wargames Illustrated'- four pages of it. I felt completely used and abused -and a 'friend' did it to me. Trust no-one. Hope this sleese bag that is using your work gets what is coming to him. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson,

      It only takes one person to do and get away with this sort of thing for others to think that it is all right to copy and exploit other people's work.

      I've realised that getting angry isn't going to help matters ... but doing my best to get even might!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. This stuff happens all the time, Scribd is full of ripped off books, wargames etc. and you can findfcopies of pretty well every Osprey ever written.

    The curse of IP protection in a digital age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martin Rapier,

      I knew that this sort of thing was happening ... but not quite what the scale of the problem was.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Wargamers are notoriously reluctant to pay for rules. There are threads (or at least were threads) on TMP dedicated to why All Rules Should Be Free. We feed into this as well, - after all both you and I make rules available as free downloads from our blogs.

      Even before the internet the sight of someone with a rule book photocopied on the office copier was by no means rare.

      Delete
    3. Trebian,

      How very true. It is truly amazing that someone will pay large amounts of money on figures and then resent spending relatively small sums of cash on the rules they use.

      As we are constantly reminded, if something is free, don't complain about the cost!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  10. It looks like people just request free pdfs for that site, - "PDFLIVRES" - and the person running it sorts them out. As Martin R indicates above stopping the ePub won't necessarily help as some people will just scan the books anyway.

    Martin Goddard, when he started selling pdfs of his AK47 Republic rules personalised all the copies so you could track where any on line posting had come from.

    Are you going to update you COW talk following this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trebian,

      The more I investigate trying to get these PDFs removed, the more I feel as if I'm trying to can fog at the sane time as I am herding cats. There seems to be a whole online community out there doing this 'cloning' ... and then feeling very smug and self-satisfied with what they have done,

      I specifically avoided making PDFs of my books available because of the difficulties with post-sale security ... and I will probably include references to my current problem during my COW talk,

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  11. It's good to bring this theivery to people's attention so that other gamers where they can properly buy from you. Hopefully most gamers are honest ...

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    1. Regretfully for this site although the comments are in English I fear that the users of the site are mostly not British and probably don't know Bob like we do. I fear your hopes will be in vane.

      Delete
    2. MIN ManofTin,

      I would love to think that once warned about this problem, all wargamers would avoid downloading these 'free' PDFs ... but I know that is not going to happen.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    3. Trebian,

      I had noticed that a lot of the books that had been made into 'free' PDFs were not in English ... which is why I do not hold out great hopes that the ripoff PDF downloads will be removed.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  12. This is rather worrying to anyone considering putting their ideas and years of experience into print. Any financial reward for the effort is completely negated. I hadn't realised the scale of the problem until I read of your misfortune Bob. I had been collecting notes of ideas for a publication one day, but I'm not sure it will add any pocket money now to pay for my lead mountain - which was one of my hopes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason,

      My books are still selling well, and I would certainly encourage you to publish if and when you are ready to. My problems are relatively small compared to those who are affected by large-scale counterfeiting ... which is what this is. My talk at COW2018 IS entitled PUBLISH AND BE D*MNED! and I am certainly going to carry on writing and publishing my books ... and d*mning the eyes of those who illegally copy my work.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  13. Sorry to hear about this Bob. It must be frustrating and annoying to see your work being ripped off like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TamsinP,

      Cheers! Thanks for your support. Having my work ripped off is very annoying and fundamentally pointless.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  14. There are really 2 issues at the heart of this.

    1. Those who knowingly steal the rights of others and convert into free material or make money themselves in the process.

    2. Those that download them. For me, it is hard to draw a distinction between 1 and 2.

    The quicker we move away from 'the internet is free' model the better.


    I have never really understood why anyone downloads anything that does not have provenance, the risks of hitting a link button ….. but getting something else, something insidious, on your machine seem all too obvious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Norm.,

      Your points are well-made. Who is the bigger criminal? The person who steals other people's work or those who benefit from the theft? I'm not sure ...

      I'm sure that these 'free' PDFs are a means by which some hackers spread their malware. I wouldn't wish that on anyone ... but - in the words of Gilbert and Sullivan - 'the punishment fits the crime'.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  15. The rip-off site in question is probably using your book (and all the others) as "click bait". It is pretty likely that if you click on a download link on that site you will get malware as well as the book ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike,

      I have a suspicion that you might well be right.

      Wouldn't that be a pity ...

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  16. I often wonder what would happen if you invoiced them for a 'licence' plus and then sued in the relevant small claims court... though appreciate that this would be both impractical and not worth the effort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob Young,

      In a perfect world that would be an ideal solution ... especially if I could accompany the High Court Enforcement Officers when they went to collect the non-payment,

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  17. The sad thing about this is firstly, how easy it seems for this guy to Pirate your work, and secondly how hard it is for you to do anything about it. It would be easy to shrug this off as "the perils of publishing" but that doesn't make this any less annoying and frustrating.

    I hope you get it resolved in the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee Hadley,

      I wish that I was wealthy enough to be able to take legal action against each and every pirate ... but I'm not, so I'll do what I can. The one thing that I am not going to do is give up writing and publishing.

      I'm past being angry now; I'm now at the defiant 'd*mn their eyes' stage.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  18. There is no such thing as a free lunch Bob

    A free download may appear to be a free lunch, a no strings read in the universal library but in reality its something quite different

    See Tom Mourat's .. Dancing Pigs "Wizard wheese" from Connections UK

    Accepting a free download is like inviting a vampire into your house
    You are accepting its consequences
    The Virus Checking software has a "cheese hole"
    Hidden inside that PDF could be an Easter Egg (perhaps unlikely or is it)

    More likely the most valuable piece information is the IP address or an email of someone who will click first and think later .. sloppy .. low alertness

    That's how large Bot Nets spread
    You just might poke at this address because their guard is down and they may have an exploit they can use
    They will be on the list to be visited

    Note: I think ironically the Free Downloads are probably the least read electronic article

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      Thanks for the excellent explanation of the dangers of free downloads.

      I think that the last couple of days have been a learning curve for me ... and - I suspect - for people who have read my blog entries and the numerous comments.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. I should have first said, "Sorry it has happened to you Bob" .. seeing friends getting ripped off angers me

      It is another "get out of jail free" by those companies who set up these sites and services :(

      Delete
    3. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

      It is a good old case of 'Head I win, Tails you lose!'

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  19. Hi Bob
    What a git! Anyway it prompted me to just order a copy of your new book (in hardback too 'cause it looks nicer).
    Only problem is that I'll soon need a Cordery shelf in the study.
    Talking of which hope the Napoleonic portable wargame is not too distant.
    Cheers
    Nick

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    Replies
    1. Nic101 (Nick),

      At least something good has come about as a result of this problem! Thanks for buying my book; I hope that you enjoy reading it and using the rules.

      I'll know when I've become famous when IKEA start selling Korderi shelving that is special designed to hold my books.

      With luck - and assuming that other projects don't get in the way - THE PORTABLE NAPOLEONIC WARGAME should be published in six to nine months time.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete