Buyer Beware! Cyber pirating is a serious crime against the artist, the reader and society at large. Luckily, we have some really great tips on how to safeguard against cyber pirating from paralegal and author Raquel Zepeda Fitzgerald. And, she’s even written a fun, imaginative novel, TORRENT TRAGEDY, about a cyber pirate who gets just what he deserves. Luckily, The Latina Book Club is able to bring you an excerpt of this novel.
By Raquel Zepeda Fitzgerald
Next morning around 10 a.m. Steve walks into his office to tell him about the surge they just had in downloads of that new book. Right before Steve came in, he heard a sound like something had been dropped into the urn sitting on his credenza.
When Steve looked at him he gasped and said what happen to your teeth?
What do you mean?
Your tooth, you’re missing a tooth,” he said.
“That’s crazy.” But then he could feel that he was missing one front tooth.
Freddie got on the phone immediately to his dentist’s office for an emergency appointment. The next day his teeth looked fine, he’s was wearing a fake temporary tooth.
At noon, Steve ran into Freddie’s office telling him that they just had a surge of about twenty downloads of the I Sorceress book. As he walked back to his desk, he heard some noise coming from Frederick’s office like something hitting a metal plate.
Frederick could feel about twenty of his teeth being pulled out of his mouth all at once.
“That sound!” he said to himself, “It’s the sound of my teeth in that urn!” He turned around and tried to open it. But it would not budge. It just sat there like it was glued to his credenza and the face of the man on it was laughing at him.
This could not be true. Curses are not real. Sorceresses are not real. He decided to let Steve go home early. He could not allow anyone to see him like this. He had to read the book. Maybe he could send her an email. ###
Excerpt printed with permission. All rights reserved by author.
Book Summary: Evil genius Serge Michaels was only 16 when he committed his first cybercrime. Later, he graduated to murder. With the advent of e-books, Serge has a new playing field. When he pirates a new book, I SORCERESS, the author sends him a cease and desist letter. When he doesn’t comply, he receives a decorative urn from an unknown source, and soon after he begins to lose body parts that end up in the urn. Cursed? Karma? Such is the tragedy of Torrent, cyber pirate.
CYBER PIRATING SAFETY TIPS
Q: Pirates have become romantic figures over time. Is there anything romantic about Torrent Tragedy?
RAQUEL ZEPEDA FITZGERALD: No. There is nothing romantic about Torrent Tragedy. Real pirates are not romantic. It’s simply a story about an evil cyber genius who used his skill and anonymity to rob people. Then he robbed a sorceress who cursed him. When I found seven sites offering my books for a free download, I wrote this book. I was overwhelmed with a passionate desire to find these pirates and torture them. So I did it in writing. Three days later, I finished Torrent Tragedy.
Q: Do you believe in karma?
RAQUEL: Most definitely I do believe in karma. Torrent Tragedy is about karma.
Q: Do you believe that "payback is a bitch?"
RAQUEL: I believe that payback should be a bitch! Pirating or stealing is a crime. People should be made to pay back what they stole.
Q: How can one protect themselves from a cyber pirate?
RAQUEL: I just created a page on my website that lists all of the authorized sellers for my works. I hope that will help. (http://bit.ly/2hfdTbV ) When you upload a book to a site like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you are given the choice to protect each download file. That would be the first thing.
Obtain a copyright. It’s very easy. You just go to the copyright website where you can file electronically for $35. When you find a website who is offering pirated copies of your work, contact them with Cease and Desist email. You can also send a hard copy, but the email should be sent immediately. When they claim that they are not selling your product, even though it is as clear as day on the url link you sent, prepare a DMCA notice. If they don’t respond to that, send out tweets exposing that they are selling your pirated content. That always works.
Never place unique art whether it is actual art or copy, music, etc. on the cloud. If you aren’t going to use your computer for more than an hour and it contains original work, turn it off. It’s like closing the door to your home when you leave.
You should use a separate browser to do your banking. Use a service like Paypal to purchase items online. There are many more things you can do. But the list is too long. When Micro Soft is calling upon the authorities to make stricter laws to fight cyber piracy, you know it is a serious problem.
This is what I believe is the psychology behind pirating: Cyber piracy is the crime of a coward because they don’t see their victims face to face. While the pirate may believe he/she is anonymous, they are not. Like anything, there is always a paper trail.
Another serious problem is that people are under the impression that artists don’t have to pay for food, clothing and shelter. Since we are creating drama, music, and literature, we are just having fun. That is the assumption. People do not realize that creating anything takes a lot of work. People do not associate art with work. Therefore, it’s okay to steal it. That is their justification. This justification opens the door to billions of dollars in pirated works. When these pirates start going to prison, it will change.###
About the Author: Raquel Zepeda Fitzgerald has authored several books. In 2005, she published her first edition of THE EYE OF OSIRIS. MY BONE COLLECTION, a collection of three short stories was published in 2011. In early 2013, “Buyer’s Remorse,” a short story about getting away with murder was released. During the autumn of 2013, Raquel published a sequel to THE EYE OF OSIRIS, OSIRIS - THE SECOND COMING. She has just published Osiris 333, which completes the Osiris Trilogy Mystery Series. A guidebook for this series is available. In addition to books, Raquel has also published a collection of greeting cards known as Think Blots, Shrink Blotz, and Luv Blots. Having held the position of CEO for many years, Raquel has also had a career in business and legal administration. She currently works as a paralegal in the corporate securities industry. Visit her at www.raquelzepedafitzgerald.com.
BEWARE OF CYBER PIRATES