Monday, 1 April 2019

Pirating is Theft - end of.

Dear Travis McCrea of Ebook Bike

It’s not often that I blog now as there never seem to be enough hours in the day when you earn an honest living but this particular post needs to get out my system before I self-combust.

Working as an Indie writer is an incredibly tough job and, in the past, was a worthwhile career.  The way that Amazon has changed how they pay us has made it increasingly difficult to earn a living and so I really don't need any spanners in the works.

So, with a constant battle on my hands to get my books seen, talked about, sold and reviewed, imagine my fury when it came to light that you are stealing my work and giving it away for free.  Your opening line on your FAQ page is:

Imagine a world where authors can make money by giving digital versions of their books away to their reader.

This makes NO SENSE TO ME!  HOW?!  How can the theft of my books be making me any money?  Do you have a stash of cash owing to me?  I don’t think so somehow.  I’ve asked you this many times on Twitter and you choose not to answer.  I wonder why.

The truth of the matter is, every book you give away is taking hard earned cash from my hands.  So all the years, months, weeks and hours of blood sweat and tears that I pour into my work are given away, without my permission, for nothing.

And how do you justify this?  Oh, it gets better and better!  You set yourself up as a Reverend of:

Missionary Church of Kopimism

The followers of the religion are called Kopimists from copy me. A "Kopimist" or "Kopimist intellectual" is a person who has the philosophical belief that all information should be freely distributed and unrestricted. This philosophy opposes the monopolization of knowledge in all its forms, such as copyright, and encourages file sharing of all types of media including music, movies, TV shows, and software.

So you are somehow trying to justify your act of theft.  Unbelievable!

It doesn’t end there though.  Your girlfriend @malkarii_ is a charity fundraiser for St Jude’s Hospital, Memphis.  No, no, no!  Sorry, but this doesn’t sit well with me.  You @travisvancouver boast about the plane that you’ve bought and the yacht trips that you’ve taken with MY money - because your ‘religion’ doesn’t believe in copyrighting and you’re under the misguided impression that it’s your right to share my work for your gain.  You can’t expect us to believe that your girlfriend doesn’t enjoy that illegal lifestyle to some extent.

I too raise funds for charity and I know that my reputation needs to be whiter than white.  I’ve watched her video on Twitch and I feel for her but she openly admits that what you are doing is ‘shady’ and has asked you to take the website down.  Any connection with you and your dodgy deals will not show @malkarii_ in a good light - she needs to be rethinking her life choices and who she keeps company with if you continue to ignore her requests and she wants to maintain her credibility and integrity.

And you need to own up to the fact that you are a thief and a liar.  On your interview with BBC Radio, you claimed that Ebook Bike was set up with and for writers.  I’d like just ONE writer to come forward and agree with this statement.  Who are these writers who helped to set it up and how do they gain financially from it?  The only writers I’ve heard voice an opinion, are those who are being ripped-off.

I thought long and hard before writing this.  There are two trains of thought.  Some authors are keeping quiet as they don’t want to give you oxygen to grow, others are livid and doing everything they can to bring you down.  Indies are the ones who are particularly disgruntled as we don’t get an advance to keep us going - but what the traditionally published authors need to realise is that, if their books continue to be given away without their permission, their publishers will see a fall in sales and may not re-sign them.  It affects us all.  I won’t be silenced, especially when I read that a sixth of ebooks that were downloaded in 2017 were pirated because of the likes of you.  Why should I keep quiet?  If you crept into my house while I was sleeping and stole all of my worldly goods I wouldn’t let you get away with it - this theft is no different.

I don’t have a plane or fancy yacht trips around the English Bay of Vancouver and you know why?  Because I’m helping to pay for you to enjoy those privileges.

Shame on you.  Enjoy the publicity while you can but I don’t think it will last for long.  Time to get your thinking cap on and come up with a new scam.

May you get your just desserts in heaven Reverend McCrea.

PS: To those authors and publishers who choose to keep quiet, I respect your opinion but I’m choosing to speak out for the underdog.  I don’t believe that by writing this I will encourage more people to pirate books - honest people don’t - but I do feel that it needs to be talked about.  This isn’t just affecting Indies.  It’s affecting traditionally published authors and will go on to affect the publishing world, just as it did with pirated music, unless people make a noise.  I don’t believe that this is a time for anyone to sit on their laurels, hope that it will go away and leave other people to do the dirty work and deal with it on their behalf.


  1. No one is sitting on their laurels, believe me. We are all reporting, watching and getting these places shut down. We work too hard to earn a living to give it away. Piracy is theft, and will never be okay. Support your authors, we have to eat too x good luck on the new book Amanda! X

  2. Well said. This guy is complete scum. He's taking food off my table. I have no tolerance for a thief.

  3. Did you know that I've launched a lawsuit against him?

    Yes, I'm fund raising to help cover court costs, but there's also a link to the court filing (if you wish to read it) on the gofundme page:

    Currently Travis is in hiding to avoid being served. He may claim he wishes to be sued, but his actions belie that.