My IP Got Pirated: How I Took It Down

You wrote a book and it’s been published, either traditionally or by you. Now you can focus on promoting it. But if you own the copyright, you have another task in this digital age: Protecting your work on the Internet.

Recently, I did a Google search for my book, Writing Well in the 21st Century: The Five Essentials, to see what would come up–and of course to see how many hits it would get. But I was shocked to find that someone was offering free video downloads of my book’s content on YouTube.

Since I own my copyright, I did a search for “copyright infringement” on YouTube. Apparently, they take Intellectual Property seriously—as they should. On Barbara Mende’s advice, I looked for a YouTube takedown notice and filed it with them against both postings offering the free downloads.

Within two hours, I received word from YouTube that my content had been taken down. But that’s not the end of the story. Just three hours later, there were two new postings of my book! The pirating will go on and on, but so will my vigilance.

So hear ye, hear ye, writers of this digital era, search for your work regularly to see if it’s been made available as a free download on YouTube or any other website. If so, file a copyright-infringement takedown notice. (Read more about this on  NWU’s website here.)

Your book is your idea brought to fruition; take the time to protect it!

Linda Spencer is the author of Writing Well in the 21st Century the Five Essentials. Barbara Mende is the coordinator for the Grievance and Contract Division of the National Writers Union.

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