Are you a thief? Would you appreciate it if someone stole your purse or wallet to use your credit card or drivers license to run up speeding violations, expenditures that you had to pay or hire a lawyer to fight them? Would you appreciate your name being published on websites as a thief? Do you like being called a thief?
These are questions anyone contemplating posting without permission an ebook or any document on any website. Think of all the hours that author put into that item you are converting for your own use or profit.
Perhaps you don’t care. Perhaps you think that people who write ought to do so for free. Would you be willing to work for years without pay? Would you like to sew a dress or build a car or repair a motorcycle and have someone else take it for their own use while you have paid for the parts or material?
It doesn’t matter whether you are distributing the material for free or selling it, if it is without permission, you are a thief. You have broken laws that leave you open to persecution and fines. You will have a criminal record thereafter. And it is a matter of public record. Potential employers, colleges, acquaintances, and others may learn of your criminal record.
Also, if you are selling anything illegally, how do you report the income to the IRS? You haven’t? Well, think about it. Do you want them to start checking on your income and the sites people may report it coming from? You may think no one can find your identity, but that’s not so. There are people who can track others online and you could be reported.
Perhaps you own a host website and hide behind all the demands that someone prove they are the owner of a stolen publication. Your website can be named on a list of accomplices then and you have willingly become a criminal if you don’t check the copyright of published items on your site. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and once you are told an item is stolen, if it is not removed, you become a thief too, helping the person posting illegally, steal.
Think using a foreign host is safe? Think again. What if the person you steal from, contacts the proper department in that foreign government’s police department and they get in touch with the host. The host will look out for his own skin first. If a name is requested by that country, it is likely to be provided.
You not only hurt the author of the article you steal, but yourself. Your reputation is damaged. What if you are a book reviewer or want to be? Authors and publishers will not give you books to review. You’ve proven in the past you have no integrity. Why would they give you a chance to steal from them again?
Do you think because you’ve paid for an item that it gives you the right to reproduce and sell it. Ripping someone off you don’t know may give you a rush, make you feel powerful or whatever other excuse you can dream up, but in the end, it means you are without honor. Is this the way your parents raised you?
Do you think the life of a thief is glamorous? Think again. If it is so glamorous, why do you go to such lengths to hide your identity? It is because you don’t want people to know you are a thief, the type of criminal that picks the pocket of people you don’t know. It means you have no self respect as well. You are perhaps enjoying a good laugh with your partners or friends at how you are so much smarter or superior than your victims–those who work for what you steal, but your friends and partners know too that you are a thief. If the going gets rough and you or they are discovered, will they stand behind you and declare you are a good person? Not likely. Thieves fall out and the finger pointing and accusations begin. One or more might testify against you.
Think carefully before you become a cyber criminal. In the end you will be exposed. And then what? Jail time? fines? Remember when you take the chance on becoming a thief, you are not the smartest person in the world. There is always someone smarter and they might, just might, be hunting you.
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