merrily: Mac (Default)
[personal profile] merrily
Well, this fucking sucks.

TL;DR summary:

Ebooks Tree - an ebooks website with a paywall - is using a bot to harvest work from AO3. They are not asking permission from authors.

If they have taken your work and posted it, it will say that it has 612 downloads and 41 comments. These figures are fake; however, it is accurate that your work is archived somewhere that you didn't give permission for.

You can file a DMCA complaint using their contact form here. Put "DMCA complaint" in their subject line.

You can also submit an abuse notification to their host server, Moniker, at (I used WhoIs to find their host server info.) [EDIT - Moniker got back to me and said they aren't hosting ebooks-tree, they just registered the domain name. So don't do this.]

And then, like me, you can BE ANGRY and FUME ABOUT IT.

Why are we never rid of assholes who look at our gift economy and think "hey, I bet I can make money from that"?

UPDATE: fyeahcopyright - ie, Heidi Tandy, fan and lawyer and legal counsel for OTW (publishers of AO3), is on it.

UPDATE 2: It looks like all the AO3-harvested stuff is down. This might be a good time to mention that here is where you can donate to the OTW, who always has our backs about this kind of bullshit.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-14 01:24 am (UTC)
raincitygirl: close up of the Hulk's face (Hulk (kickair8p))
From: [personal profile] raincitygirl
Grrr! Would you mind if i linked to your post? It's the most cogent explanation I've seen so far, and has all those handy dandy links.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-14 09:41 am (UTC)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
From: [personal profile] icarus
The download button on AO3 has caused this problem.

It can be solved.

Give authors the option to opt-out of downloads.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
From: [personal profile] icarus
They didn't do that. They didn't screencap. They used that download feature--and that download feature is therefore the problem.

I'm going to protect myself from actual theft. You know--the theft that just happened.

And it disturbs me that you don't care.
Edited Date: 2015-04-14 07:21 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-15 03:31 am (UTC)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
From: [personal profile] icarus
Subject line: no idea what that said. (What on earth....)

I'm concerned about this theft. Not past thefts. Not hypothetical thefts. The ones that just happened.

AO3 tells us this one happened because of the download link:

...there’s only so much we can do while also keeping the downloads functionality alive for our users (who might depend on it due to limited internet time or mobile access only).

...The only way we could prevent bots from downloading files would be to add a CAPTCHA button to downloads, and for a lot of accessibility reasons, we are not planning on doing this.

The download link is the weakness. If you want to argue with how this happened, you can argue with them. I'm just going by what they said.

Now, in Isis' journal I learned that full eBooks from fandom members' websites were also stolen. But bottom line, this bot scraped downloadable eBooks.

So we need to do something about that. I don't want my stories stolen.

I'm hearing you say: "theft happens ... and that's okay, because you can't do anything about it." Maybe I've misunderstood you, but that's what I'm hearing.

I believe: "theft happens ... and that's not okay, and we can do something about it." And I know we can, because AO3 says so right there. They just don't want to. Maybe there's a better solution than a CAPTCHA, but we know this particular type of theft can be prevented.

Why prioritize accessibility over taking measures to prevent theft? Am I the only person who noticed that when my stories got stolen--it was my problem?

At this point it appears to me that AO3 has leaned too far in the direction of accessibility, prioritizing the needs of readers, while exposing the writers to theft.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-15 12:12 am (UTC)
waketosleep: signboard saying 'I have seen the truth and it doesn't make sense' (Default)
From: [personal profile] waketosleep
They had my fic Bang a Gong up there. Looks like the download is disabled but the page is still on the site.


merrily: Mac (Default)

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