A zero-tolerance policy on Wattpad, the social media site that claims 35 million readers and writers worldwide, has not done away with the problem of digital piracy on the site. Earlier this month over 41,000 readers downloaded free copies of a novel by New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder, which had been pirated. The incident, Wilder estimated, cost her roughly $168,000 in royalties.
Even though Wilder pays two companies to search for illegal postings—one found close to 32,000 of them—it’s unlikely that any company could have found Wilder's pirated work on Wattpad. The plagiarizer gave the book a new name, My Dominant Alpha, along with new cover art. The title was also posted by a different user: Amyleigh153. Because Wattpad pirates are now changing basic, but key, elements of the original work, they have become an even more worrisome issue for authors on the website.
While I don't want to deny the problems faced by authors or suggest that this behavior is okay, I do want to point out that PW's report is lacking in context.
As a brief skim of the related tag on Dear Author will tell you, piracy/plagiarism is a known problem, and now that we know that it extends to Wattpad the next question to ask is what authors ( and their fans) should do about this.
I've thought up a couple ideas that won't work,but not one that I know will work - or at least will have a positive effect.
What's your idea?
image by Kris Krug