BEA 2015: Piracy Trace

piracy traceThe first day of BEA 2015 has drawn to a close with no new ideas making an appearance on the show floor, but a bunch of new startups did show off their take on an existing app  or service.

Piracy Trace is a newly launched startup which helps authors and publishers fight piracy. When hired, the company scans pirate sites for an authors work. If iy finds the work then it will send out a DMCA notice.

If that sounds familiar, it should. This is basically the same service offered by Digimarc Guardian (formerly Attributor). Attributor has been doing this for at least 6 years now that I know of, and now it has a cheaper competitor.

And that is a detail which I thought might interest authors and publishers. (Plus, I’m not familiar with any other services like it, though I am sure some exist.)

Piracy Trace is brand new, so I can’t tell you if it is effective. But it does offer a free trial, and that interval can be used to test the efficacy.

And this service should be tested; while I was chatting with the developers I learned that they weren’t keeping up on the latest ebook piracy news (the ongoing Google Play Books issue).

If they’re not keeping abreast of current news then they might not be as invested in the service as you would like. Or, they could be too busy building the service to read the news. Either way, this merits investigation.

P.S. And while we’re on the topic, do you know of another service like Piracy Trace? I’d like to learn more.



Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. puzzled28 May, 2015

    This is why you don’t let the developers anywhere near your booth…

  2. fjtorres28 May, 2015

    Do you really expect new ideas from that crowd?

    1. Nate Hoffelder28 May, 2015

      That’s not fair. When it comes to the show floor, we’re talking about more than just publishing industry insiders. Who knows who will show up at BEA with a new idea.

      Okay, I didn’t see much new this year, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep looking.

      1. fjtorres28 May, 2015

        For a change, I wasn’t snarking.
        Mostly I was wondering if anybody with a really new idea would bring it to BEA.

        1. Nate Hoffelder28 May, 2015


          And I decided it wasn’t fair for me to snark on the show floor either. I rewrote the post.

  3. Sarah Ettritch28 May, 2015

    MUSO does a similar thing ( I don’t use the service, but I know of authors who do.

    1. Nate Hoffelder28 May, 2015


      1. Sarah Ettritch30 May, 2015

        I just read over the information at the Piracy Trace site, and I’m not sure if it will find pirated books. MUSO scans for pirated books and reports links. Is Piracy Trace going to report download links? Is it going to scan PDF/EPUB/MOBI files linked to from the web? If not, how will it detect piracy of a book-length work, unless someone has posted an excerpt? I think it might be a plagiarism scanner, not a scanner for pirated books. If so, they should change the name.

  4. MaggieLynch29 May, 2015

    I also know many authors who use Muso. But their pricing just went up and a lot of people are looking for another option. What I like about Pirate Trace pricing is that it allows those with a few books (e.g., 1-10) to get a deal that is affordable. When services treat everyone as a publisher with 50+ books and start pricing there, it does not make it affordable.

    Thanks for letting us know. I’m going to research this further.

  5. […] start, there's Piracy Trace and Bublish, both of which have been covered elsewhere on this blog, and Bookbub, which is so […]

  6. Elizabeth North4 June, 2015

    We have worked with DMCA Force for several years and have found them reliable and reasonable. Their pricing is based on number of titles instead of number of takedown notices. They also work with the search engines to have listings removed and credit card and payment companies for pirate sites that charge for downloads.

    1. Nate Hoffelder4 June, 2015

      Thanks for the tip. I haven’t heard of this company before.

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