Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm on Scribd and Didn't Upload It

Found Scary Mary again uploaded without permission. This time it's on Scribd. Recently, Paperback Writer shared the news that Scribd will begin charging users to download free content. This fee is not shared with the author, and the authors were not initially made aware of the conversion to a fee structure. Again the person who uploaded my work will not be making money off it, but Scribd could be (not just from the download fee but from the gazillion ads on every page too). I tried to figure out a way to submit a request for it to be taken down, but it seems the site is in the middle of some sort of upgrade. I couldn't even figure out how to notify the user who had uploaded my work that I would like it taken down. I'll continue to pursue this because I don't like the idea of Scribd making money off me, especially without my permission and because the site seems atrocious. While I was on there, it was a mess. Maybe that was due to the upgrade in progress, but I have a feeling that the site is just bad to surf.

The whole concept of Scribd seems highly problematic. I read several articles during my searching that revealed a number of big name authors having their work uploaded illegally to the site. Take into account comments on Paperback Writer's article that even if people remove their content, Scribd may still retain a backup copy that's presented to users, I'm wondering if Scary Mary will vanish from the site. I'm not upset yet about this, but if it becomes a true battle to get my work taken down, I will become very angry.

The copy of SM that was uploaded was the one from Smashwords. Front and center, there's my copyright notice, which reads,
"Smashwords Edition, License Notes:
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please download an additional copy for each person or direct them to the author’s website for free reading options."

Wish I knew what the user was thinking uploading my story. The person on Wattpad claimed they were uploading it to share with a friend. The person here has no information in her bio. Scary Mary appears to be the only thing she has uploaded. I will try to pursue contacting her first with a request to take it down, but not sure what that will involve. I can't see a way to direct message her, unless through Facebook? I have a Facebook account, but it's for personal use. Don't really want to use it for writing business. Well, we'll see I guess. I won't really be able to do anything until this upgrade of whatever is finished.


punktrading said...

By 2010 I had serious problems with this abuse of scribd. I was working in a big automotive company, I needed some reports for a bussinnes trip and I uploaded it to a free ftp since I had no time and my company ftps were down at this moment. Scribd published this douments without my consent abd using my login name. Now I’m fired. Do you know how can we defend from this?

S.A. Hunter said...


That is absolutely horrible. My heart goes out to you. Scribd like other upload sites are "innocent" in that they don't upload the material. Like on Youtube, users upload the illegal content, not the site administrators. They merely host it and expect users to follow their TOS. They'll take down items they are alerted to that break their TOS. Someone had to find your documents and upload them to Scribd. I'm sorry this happened to you. As a writer, all I can do is send take down requests to sites that I find offering my work without my permission. I've found success with that, but preventing the uploads is impossible. In your case, I can only suggest secure FTP and strong password protection. Cloud computing is becoming the norm and users must be very aware of security to protect their work. I use Dropbox and can't imagine not using it, but I make sure to keep that password secret and complicated to prevent possible illegal access. I hope your dismissal was only a temporary setback and that you found new employment swiftly.