All too often, the topic of copyright infringement and out and out stealing is a raging plague of pandemic proportions among Pagan groups on various social media. Every day we are treated to links for ‘free” downloads of books that are still under copyright. I am no stranger to this. A book that is under my independent publishing company, Ma’at Publishing, was photocopied, converted to PDF, our copyright notice stripped out and uploaded to the web. I recently found two incidents of it on Scribd and showing proof of copyright, the offending documents were removed within hours.
What is so galling is that far too many Witches, Pagans, or just people in general feel it is their “right” to have this information for free. That all knowledge should be shared in an internet Kumbayah sort of thing – yet they never think for one moment that the very people they are stealing from are the writers, artists and others who have spent much time, effort and money of their own and above all the love and devotion of a subject. Sometimes a book is out of print and out of copyright – and sometimes is offered free either through a promotion such as through Amazon, or directly from the author themselves. At any other time, however, if you want to read something, either cough up the necessary dosh to purchase it – or save up for it. ..or borrow it from a library if you are truly a “broke pagan and can’t buy books.” Anything else is theft.
Josephine McCarthy is one of those few authors in the genre whom I also value as a teacher, a colleague and someone I consider a friend. As such, I would purchase any of her books upon their release. I will never dicker about the price, because I know what she puts out is worth the expenditure AND she has offered so many other supplemental resources online for free. The article linked to in this post is about this issue. I encourage every Pagan; every person to read it. Reblog it or link to it on social media. We need to support our authors, artists and others so that they can afford to focus on those things that we find so valuable in their work.