Is there anyone whose heart doesn’t stir a bit at the fictionalized, romantic, swashbuckling, pirate? Some of the first historical romances I read as a teenager featured privateers. The difference between pirates and privateers is blurred at best and probably depends on the deck of which ship you find yourself. That said, leave the romantic images of pirates in the historical romances we love. As Suzan Tisdale commented on my Facebook post about this issue “Pirates–they give it a sexy name but it is still stealing.”
I found the pirate sites because I periodically search the internet for my name and my book title. I have found cool lists this way (like the “most wished for in Scottish romance” list on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/most-wished-for/books/7538389011 where Highland Solution is currently number 8). I have also found dodgy links to my copyrighted material.
If you find your copyrighted material on an unauthorized website you will need to send a DMCA take-down notice to the host. You can find an example of this kind of letter on multiple legal websites. This one provides a good explanation and example http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2009/07/06/sample-dmca-take-down-letter/.
Finding the place to send the take down notice may be a bit more difficult. You can go to a website like http://allwhois.org/ and with the url from the suspect site, you can sometimes find the contact email. That is what I did and at least one of the websites removed the link to my book. However it pays to be careful what you click on. I sent some of the information that I found to Piracy Pitbull and was told:
Some of the “sponsored” results are fake torrents with a virus built in. Those types of results generally show up on all pages of websites like this, regardless of what you search for. They’re just a method used to install malware rather than actual copies of your book.
Piracy Pitbull, http://www.piracypitbull.com is an example of a company that can help monitor the internet for copyright infringement and help remove your copyrighted material from the offending sites.
I am not a legal expert in this area, and I have only just scratched the surface on finding and addressing violators of my copyrights. However, I thought I would share what I have learned at my current stop in my journey as a published author.