Despite all the recolors and reposts of visual art in the fandom, the written word has been one of the harder things to steal. Unless you’re a dedicated furry without a basic knowledge of current technology.
Recently a copy of Kyell Gold’s novel Waterways appeared on a file sharing website. While that is not surprising in and of itself, what is of note is that the conversations preceding it.
Threads about pirating Gold’s novel began appearing in the last couple months. On the popular furry discussion site lulz.net a user offered to distribute the book once he finished uploading it.
By retyping the book word for word.
While it’s unclear whether the version that has surfaced is a retyped version, the offer shows a level of dedication far beyond what most book pirates are willing to put in.
It’s rare to see someone retype, instead of using one the more common means of piracy, including but not limited too: using a font recognition program, creating a pdf, unencrypting a digital file, or just fucking reading the book aloud and making an incredibly dorky audio book.
Waterways, which can be purchased from Amazon, or the publisher SofaWolf Press directly, was published in January 2008, and became available through Amazon’s Kindle service in February 2009. In comparison, over half of the books released each month are available for illegal download the same week, and sometimes before the book is ever published.
When asked to comment, Gold stated, “Wow, I feel like I’ve arrived. Someone thought my stuff was worth pirating.”
K.M. Hirosaki, author and colleague of Gold, noted the rising popularity of Furry as a cause for piracy.
“I guess the fact that furry writing is worth pirating now says something about the state of the fandom’s tastes,” Hirosaki said. “Still, it’s cases like this–a small press with a niche audience–where piracy hurts the most. Kyell and Sofawolf put a lot of work into these books, and I hope that fans of furry writing in general recognize that and continue to support it.”
Hirosaki went on to add, “If someone actually went so far as to type out someone else’s novel by hand, then that’s really sad. It shows more of an attempt at doing this out of spite than anything else, and I can’t help but wonder how many productive things could have been done in all those hours spent trying to rob someone else of their hard work.”
Considering the average person types about 45 words per minute, and Waterways is approximately 125,000 words, it would take someone over 46 hours to retype the novel. And that’s just a conservative estimate. Among the things one could do in 46 hours:
Have a fucking job (with overtime)
Read, like, four or five other books
Google a way to not pirate books like a dumbass
SofaWolf Press has contacted the site to have the book removed due to copyright violation. There’s no word yet on whether the pirate redrew the John Nunnemacher illustrations by hand as well.