Fanfiction authors are reacting to the news that the for-profit site ebooks-tree.com has stolen works from hundreds of authors' pages on Archive of Our Own, Tumblr, and other sites. Ebooks Tree reposted works, but only the name of the work and the author is visible, requiring a login and credit card number to download them.
Works appear to be stolen at random, as many authors express confusion and amusement at what fics were taken. Some authors have searched their pseudonyms to find dozens of fics or more posted without their authorization.
Sigh. Dealing with DMCA take down requests and seeing 31 of my fics up on some other site is not fun or what I wanted to do this morning.
— Literary Oblivion (@lit_oblivion) April 13, 2015
After investigating the theft, Archive of Our Own, one of the fanfiction sites affected, determined that Ebooks Tree was not hosting the fics themselves, but rather linking back to the source. They announced they've "taken action to prevent anyone from downloading works by following the links provided by Ebooks Tree." It appears that many if not all of the fanfics from Archive of our Own have since disappeared from the site altogether.
We've taken measures to make it more difficult for Ebooks Tree to offer downloads of AO3 works. Users should not notice any changes.
— AO3 Status (@AO3_Status) April 13, 2015
YAY! All 31 of my fics are no longer up on ebooks-tree! I didn't get an email or anything, but it seems like they are taking stuff down?
— Literary Oblivion (@lit_oblivion) April 14, 2015
Many authors are wondering what they can do to prevent this from happening in the future. Archive of Our Own recommends concerned writers "select the 'Only show your work to registered users' option when posting or editing a work." That option requires a login, which isn't perfect protection against theft, but it's a good first step.
In addition, Author Diane Duane recommends to authors that they google themselves, and extensively, including searching their name, their pseudonym, quotes from their works, and other tips. The effort takes time and energy, but it can be necessary for authors who wish to retain control over their online presence.
The law blog fyeahcopyright has helpfully compiled the DMCA information each author needs to send in in order to get their fanfic removed from the site. You don't need a lawyer, you only need a clearly-worded email with the following information:
Your Name and/or Pseudonym as an e-signature (or the name of the person you've authorized to submit this request, with a slash before it and after it):
Link(s) to the unauthorized works (link to the pdf, the mobi and the page hosting all of it):
Link(s) to an authorized version of your work (whether on AO3, tumblr, LJ or somewhere else):
An email address of the submitter (include it again even if it's in the header):
This statement: I have good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
This statement: The information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
That's it - that's all they need to know - you can submit all the info via http://www.ebooks-tree.com/info.php?contacts with DMCA Complaint in the subject.