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So, is it STEALING?

Recently, we received a very angry comment from an author, because our has a link that refers directly to the PDF version of his book and not to the landing page on his site. He calls it HIGHLY UNETHICAL and STEALING. What do you think?

We publish the communications between the author and us. We remove some names to protect the parties involved, because we want a healthy dicussion on the practice of linking directly to the PDF file of a book, and not something else that might lead to personal attack.

>>>>>>>>>>> From author

your books section is HIGHLY UNETHICAL

As a former publisher ( I build {Site Name} ) I have to say that your books section is highly unethical. In short, you are STEALING.

When a website puts up a book (be it in HTML or PDF), they expect to benefit from that investment by having people come to their site to get the book. So you guys should at least link to the landing page where the book was hosted on the original site. But by linking direcly to the PDF\'s, or the printer friendly versions of the articles, you are STEALING from the original site that posted it.

Shame on you!

{the Author}

>>>>>>>>>>>> Response from us

Dear {the Author},

First, we would like to thank you for your highly acclaimed book, {Book Name}, we bought the books as a result of first reading the PDF version and then clicking the Amazon link on the first page of the PDF file.

We were very shocked, to say the least, to read your comments posted on our site, and we could not believe those comments would come from a highly respected author like yourself. We totally and completely reject your accusations, especially those very RUDE remarks. We are NOT in violation of anything as you accused and we follow widely adopted Internet practice as most search engines do. However we have removed the link in question as a goodwill gesture.

We don't understand how the original site or the author (you) would not get the credit, when you use the first full page of the PDF file to make full claim of all credits even with some clickable HTML links (that is how we bought the book).

We are not pretending to own anything as we clearly state in bold at the same page "ATTENTION: We do not own or store any copies of these books in our server, only provide links to other sites. "

Let us quote some key points in our emails to {Person A} and {Person B},

We will remove those links if the authors are not happy about. As we (and our searchbot) have no way of knowing what is the original site of those books, or if the other sites hosting the books have any agreement with the authors.

We only make use of publicly available links found on the search engines. What is the difference from such links on our site and those links on the search engine sites?

I suggest that you should get search engines to remove those links first, then our search bot will not find them and post them on our site.

May I also suggest that you should try to correct the source of problems, and contact those sites hosting your contents directly, since we have no way of knowing if they host it legally or not.