More and more authors and publishers are finding their ebooks available as PDF downloads on websites with whom they have no connection. It appears that these websites are offshore and out of reach of U.S. copyright laws. We are investigating but be careful of any site that offers free ebooks. Apparently, some are offering the PDFs with their software, which is then difficult to get off your computer.

Why offer free ebooks

Just to confuse things further (such is publishing these days), there can be reasons why you would want to offer free ebooks (under your control). There was some discussion about this at one of our meetings. Here is an article that explains the reasoning. It’s written by Mark Coker, the CEO of Smashwords so it’s also a commercial for Smashwords:


February 8 meeting: Legal Issues

The February 8th MIPA meeting is a chance to have your legal questions answered by Patty Zurlo, an attorney who specializes in representing creative individuals like writers, artists, and musicians. This is your chance to ask copyright and trademark questions. And whether your brother-in-law can really sue you for mentioning him in your book. We’ll also continue the discussion about piracy and what you can do about it, plus the other side of crowdfunding and donating books—taxes.

Attorney Patty Zurlo is a professional classical musician and fiber artist as well as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law teaching Art and Cultural Heritage Law. Learn more about her at

Where: Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham Ave, Roseville [map]