Award wining author ripped off by Kiwi company

It appears The Publisher’s Association don’t have a sense of humour when it comes to Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries having been available from Krim Dotcon’s MEGA site:

The Publisher’s Association has expressed disappointment that links to author Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries have been made available for free download by a New Zealand registered company.

The novel was discovered on Kim Dotcom’s file-sharing website MEGA yesterday.

“Everyone is rightly proud of the achievements of Eleanor Catton on the world stage so to see her work given away without her consent by a fellow Kiwi company is really appalling,” Publishers Association of New Zealand president Sam Elworthy says.

“We should be doing all we can to support the good work of not only these two artists but also every New Zealander who makes an honest living from his or her creative works.

“MEGA should do more to ensure this kind of thing does not occur.”

Whaleoil is keeping an eye on it as well.  If it happens again, we’ll contact the good people at Copyright Licensing Limited directly to deal with the problem.

In fact, we’ve located more copies of Eleanor’s work on another service – and will hand those details on shortly.  Not everything can be found by using Google you know Krim!  

“We live in a digital age and authors and publishers recognise the changing nature of how readers want to access material. We made sure that The Luminaries was available as an ebook to New Zealand readers in a timely and accessible way, and we are delighted so many of them have taken advantage of this.

“We are not surprised to be told that there are also illegal sources, but are nevertheless very disappointed,” Barrowman says.

Elworthy says the discovery of Catton’s work on a site such as MEGA was the “tip of the iceberg”.

“Just a few weeks ago we had to ask MEGA to take down an entire educational textbook written by a New Zealand author and which had been made available on their site. This type of illegal sharing is happening at an alarming rate and really hurting New Zealand creatives.

Booooo!  Nasty Krim Dotcon!!  Shoo! SHOO!!!

We’re getting creative work out to millions in all sorts of formats all around the world. But while Eleanor Catton is doing big things for our international reputation, it’s disappointing to see her being ripped off by a website which calls itself a New Zealand company,” Elworthy says.

Kim Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States on copyright and racketeering charges over the operation of his previous file locker site Megaupload.

Rumour has it that everything that is uploaded to MEGA is totally encrypted.  And yet, without having the special password, MEGA located those copyrighted works and deleted them.

I suspect their claims of 100% privacy have been exposed by this.

All it will take is a warrant and any information that you’ve uploaded is there for the taking.

But that’s old news.  What is interesting is that MEGA staff obviously have a way of finding out what is where, even though they claim it is completely inaccessible and unidentifiable without the unique password.

I might ask someone to look into that for me.


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  • Dick Brown

    I wouldn’t mind hearing from Eleanor actually.

    Any publicity is good publicity.

    • James Growley

      That is a fallacy….

      • Nechtan

        True! Just ask Len

  • conwaycaptain

    Being in the bookselling game for educational books this has been going on for years.
    First it was photocopying. A Polytech was taken to court for copying a vast amount of Michael King’s History of NZ. Someone I know co authored a Japanese series and they found that a school was providing photocopied extracts far in excess of the allowable amount to students.
    Now these books can be scanned, downloaded or whatever on to the net. What will happen is that authors will not write these books and students will be all the worse off for this.
    It is stealing intellectual property and the sooner someone takes Krim Dot con to task over this the better.

  • suites

    When you share a link from MEGA the encryption key is in the link unless you choose to pass it around separately. I agree that MEGA and cloud providers in general are full of shit regarding security and privacy.

    • Yeah, but they said they didn’t have the key, but has “enough information” to locate it and delete it anyway.

      If I was storing stuff in there that I really didn’t want people to look at, that statement would make me nervous.

      • Jonathan Pull

        Yes but then you face the problem where people can put up what they like on any given storage website and then receive abuse for enabling piracy. They HAVE to protect themselves. Id say the search would be for specific thing such as titles etc.
        I hope you are as worried about GCSB spying on you as you are a website like MEGA being able to see your files.

        • Kopua Cowboy

          I’m sure GCSB will cost Ms Catton much less than MEGA et al.

  • Macca

    No mention of any of this in the media. The MSM won’t publicise anything that would risk tarnishing the squeaky clean image of this criminal. He is of too much value to them to drag out of the cupboard every month to whine about how badly the National government has treated him and to slag off John Banks. Can anyone remember that pathetic song the media gave top billing for him?

  • Statehousekid

    I hope that New Zealanders can now see why the Americans want Krim to be held to account. He is nothing but a thief stealing other peoples gains from their bloody hard work. I wonder how rich he would be if he had to rely on his own film and literary creations?

    • Guest

      The crims are the morons uploading the files to his website, which clearly when they are notified are removed.
      Why don’t america go after google who allow searches for torrents etc.
      Get it right, its getting rather pathetic.

  • AnonWgtn

    The Crim says he is not on the Board so cannot be him.
    His wife owns most of the Company.

  • drdee

    This issue is not confined to mega, any cloud sharing service can be used to share copyrighted material. Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive, iCloud etc all have the ability to share content by sending a direct link to the content the exact same way as mega.
    Also, I guarantee if I jump onto piratebay or any other torrent based P2P sharing site I could find the book. I am afraid this is mostly a case of point the finger at someone who’s name is known in the press….

    • niggly

      I am afraid this is mostly a case of point the finger at someone who’s name is known in the press….
      Even if so, what does DotCom expect? He went into mega-overdrive to seek the limelight and publicity when he was released (from putting in an appearance with a dying Paul Holmes ffs! all the way to publicly attacking the PM for his predicament (shift the blame)) and he’s now a “household name” and has considerable media interest.

      Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have worked out (unlike us mere mortals) than the media at times can be duplicitous and that media interest can change from being positive to being negative overnight once they get their hooks into something.

      In time he might learn that John Banks and John Key were the least of his worries once the media start questioning his ethics …

      • drdee

        I bet that if dotcom was an American citizen, bringing in all the wealth he was making into the American economy his arrest would never have happened.
        Still no evidence has been shown publicly or in court showing that dotcom directly knew of or was participating himself in copyright infringement, we just have to take the US governments word for it, because they never lie for there own gains…
        If dotcom can be held liable for what is privately shared in a cloud environment then wouldn’t Apple, Google and Microsoft, running the exact same services also capable of sharing copyrighted material, be just as guilty and must also have family homes invaded by balaclava clad armed forces with dramatic and unjustified arrests?

        • Jonathan Pull

          And yet people still ONLY hound dotcom and give him silly pathetic little names.

          • 4077th

            Speaking of silly pathetic names, “Dotcom”

        • niggly

          Would love to see the evidence (both sides) in court so we, the public, can make up our own minds.

          You do realise he and his lawyers have been blocking attempts to get him to court so we can have this all settled once and for all? (Nb: court in the US because it is the US that has indicted him … or should nations outsource their legal proceedings eg DotCom outsourced to NZ legal system …. hey why not outsource Lucy Lawless’ next court appearance to Russia seeing they have experience in dealing with Greenpeace)!!???

          Granted the other companies need the light shone on them too for balance …. oh but too bad DotCom’s delaying of the test case (against Mega) is delaying this from happening.

          • drdee

            So if you did something on the internet and it was claimed that it was illegal in another country, you would accept that the country where it was illegal had every right to extradite you to that country for trial, without ever producing any evidence beforehand that they say they will use in the court case?

          • niggly

            Pretty sure the US case against him is public, from memory Keeping Stock (blogsite) referenced a US court document and wrote an article on it explaining the reasons etc.

        • AnonWgtn

          No he could be deported home to Germany where he is a citizen or Finland as he has a Finnish Passport.
          What Nationality besides Thai does his wife and children have ?

  • Garbageman

    there’s also a torrent of this book on Pirate Bay

    • Guest

      That doesn’t matter. Apparently KFC is the only person not alter to host torrents and we must chase him without failure.

  • Custard

    Thats a pretty bad look for him and his new domain. However I am willing to bet that other sites around the planet had this book up prior to her even winning the prize. Dotcom is such a small player in this world of online piracy, I’m not even sure why the US want him. While an easy catch and cheaper court cost could well be a factor, there are many and much bigger fish to fry than dotcom. Google itself is more responsible for global online piracy. How many movies are on youtube? How many people use google to actually search torrents? Why will google only taken them off their search after a formal aplication? Can the US afford a courtcase against them?
    Yea the guy is a jerk, but in the bigger picture of things he is not even worth a minute of our time.

  • Jonathan Pull

    So MEGA find illegal files and removes them and your complaining because they did so. Would you rather the obeyed privacy and allowed illegal content to be held only for you to slam him with allowing illegal downloads. The guy obeys the law you hound him he breaks the law you hound him.pretty sad really.

    • Never in the dark…..

      You miss the point entirely. Read what Cam has written carefully.

    • Patrick

      He has stated he has no knowledge of the content stored on his infrastructure – that is how he avoids responsibility for any legal requirements.
      But he is able to search & remove the same content when he receives a bit of bad press in the country currently enabling his “services.”

      • 4077th

        “The passenger stated they had no knowledge whatsoever about the 3 pounds of nose candy found in their suitcase”. Authorities have said “The suitcase is the responsibility of the owner, regardless of the contents”. the passengers can expect a long stint in a cold cell for the sake of ignorance. The argument is the same!

        • Patrick

          Agree entirely, my point is he claims to have no way of knowing what is stored on his servers, then he somehow is able to search & remove the content when it is shown that he is hurting Kiwi authors. That doesn’t stack up, either he does know & can prevent it or he doesn’t & cannot remove it. There is no halfway pregnant here.

          • Guest

            Is he supposed to view every single piece of content that is uploaded or does he put a disclaimer on his site stating that it is not to be used for illegal means and IF someone does upload legal material he has the ability to find it when notified and remove it.
            The beat up you guys are putting on this is pathetic. Your demonizing him for protecting creators and their properties, before you were criticizing him for making money off of creators and their property. Just face it your a lynch mob and no matter what he does youll all find something to piss and moan about.

          • Patrick

            1. As the owner of the infrastructure he bears a responsibility if his property is used for illegal means, which clearly it is. No different to your house being used by your mates to hide stolen goods.
            2. He claims to have no way of knowing what is stored on his property yet when a bit of a noise is made about some young Kiwi author being ripped off by those using his property he is somehow able to locate & remove the stolen goods. So much for the vaunted secure encryption.
            3. He is a convicted criminal with convictions for fraud, insider trading, embezzlement & data espionage, he should have never been allowed into the country much less allowed to stay. Questions as to how that came about should be asked.
            4. I bet you were front of the queue slagging off the likes of Mark Hotchin who incidentally has no convictions but you are quick to defend a criminal like Dot Com, why is that, maybe you like downloading other peoples property for free from MegaUpLoad?
            5. What is contained in his T&Cs? How do you open an account with Mega? Is there any way of verifying the identity of the person that creates the account, do the T&Cs explicitly state that the long arm of the law will hunt you down if you peddle in illegal material. Does he assist the authorities in any shape or form? Those sorts of conditions would make managing his system & prosecuting those that act illegally much easier – why would he not want to do this?

            As far as demonising him – I am pointing out the lies, he portrays his service as being secure, there is no way he can know what is stored there because it is encrypted, that is patently a lie because he is able to locate & remove the material within a very short space of time. I work in the industry, as long as he knows the encryption algorithm then it is a relatively simple process to decrypt any material stored on his property.
            We haven’t even mentioned the ethics of allowing paedophilic material to be stored on his premises. By all accounts this is happening.

            As an aside, when do you think the MSM that swallows his nonsense hook line & sinker will start asking about all the promises made, subsea telecoms cables, Americas Cup sponsorship etc etc. All we know is he wrote cheques to J Banks for $50k, all the rest is bullshit designed to keep him in the media limelight.

  • Col

    I wonder if he had a Teddy Bear when he was a baby.

  • BR

    I am no fan of Kim Dotcom. To me he seems like a self promoting narcissist. However, the ability to prevent casual copyright infringement is almost impossible now. The e-book download of The Luminaries is only 1.25 megs in size. How is it even remotely possible to prevent people from sharing these sorts of files?


    • Hone Horo

      Damn, my download was 4mb (not from Mega). I wasted more effort than I needed to.

  • Patrick

    Unless they are using 2 factor authentication I suggest it is a fairly simple process to capture the password at the time it is being set, that isn’t difficult. Depending on the encryption method un-encrypting is also very achievable. You only have to know the encrypting algorithm which of course Dot Krim does. That is why two factor is much more preferable, a token (RSA) similar to those used by banks & many commercial organisations. I doubt the fat german is really serious about security though.

  • Hone Horo

    I’m sure Eleanor Catton will be amply rewarded for her effort in spite of her novel being made available for free on websites like Mega AND Rapidshare AND FileFactory AND every other similar file sharing site as well as p2p torrent sharing. Artists get a little greedy if you ask me.

    • parorchestia

      I’m coming around to your house to raid your beer fridge. You can take your reward from the fulsome praise you will receive while we drink your beer in public.