Rhonda ReesOnline book piracy and the weather have this much in common: People talk about them, but no one does much about one or the other.

Now meet one author who has done rather a lot.

When publicist and author Rhonda Rees discovered her book was available on pirate web sites, she became determined to strike back. Her global spotlight campaign on book piracy drew attention from newspapers, television and radio, and won her Bulldog Reporter’s Publicist of the Year for the effort.

“I felt I owed it to other authors,” she tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Online book piracy is a silent crime that doesn’t leave fingerprints.”

In an account for IP Watchdog, an Intellectual Property Law Blog recognized as one of the top 100 legal blogs by the American Bar Association, Rees wrote, “One website claimed to have given away close to 600 copies of my work, with another one offering 1,500 free books, and an additional site mentioned that they even had my permission –with still more to come.

“As an experienced public relations expert, I decided to put my skills to the test, and try to do something about it.  The irony is that my book is about how to best promote your business, cause or concern, to gain publicity and awareness in the media,” she continued.

“I never dreamed that now I would be using my own techniques to try and stop these cybercriminals – but that’s exactly what has happened.”

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