PIRACY 101 for Authors: New tools to protect your content

PIRACY 101 for Authors: New tools to protect your content

MUSO is seeing a huge increase in piracy due to the COVID-19 lockdown and is rolling out significant price reduction for authors to help protect all their content.

As of the end of March 2020 more than a third of the world’s population is on COVID-19 lockdown. Working from home and social distancing has become the new normal and digital services like Zoom, Netflix, YouTube and NetEase are booming but MUSO’s data also points to a sharp rise in piracy of all digital content, including for books and publishing.

Anecdotally it stands to reason; locked away at home means people have more time to enjoy all those films, TV shows and books they never seem to have time to watch or read. So we have created a best practise guide for authors of the most important steps you can take to protect your eBooks now and maximise your chance of selling your work.

There is growing demand across several areas of digital publishing:

Education: educational textbooks can be expensive and are widely available via piracy sites at a time when many university students are studying online and remotely and libraries are closed.

Cookery: with so many families isolating at home, demand for cookery books through piracy sites is increasing. Why buy The Great American Cookbook when you can download it freely via piracy?

Fiction: data points to a sharp rise in general fiction downloads via piracy sites. Perhaps people are browsing for new books and catching up on other books by their favourite author.

MUSO has always held the following principles for robust best-practise for authors and publishers to protect their digital content and in a time when demand via piracy is increasing, it is more important than ever to reduce the availability of unlicensed copies of your book and maximise your revenues.

1. Protect your book as early as possible.
Don’t wait until you find piracy of your book, be proactive and add your title before you find piracy.

2. Protect ALL your books.
Don’t just protect your most popular books, ensure that all of your books are in your MUSO account

3. Get to grips with MUSO’s dashboard.
Understand MUSO’s dashboard and use all the functionality to ensure you are maximising protection. If in doubt speak to us!

4. Use google alerts and other free tools.
Take advantage of google alerts and other free social monitoring tools to alert you to piracy and if you find any links then use the Submit Infringement tool in your dashboard.

5. Use the submit infringement tool.
MUSO has best-in-class anti-piracy technology, however, on the rare occasion that you find a link before us, you can use our submit infringement tool to remove it quickly. You can also use it to remove content from eBay, Amazon, Google and other ‘grey’ market sites

6. Understand Piracy and speak to us.
We have compiled a glossary of piracy terms below but if you have a question or you need help then speak to us, we have a dedicated team of anti-piracy specialist who makes up our customer success team, they are there to help you!

7. Understanding the nature of Piracy.
Unfortunately, not all piracy sites are compliant with removal requests. Sites like The Pirate Bay will not remove content and will not comply with legal notices. Not all links contain piracy, we often refer to these as spoof sites.

It is important that you know your piracy terms so we have created an overview glossary of piracy types:

Glossary of Piracy Types

Blog or Forum - A web page that includes embedded piracy content and/or links to piracy files that are hosted on another site e.g. link to Cyberlockers. The takedown usually removes the source page, disrupting the path to the piracy file.

Cyberlockers - Sites that offer a service of 'file hosting', a storage service on the internet designed to accommodate user files, allowing them to store data which can then be downloaded by other users. Links to Cyberlockers are often used by pirate sites, blogs or forums that do not contain the contents themselves but redirecting users via these links.

Forwarder - Sites to which users are redirected when they click a link for a cyberlocker. These generate profits showing advertising for a few seconds before finally directing them to cyberlocker.

Grey Market - Legitimate sites that sell online material (often Amazon and eBay) or sometimes completely unlicensed websites selling your music.

Indexer or Search Site - Sites that allow searching and return piracy results.

Social Media Site - Social Media Sites are platforms where people connect with others and share their own personal content, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. These are not automatically scanned by the system but we have takedowns enabled via the ‘submit infringement tool.

Spoof - Sites which claim to offer pirated content but do not actually have any available and are not indicative of a leak. These sites phish for personal information such as credit card details by asking you to sign-up.

Streaming - Essentially a cyberlocker that streams the content in the page - you can listen or watch without downloading the file.

Stream-Ripping sites - Sites that create a downloadable file, that has ripped the audio or audiovisual content from a YouTube URL.

Torrent Site - Sites that allow downloading content via P2P downloads (peer to peer) via torrent. Downloading peers achieve high download speeds by requesting multiple pieces from different computers simultaneously.

UGC - 'User Generated Content', including destinations like YouTube or Daily Motion, Soundcloud, and Vimeo, where people are publicly uploading and broadcasting their own video content.


Protect my book now 

$5 per book or $70 per author.



MUSO has published a new white paper; Coronavirus, Contagion And The Movie Industry: The New Going Viral. In this paper, we discuss the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on illegal streaming, the movie industry and box office revenues. Download the white paper to find out more.


Download white paper now



MUSO is a data company that provides the most complete and trusted view of unlicensed media consumption and global piracy demand. MUSO’s unrivalled dataset measures a vast high intent audience that is not influenced by licensing restriction or platform bias. Whether protecting IP or building winning content strategies, MUSO helps companies make better decisions that drive performance, ROI and value.