Sunday, August 17, 2014

Authors Pirating Endorsements

I am witnessing a trend on Twitter, which I must say, it rather disturbing to me.

Writers, be them traditionally or indie pubbed, are creating pictures to promote their books using photos of celebrities, TV shows, and movies.

Now, you might think, "This is marketing genius!" Post a pic of Brad Pitt (just an example!) next to a pic of your book and people's eyes will stop on Brad's picture, and then scan over to see your book cover, and WHAM! A possible book sale.

The problem with this philosophy?

You cannot use the likeness of any celebrity or model, TV show or movie, without PAYING for the right to do so.
No, you cannot scroll through Google and pull pictures of hot guys and use them to promote your book.
No, you cannot steal photographs of celebrities and do the same.

By PIRATING these pictures (that's right, you stole the image) and not paying the photographer and the celebrity for the right to use their image for promotional purposes you CAN (and should) BE SUED.

Don't believe me?

Actress Katherine Heigl went to a drug store and got photographed coming out with a shopping bag in her hands.

The drug store Tweeted the photograph, basically saying, 'HEY LOOK! Katherine Heigl shops here.'
And she sued them for using her likeness without permission, AND SHE WON 6 MILLION DOLLARS.

UPDATE: Ms. Heigl dropped the case once the drug store made a donation to her charity of choice.

So, let me say this as clearly as possible: STOP IT

You can hashtag all day long, 'People who love #Buffythevampireslayer will love my book!' - but if you post a pic of Sarah Michelle Gellar next to a pic of your book - THAT'S ILLEGAL.

You could be sued.
And that's bad.
You don't want to be sued, right?


You're stealing.

And if authors are sensitive to anything, it's pirating.

Knock it off.

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