So… Blasty

A lot of authors will know what I’m talking about: Blasty, that company that claims to send DMCA notices to copyright infringers on the internet, mostly pirates.

What it actually does is send notices to Google to get the sites that infringe out of the Google search engine. Or at least that’s been my experience with it.

It also screws up and sends notices about sites that are not infringing and causes them to lose search engine rankings and (possibly) income.

Ask me how I know.

I have some book promo sites. Or review sites. Or whatever you want to call them, I don’t care. :D I used to talk about books I love and I used affiliate links on those websites to make money before I turned to self-publishing my fiction. There are several old posts on this site from early 2012 and before that talk about it.

Yeah, there’s a reason I haven’t included a link to Blasty here, and that’s because I’m holding a grudge. I also think they’re pretty much a useless service that’s making someone a lot of money from uninformed authors who just want to feel proactive and protect their content.

As I said in a comment on The Digital Reader:

Someone set up a Blasty campaign last year and Blasty sent a DMCA notice to Google about it, and because I had my site set up in Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console), they kindly sent me a notice about it which I immediately disputed. Then I emailed the author whose books Blasty claimed I was infringing. The author told me they couldn’t figure out how to tell Blasty that my site wasn’t infringing.

Then the reported page was out of Google for 10 days while Google processed my dispute.

My personal opinion is that Blasty is run by bots, with no oversight at all. It would have taken one hasty glance at my site’s page to see that all it does is link to Amazon (or some other retailer) where people can buy books and I can earn a little to help pay for the site’s hosting and domain.

What Blasty is really doing is harming some authors’ reputations. If you set up anything automated at Blasty you’re risking auto notices being sent about sites that are not infringing—Blasty clearly does not do any oversight for this. That’s on you and if you screw it up, you could be like the author whose books triggered the DMCA notice to Google for my websites’s page: forever off the list and in some book blogger or promo manager’s never-again black book.

There are authors and books that I will never mention on any site I run ever again. And it’s not even personal. Blasty is a problem I just don’t have to deal with.

There are oodles of books and authors out there that I can promote who aren’t going to make my sites a target.

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