In recent weeks, a round of discoveries were made concerning the uploading and sharing of digital versions of occult books. The collection, in this case, resided in a closed Facebook group named “Free Occult Books.” Since the group was discovered and reported by members of the watchdog collective Pagans Against Plagiarism (PAP), the group’s administrators appear to have made the group secret; it is no longer easily accessible, and the corresponding Dropbox account is either now private or removed. The reported 900+ books, however, which are listed in a PDF file posted in PAP, are still allegedly being shared in violation of copyright laws. The “Free Occult Books” Facebook group is not the first site to illegally offer digital books, nor will it be the last.
Last month, Taylor Ellwood, managing non-fiction editor of Megalithica Books, was contacted by Getty Images due to a photograph published on one of his blogs. In a post, Ellwood explained that he didn’t know that the photograph was a Getty Image and wrote, “I read the email, responded, and took the picture down from my site. I spent the rest of Friday taking all the pictures down on my website that I hadn’t taken, because I realized that if it could happen with one picture, it could happen with another.” He also admits that, in the end, he had to pay a fee for use of the image. Copyright infringement and plagiarism are problems that haunt writers, musicians and artists, and are violations that appear to be increasing due to developments in and access to digital technology.