Sugar Man

Sixto Rodriguez was for all purposes a failure as a musician for four decades.  Unbeknownst to him his music had been taken and used in another part of the world where he became immensely popular.  That country was South Africa, where his songs became the anthem of the anti-Apartheid movement.  That ignorance  ended when two South Africans made a documentary called, “Finding Sugar Man.”  As a result of that work, they found Rodriguez living a hard scrabbled life in Detroit living with his failed dreams.  He is finally getting recognition at age seventy for his work, but the royalties from these last four decades have disappeared into the veld. See the video of his story here.


Having been victimized by pirate websites that take illegally copied material and offers them for free downloading, I applaud Google’s announcement that it will start targeting such sites.  Google will do this by reducing those sites’ relevancy rankings on searches thereby making it more difficult for them to show up in searches for your pirated book.

As an independently published author and cartoonist, my livelihood (such as it is) depends on the $2.00 or so (and sometimes a lot less) that I get for each of your purchases.  Pirates basically steal from both you and me when they purloin my books.  They steal from you in that the purloined books will often not be of the same quality as ones that I will offer through legitimate online stores and often may contain malware or bot viruses.  Did you really think that they were for free?  After all, pirates are driven by profits just like anyone else.

This is a major step for all of us.