A Short Story by Mort Laitner
On a cool January morning, I opened the doors to my home to steal the
ambient air. I walked to my den carrying a paper plate and a porcelain cup.
I sat down in front of my computer, placing my toasted Thomas’ Original
English Muffin (the one with all those Nook & Crannies and the drawing of
the nineteenth century black carriage filled with passengers and pulled by
black horses) on the side of my desk next to my steaming hot coffee.
My daily ritual began. I read my email. I glanced at the news, played some
Candy Crush and then decided to scan Google. I sipped my coffee and munched
on my muffin, only breaking to search under “A Hebraic Obsession” for any
stories about my book.
My fingers scrolled and then my eyes flared as I read, “(FREE PDF) A Hebraic
Obsession by Mort Laitner.
One of my favorite four-letter words had turned on me.
Questions formed in my brain as rapidly as Thomas’ muffins fell off of the
Who had the chutzpah to steal my book and give it away for free?
What do I do to stop this cyber theft?
Is this a compliment? Someone thinks my book is good enough to steal?
How did they get my PDF?
How many folks have read my book for free?
Do I have any legal remedies against these cyber crooks?
I clicked and there it appeared on YouTube. The beloved cover of my book and
My stomach churned coffee mixed with burnt dough. Acid burned the lining of
my esophagus. “So this his how those Hollywood producers and famous singers
felt when they saw their work product on YouTube given away for gratis.”
I did not download the book for fear of viral contamination, but I learned
500 people had downloaded the book.
“I wondered if those 500 had bugs now crawling across the mainframes?”
Next, I researched the YouTube theft removal process. I typed in the
information they desired but when I hit submit, the info went nowhere.
Frustrated I phoned my computer savvy son. “Jason, I got a problem. I need
your help pronto.”
I detailed out the issues and he replied, “Sure Pop, I’m on it.”
I replied, “Thanks son.”
I went back to finishing my breakfast.
When Jason called back, he said, “Dad, I submitted all the forms and I
learned some Russian is behind the theft.”
“Son, the world is a really small place, I write a book in Florida and some
Russian steals my copyright and gives it to the whole wide world for free.”
The next day, The YouTube team sent me an email.
“Thank you very much for your notification. The content has been removed.”
Relieved, I realized that I had been on a rough bumpy ride and arrived
safely back to my home just like those passengers on the Thomas’ carriage.
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