Piracy happens, and in many cases it's a testament to the popularity of a thing. Having Google report that Rapidshare, Uploading, and Deposit Files (Scribd was also a minor, unwitting contributor to the problem, hosting one book), all had copies of the Spinward Fringe series, available for public download was a bitter sweet experience.
Someone had purchased the books from Smashwords and thought that they were good enough to share. That's a nice sentiment, in its way. Sadly, less than 10% of my income comes from print, disproving that eBook sales and downloads lead to print sales - in my case. So, the idea that people downloading my work from hosting sites that are generally used for piracy will lead to print sales simply isn't true. If people stop buying my work legally for reasonable prices, then I can't afford to write full time. It's that simple. Too much piracy would worsen my quality of life a great degree, it wouldn't take much.
So, the legal notices went out, and all the sites involved pulled the books down within 24 hours. If you're looking for my work for free, I'm happy to tell you that I offer The First Light Chronicles, an entire trilogy, for free on Smashwords.com. The rest of the books are available there for less than $5.00 apiece, DRM free so you can use them on whatever device you like.
Piracy won't end, it's here to stay. Sadly its effects on independent writers like me are different from the effect it's had on the music industry. In the music industry someone might pirate an album and as a result buy concert tickets, or a T-shirt, DVD, etc... With my writing all I really have time to do is keep writing and make more people aware of my work. There are no public speaking engagements to purchase tickets to (especially since I'm an independent and there's NO interest in having me as a speaker or a panelist - the Canadian publishing / events world just doesn't want me there - they've made that very clear), I don't have T-shirts for sale (and I don't expect they'd be popular anyway), and other merchandise is even less likely to appear, even though I've had more than one request for a resin model of the First Light. If that ever comes out, I want the first one!
So, sorry, Google will keep searching these pirated copies out, and I'll keep sending legal notices while notifying the Canadian Copyright Office of breaches of international copyright law.
I wish that weren't the case, but if I could afford to offer all my books for free, I would.