Hello! I’m an artist on Patreon who makes mature comic books of particular variety. Just due to that specification, I’ve been hit by many piracy sites and Patreon scrapper sites alike, especially Yiff.Party. I’ve had been active in their forums to casually argue regarding my merits as opposed to theirs, which of course they took as an argument to be more spiteful against me and channel it to lifting my works to put up on their site on a faster basis. I thought friendly debate would work but they were dismissive from the start and it was a faulty approach from me.
For the last 3 months I’ve been trying to give my patrons a whole comic book page every 3-4 days, but they all get lifted off in the end to be shared on different websites. Thus I started distributing my new pages with outside hotlinks hosted by Deviantart Sta.sh instead. However,
Little did my patrons know, I’ve been subtly changing around every single page and release multiple versions of it (with incredibly small changes that don’t result in a situation where some patrons are effectively getting less content than others), and hand them to my patrons in groups. The point is, when the page gets uploaded elsewhere, I can track down which one of my patrons was the culprit.
This practice has yielded a result, but it was a rigorous process as you might think. I was able to track down a pirate and was effectively able to block him, and the remainder of my pages aren’t pirated as of yet. However, callout threads popped up requesting the further piracy of my works in Yiff.Party and other sites, which is concerning.
For catching one active pirate, the extra effort I ended up giving was a bit tedious. The first page I made has 128 versions and I had to distribute all individually, with all of them having their own links, etc. Subsequent pages only have 8 unique versions each which saves more time but still suggests an arduous process every time I have a new page out. As more pages pile up, my new patrons end up rightfully requesting previous pages, which affects all my previous spreadsheets and becomes more and more of a complicated mess.
But it still isn’t the biggest problem regarding this system. The biggest problem is that I need to be pirated in order to locate the pirate. It is NOT actually a deterrent system, it’s a punishment system. And once my work gets pirated, it still results in my pledge locked content to be free for everyone on the internet.
My point in all of this is, whatever piracy protection Patreon implies to bring in near future, I wish it comes soon enough because the measures I had to take really, really digs into my creative time and process and it might affect the quality of my content in the long run. I don’t want to do this to my righteous patrons.
PS. I’m not sure if I can out my pirate patron or any new ones that sprout and I subsequently locate. I’d like to share these people’s information here, but I first want to ask the staff if I can. If there is no problem regarding me sharing their information here, I’d like to list them for other creators to see in hopes that they take their own precautions against them. I also would like to see if anyone else located their pirates and can share their info so I can raise my defenses too.