Are my products safe from piracy?

In this article:

What does Sellfy do to keep my files secure?

Can customers share my products with others?

How does Sellfy help protect creators from fraud and scams?

Security tool available for PDF files

Why piracy may not be as bad as it seems

What does Sellfy do to keep my files secure?

Sellfy rarely receives reports from sellers about piracy. However, selling your creations on the internet will make you a bit susceptible to having your work stolen.

This is how we help protect your products from piracy as much as possible:

Sellfy servers

  • All your products files are hosted on a secure cloud server

Product downloads 

  • Sellfy generates a unique download link for each purchase
  • Each link is limited to 5 download/stream attempts (if accessed from different devices)
  • If a customer uses different devices and exceeds the 5 attempts, they'll need to go through a request process with their purchase email address, to verify that it is them trying to download/view the product
  • You have the ability to restrict downloads for individual orders
  • All records of download attempts are kept for your reference 
  • You can view buyers' order status (whether or not the customer has attempted to download product files) in the Orders Section of your account

Note: Most buyers purchase the products just for themselves and are not willing to share something they paid for themselves. We're also continuously monitoring our sellers for resold products. 

Can customers share my products with others?

It is technically possible for your customers to share the download link with others. Unfortunately, selling your work online will always involve some risk of your product being shared with others.

The download attempts for each product file is automatically limited to 5 for each purchase. We allow for 5 download attempts because:

  • A customer might want to download files to different devices.
  • A customer damages or loses the device they had saved the file on and need to re-download it.
  • A customer simply needs several attempts to download the entire file due to their internet connection or other factors.

Note: If a buyer requests additional downloads for their purchase, we have put security measures in place to prevent third-party access.

To prevent third party access to the download link:

  1. A customer can request additional download links only when using the same email and IP address
  2. To enable additional downloads, the buyer needs to verify their email address through the email link 

How does Sellfy help protect creators from fraud and scams?

Sellfy is dedicated to offering feasible solutions to help protect creators from fraud and scam attempts as much as possible. 

Fraud - Sellfy has an automatic IP-based security system in place that will help prevent fraudulent transactions. Essentially, the system will recognize IP addresses that are testing different credit cards using your checkout. The system then blocks that particular IP address from making purchases through your checkout. This happens in the background and works well, in most cases! 

If the fraudulent buyer uses different IP addresses to make payment attempts, the system may not recognize the user and is unable to block them.

Important! Sellfy cannot contact PayPal or your bank on your behalf to resolve dispute cases. 

Scams - For digital products, Sellfy provides you with access to order information that you can use as supporting evidence in dispute cases. For example, if the customer has attempted to download product files prior to requesting a refund, you will be able to verify this information yourself and use it as proof in a dispute with PayPal or the customer's bank. The details provided will include the date and time the customer has accessed the product files.

To access the status information of any particular order, you'll follow these steps

  1. Log in to your Sellfy account
  2. Navigate to Orders > search orders by email or product in the search bar
  3. Select the relevant order > scroll down to Activity log 
  4. Take a screenshot of the Activity log and present as proof in the dispute

Security tool available for PDF files

Feature: PDF file stamping

Sellfy offers a great security tool available only for .pdf files. PDF stamping has proven to be a successful method to help prevent piracy. It literally stamps the buyer's email address at the bottom of each page of the document. It discourages buyers from sharing your product elsewhere online because their credentials are then made available for everyone to see. Read more about it here.

Why piracy may not be as bad as it seems

For one, you get more exposure! Yes, we know it's not the most appealing point, but check out the " How Ebook Theft is the Best Thing Since Pumpkin Spice Latte" article on our blog for more info on that (applies to most digital file categories, not only ebooks).

Even if your work has been stolen for resale, you're  the trustworthy source. This means that you are the author and publisher of your products, buyers will know you're distributing the real product and not a scam. Most people would rather pay more for what they know is legitimate, rather than less for a fake.

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