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Piracy of eBooks: A Growing Problem, Or An Opportunity?
engine




msg:4270061
 12:30 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Piracy of eBooks: A Growing Problem, Or An Opportunity? [reviews.cnet.com]
Over the months I've received news of the occasional blog post and tweets, but more recently I popped open an alert to learn that my book was being pirated--both as a separate file and part of two larger Torrents called 2,500 Retail Quality Ebooks (iPod, iPad, Nook, Sony Reader) and 2,500 Retail Quality Ebooks for Kindle (MOBI).

I had the strange reaction of being both dismayed and weirdly honored that someone had selected my book to strip free of its copy-protection (DRM) and include as part of a collection of "quality" e-books, many of which were from very good authors.


If you're an author with little or no following, surely this is an opportunity. If you're an established author that relies on sales, it's going to hurt.

Should the established author fight, or ignore, and should the unknown author grasp this as an opportunity to get known.

Should authors add extras only available to 'paying' subscribers?

 

Rosalind




msg:4271139
 5:43 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Small changes can make a big difference to this issue, I think. If you've ever written about piracy you might have noticed a lot of unrelated hits from people searching for torrents of the work of anyone you happen to mention. I have. However, ever since Google stopped suggesting torrents and other related words, this incidental traffic slowed to a trickle.

Demaestro




msg:4271188
 7:48 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

The questions that need answering to shed light on this are:

1) Of the people downloading e-books for free how much on average did they spend before they started downloading?

2) Of the same people downloading e-books for free how much on average did they spend after they started downloading?

3) What were sales of the book before it became available on torrent sites?

4) What were sales of the book after it became available on torrent sites?

I am guessing here but I think you would see that the answer to #1 and #2 is, almost nothing.... still guessing I would bet that the answer to #3 and #4 would be almost indistinguishable from each other.

They want things for free and they want them now.

The internet is going to be regulated soon enough. There's just too much money at stake to let this continue to go on. For every bug you squash, two appear in their place.


Ironic post coming from someone who admits to downloading music for free off of YouTube instead of buying it.

Key_Master




msg:4271199
 8:24 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

When Dan Brown's blockbuster novel "The Lost Symbol" hit stores in September, it may have offered a peek at the future of bookselling.

On Amazon.com, the book sold more digital copies for the Kindle e-reader in its first few days than hardback editions. This was seen as something of a paradigm shift in the publishing industry, but it also may have come at a cost.

Less than 24 hours after its release, pirated digital copies of the novel were found on file-sharing sites such as Rapidshare and BitTorrent. Within days, it had been downloaded for free more than 100,000 times.

[articles.cnn.com...]


Now granted, this guy is a well known author with a lot of fans, but that's a huge hit to profits no matter how you look at it.

I don't think there is enough data available to say that pirated ebooks have a marginal effect on sales (I believe otherwise). The only estimate I could find [venturebeat.com] claims it's around $3 billion a year. And that's a recent figure- it's going to get a lot worse in the future.

outland88




msg:4271204
 8:32 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was reading an interesting article the other day proclaiming that many of the people who defend theft of various kinds on the Internet are basically just sociopaths seeking a common audience for their distorted views of theft and life. Without the Internet most would slowly conform to the common good. You be the judge. I tend to think those who advocate stealing the labors of another wouldn’t lift a finger for anything or anybody if it didn’t put money in their own pockets. To simplify about the only thing they care about in life is themselves and rarely give a hoot about what happens to others. What would be even vaguely new about their views. They're a dime a dozen.

Demaestro




msg:4271234
 9:55 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Interestingly enough a story is breaking this week about openlibrary.org and archive.org starting an e-book lending service. Much like a library.

(users) may borrow up to five books at a time, for up to two weeks. Like print books, the eBooks may be on loan only to one patron at a time.


[openlibrary.org...]

[archive.org...]

coachm




msg:4271627
 5:53 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

No one apart from a few people with money at stake think that copyright infringement is theft. Saying it is will not make it so. It is breaching a government mandated monopoly - morally equivalent to using Skype in a country where there is a monopoly telecoms company.

The sensible thing to do is to extract royalties where money changes hands: it is both fair and enforceable.


Really sad commentary, because you miss the point about copyright protection ENTIRELY. It's NEVER been about money. Copyright laws (yes, laws, which, btw, can be tried in federal US courts as felonies now) were created to stimulate the creation of intellectual property. The intent has nothing directly to do with money.

Why? Because if you do not allow writers/artists, etc to control what they create (and that's what copyright is for), then they simply won't be able to create. No new writers. Artists, etc. The few that hang in there you won't find or see because they won't have any marketing support.

But no worries because as Jaron Lanier and others are talking about, we are moving into an era when anybody's work is as good as anyone else's, and heck if you can't buy my work because I can't continue to write, there'll be 20 million blogs you can go to to get that same level of "expertise"?

Uh, no. We aren't all equal and copyright serves to protect and encourage the best and brightest (and perhaps the dimmest and stupidest) to continue to create.

Is infringement theft? Yes, and it's significant. The huge majority (>90%) of real authors (that's not bloggers or hacks) do not make enough money to support themselves via writing. Same for musicians, etc.

When you are close to not having food to eat, and you lose even 10% of your revenue because people steal your work rather than pay 5 or 10 bucks, that's it. You stop, take a job and move on.

We aren't talking about ripping off large companies here. When you steal a book from me, and distribute it, even if I lose ONE sale, that could cost me as much as 7 dollars on an ebook I wrote. Like I said. If I can't make enough money to justify my time creating quality stuff, I'll stop.

wheel




msg:4271632
 5:58 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I tend to think those who advocate stealing the labors of another wouldn’t lift a finger for anything or anybody if it didn’t put money in their own pockets

No, the people that do this are just regular folks. Your neighbors and friends. It's a society thing, been around forever. Hey, I made mixed cassette tapes from the radio back in the 80's, just like everyone did. The internet has just made it easier.

bakedjake




msg:4271641
 6:12 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

*shrug*

Are you still allowed to be an evil free market capitalist around here? :)

I'm in the middle of all of ya'll:

1. The reason the iTunes store makes so much GD money is because it's easier to buy the album than pirate it. Same with Kindle. I get to click a button to buy and it's much easier than firing up uTorrent, waiting for some stupid download to finish (and we don't know if it'll happen in 3 minutes, 3 hours, or 3 days).

So the market will most likely solve most of this problem on its own. Netflix/Pandora subscriptions work well because at the end of the day people are lazy and do value their time somewhat, and paying $10/mo. is easier than downloading.

2. The minute the government starts criminalizing piracy (and I mean really prosecutes it, like shoplifting, no dumb RIAA civil trials), it will go way down. If you're a publisher, this is what you need to be lobbying towards. And I don't care if Timmy is 12 and Carol is 19 and in university - (s)he needs to be smacked the same way if they'd stuck an Xbox 360 game down their pants at Best Buy and walks out.

The current issue that makes it hard to criminalize is that it's hard to track.

Is infringement theft? Yes, and it's significant. The huge majority (>90%) of real authors (that's not bloggers or hacks) do not make enough money to support themselves via writing. Same for musicians, etc.


Boo hoo. I can't make enough money dancing on top of my car playing the theme to Lawrence of Arabia on my harmonica either, but it's not because of theft...

No one apart from a few people with money at stake think that copyright infringement is theft.


Excuse me for saying so, but that's a really stupid thing to say, and that sort of thinking threatens to bring us back to the physical distribution age.

Digital distribution makes it very easy to copy and steal, and theft needs to be criminalized, or digital distribution will no longer be a viable business model.

That's like walking into Best Buy and saying "oh, I'll take this pack of gum, because the incremental cost to the store is only $0.10 or whatever, and they won't miss it". Having a zero or near zero incremental cost to produce doesn't make it suddenly "OK" to copy.

But I will give you this: people are so worried about theft that they're missing the big opportunity. Think about the music space:

a) the market has decided that $20 per CD at a store doesn't work (tower records and its ilk going out of business quickly)
b) the market had decided that $0.99 per track downloaded works fine (itunes rev goes up up up)

What's the difference? I don't know. But there's inefficiency somewhere, and the market is rejecting the old model... distribution? Price? Product selection? Packaging? Who knows. I'm not in that business.

Hugene




msg:4271860
 10:31 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a suggestion for authors: how about not allowing your book to become an e-book?

I know, most will say that avoiding the technology won't solve the problem; but still it will slow it down like crazy.

Books that have 300 paper pages are not CD tracks or movie DVDs. It's easy to rip a CD or DVD. It's annoying to scan 300 pages.

Otherwise, there is really absolutely nothing anyone can do. Once a product becomes digital it becomes "free".

Or does it even still exist? Ok, this last question is pushing it, but I have been having this discussion lately: bits make things seem kind of worthless. Ex: personal pictures, videos, they are not as important to people as they used to be. Commercial stuff, even worse, forget it. Only die-hard fans keep paying.

tangor




msg:4271877
 11:06 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Books that have 300 paper pages are not CD tracks or movie DVDs. It's easy to rip a CD or DVD. It's annoying to scan 300 pages.

It's annoying only once, to the guy/gal who did it. Once out in digital...

The prosecution part is what's difficult... as in finding out who is doing it (think deep packet inspection and all other kinds of privacy invasion) or who is benefiting (think those idiot websites with carts selling copyrighted, as in STILL IN COPYRIGHT, materials).

But in no way is a freebie of something a creator wants to sell a benefit to the creator.

Demaestro




msg:4271884
 11:25 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know, most will say that avoiding the technology won't solve the problem; but still it will slow it down like crazy.


It will slow down sales and revenue too.

You can't tell the market what it wants, you have to listen to what the market wants and give it to them. That is day 1 Of Sales and Marketing.

I understand how a person can be annoyed when someone takes something they made for sale and they get it for free.... but it is very important for that person to understand that 99 times out of 100 the people taking those works for free would not have paid for it otherwise.

1 book downloaded for free doesn't equal 1 lost sale. That is a fact.

If 1 of those people who wouldn't buy the book but downloaded the book tells people about how great the book is then people who may not have heard about the book may go out and pay for a copy.

It is a basic promotional model. You give away some books for free as a promotion to people who wouldn't have bought them otherwise and hope their word of mouth sells some books.

It was pointed out that the more successful you become the less that promotional model helps which I agree with, but I am not so worried about the big guys, they make money, I worry about the guys trying to make it big. I don't think that free sharing hurts them more that it helps.

But in no way is a freebie of something a creator wants to sell a benefit to the creator.


It can be

wheel




msg:4271893
 11:37 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I understand how a person can be annoyed when someone takes something they made for sale and they get it for free.... but it is very important for that person to understand that 99 times out of 100 the people taking those works for free would not have paid for it otherwise.

1 book downloaded for free doesn't equal 1 lost sale. That is a fact.

If 1 of those people who wouldn't buy the book but downloaded the book tells people about how great the book is then people who may not have heard about the book may go out and pay for a copy.

That is completely wrong. It's based around the precept that since they were not going to pay for it, then the creator hasn't lost any revenue, therefore it's OK that they took it. That is not correct.

It's not yours to take. End of story. Doesn't matter if you were going to pay for it or not. It's not 'you get it if you pay for it or not'. It's 'you get it only if you pay for it'. There's laws to this effect and they're their for a reason. It's legally wrong and it's morally wrong.

If the content creator wants to give it away for free, that's their choice. But it's THEIR choice, not the person ignoring copyright.

coachm




msg:4271902
 11:54 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Boo hoo. I can't make enough money dancing on top of my car playing the theme to Lawrence of Arabia on my harmonica either, but it's not because of theft...


This type of response is why I no longer bother, because it's just plain ignorant. If you think my writing books and you're dancing on the top of your car are the same thing, you are indeed about as talented as the proverbial car top dancer.

No body will miss your dancing, but you WILL miss those of us that create intellectual property when we cannot afford to create for your education and enjoyment.

coachm




msg:4271904
 11:59 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not yours to take. End of story. Doesn't matter if you were going to pay for it or not. It's not 'you get it if you pay for it or not'. It's 'you get it only if you pay for it'. There's laws to this effect and they're their for a reason. It's legally wrong and it's morally wrong.

If the content creator wants to give it away for free, that's their choice. But it's THEIR choice, not the person ignoring copyright.


On the nose. Perhaps those claiming theft doesn't harm anyone need to pay a few bucks and read. First, nobody can tell me what uses my material will have to ME and how I can monetize it. I have work that is over 12 years old that still earns me money in various ways, but it only does that if I control where and how it is used.

It's funny, but again, Jaron Lanier talks about "intellectual socialism", the notion that art, is becoming something people think "belongs" to them, because its free or just because they can steal it.

I say this once more. If you want to have things to read, watch, and listen to, you need to protect the rights of creators to OWN and control their own work.

I'd have thought webmasters would be on this like crazy, since we/they are probably the biggest group of victims of theft of intellectual property. And we KNOW it costs in terms of visitors, revenue, etc, even though the content we put on the web is usually not sold on a fee basis.

coachm




msg:4271906
 12:02 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

It is a basic promotional model. You give away some books for free as a promotion to people who wouldn't have bought them otherwise and hope their word of mouth sells some books.

It was pointed out that the more successful you become the less that promotional model helps which I agree with, but I am not so worried about the big guys, they make money, I worry about the guys trying to make it big. I don't think that free sharing hurts them more that it helps.


That's funny. Really. First how many authors do you know who have made lots of money from giving their creations away free? Oh, That many? Once again, I make the point that while it's great for people who don't create written word products of any stature to have opinions, perhaps they should be based on something more than a feeling.

Then again, that is what separates most of us professional writers from those that can't or won't. Selling unsubstantiated opinions is what blogging is, not writing.

Demaestro




msg:4271913
 12:22 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's based around the precept that since they were not going to pay for it, then the creator hasn't lost any revenue, therefore it's OK that they took it. That is not correct.


Slow down, I am not saying it is OK. Not even a little bit, I don't think it is ok.

What I am saying is that the monetary damages to the content creator aren't as severe as many think.

That's funny. Really. First how many authors do you know who have made lots of money from giving their creations away free?


Not sure why you find that funny. I am not making a point that taking stuff for free is moral or otherwise an acceptable thing to do, I am making a point that people getting stuff for free isn't necessarily costing the creator a lot of money.

Several website authors I know give away their content for free and do just fine.

If you are talking book authors, I only know 1 book author. He sold over 250,000 copies and I helped him mail 100s of books out to radio stations and tv shows FOR FREE in an effort to get word of mouth going, and anytime someone came in the office to say hi he would give them a book.

tangor




msg:4271919
 12:32 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

99 times out of 100 the people taking those works for free would not have paid for it otherwise.

Change "those works" to "a life" and see how that tracks... because that's exactly what is happening with these thefts... the creator is getting killed each time content is ripped.

bakedjake




msg:4271920
 12:38 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

This type of response is why I no longer bother, because it's just plain ignorant. If you think my writing books and you're dancing on the top of your car are the same thing, you are indeed about as talented as the proverbial car top dancer.

No body will miss your dancing, but you WILL miss those of us that create intellectual property when we cannot afford to create for your education and enjoyment.


My comment was tongue in cheek, coachm. But you should know that I am a very good car top dancer, and I've made money from it in the past.

We're on the same side, but you missed my point.

You shouldn't dilute this argument with claims of "not being able to make a living wage". Theft is wrong, pure and simple. It's got nothing to do with prices charged, or whether content creators can make a buck (or 10 an hour). It doesn't matter.

It's (legally and morally) wrong to steal something whether it costs $1, $10, $100, or $1,000,000.

Whether your writing is able to support you or not is a different matter entirely.

Piracy happens mainly for reasons of price and convenience. Make legitimate downloads easier than pirating them, and make piracy more costly than legitimate downloads, and you've solved the problem.

Key_Master




msg:4271956
 1:45 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Realistically priced, a $.99 mp3 download is probably worth a penny or less per copy to the label- if you account for the illegal distribution of that download to others. Not to mention the damaging exponential losses when others distribute their illegal copies to family and friends.

I don't believe that the music industry has managed to make piracy more costly than legitimate downloads. Quite the opposite, in fact.

coachm




msg:4272357
 4:05 pm on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

You shouldn't dilute this argument with claims of "not being able to make a living wage". Theft is wrong, pure and simple. It's got nothing to do with prices charged, or whether content creators can make a buck (or 10 an hour). It doesn't matter.


Baked, you missed my point (but yes, we agree). My mentioning of the money was simply to suggest that when you take away even a small percent of revenue to artists/creators you WILL cause some of them to stop producing, because quite simply, they can't feed themselves and their families because many are so close to that point already.

Which IS and has always been the point of copyright -- to encourage creators to create, as is the same with patents.

I think some people have some very twisted ideas of how the arts work, to be honest, and how any negative impact on revenues prevents the creation and dissemination of NEW creations.

HRoth




msg:4273159
 1:12 am on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Recently I got involved in a discussion of the torrented book issue with folks in my niche. Some have published books with mainstream publishers in our niche; others have self-published. Either way, they were pretty much fine with people torrenting their books because their books are ads, not books. They make money by teaching "classes" online and traveling around giving "workshops." They work day jobs. The books are basically bait on the one hand and on the other objects to make them seem authoritative. This made me real depressed and disgusted, frankly, because I don't want to read a book that's an ad--or write one. I have been working on a book for a while and several times have stopped because I figure why should I bother? It will just end up getting torrented and I have no interest in teaching "classes" to make up for the thefts. I do feel like the more this happens, the more books will be ads or IOW crap.

physics




msg:4273562
 10:00 pm on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Legal and moral issues aside here is the argument that having your book pirated could actually help you.

Someone might download that cache of 2,500 books. They read your book. They weren't planning on buying your book and had never heard of it. They end up really liking your book so they tweet it, facebook it, tell their friends. All of a sudden you've made hundreds of dollars off of this pirater.

In another case maybe a struggling college student has heard about your book and is thinking about buying it. But she can't afford the cover price so seeks it out and pirates it online. She loves it and again tells her friends. You profit when her mom, who doesn't know how to pirate things and has extra money, buys the book. You also profit when this girl gets older, gets a job, and buys one of your future books at the airport.

Emotions and laws aside, that's the argument many who see pirating as tolerable - and possibly even profitable - put forward. There are many more similar examples you can come up with.

wheel




msg:4273582
 10:30 pm on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

When I steal Incredibill's car that has his website listed on it, think how much business he's going to get from all the exposure I'm giving him.

That's why I steal cars. It's only right. Incredibill should be begging me to steal his car.

Thankfully, there's laws against stealing cars. And stealing content. I really have little respect for someone trying to justify it like it's OK.

ken_b




msg:4273591
 10:34 pm on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

All of a sudden you've made hundreds of dollars off of this pirater.

I'm guessing folks that steal your ebook and like it so much they want to tell their friends about are also going to tell their friends where to steal it from.

All of a sudden you've made nothing off this pirater!

HRoth




msg:4273704
 2:37 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is exactly my experience with people who go around saying good things about books they pirated: "You can download a free copy of it here:" I have seen this on forums and lists many times.

tangor




msg:4274190
 9:38 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

The "theft" these days is disguised/specified by the freetards/libtards (near and same, but not QUITE the same) as regards Torrents and other places (Usenet, for example) for getting "stuff". The "stuff" doesn't matter as the "stuff" is something they want and figure they don't have to pay for because they are already paying to get on the 'net.

Mark words, kiddies, the web will change...has to change or there will be no creative out there. Just like Radio, TV, local Pubs, etc. there will be a Creative Fee (whatever you want to call it) attached to access. In the old days this copyright content fee was collected via the hardware, ie, phonographs, movie theaters or tv stations (close to an ISP), that neat "Japanese Transistor Radio", Eight Tracks, Cassettes, Reel-to-Reels, etc. At PRESENT the Internet is free of GOVERNMENT as regards License, Use, Trademark, but it will go that way... eventually.

As a Creator, that works for me...though the pennies and nickles I'll get out of that scaled increment will be a bit irritating, though will add up over time.

Meanwhile, it is theft, and the freetards/libtards moan most---and without a leg to stand on.

Demaestro




msg:4274320
 1:39 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

When I steal Incredibill's car ...


Can we stop comparing physical goods with digital ones? It really is a annoying analogy.

The fact about digital goods is that you can have your cake and eat it too.

Usually when you eat a cake you no longer have it because you have consumed it. When you make a copy of a digital file you can consume it and the original is still there.

Stealing a car is nothing like making a copy of a car. If you could just "copy" a car as easily as you can copy an e-book then would you still put the same value on cars? Would you still be willing to pay thousands for something that can be copied for less then $0.01?

Again I am not making arguments for this behavior being morally correct or not. However this issue isn't black and white or as simple as

"How you would like it if I stole your car"

That is so far away from what is happening in this case.

incrediBILL




msg:4274325
 1:50 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Stealing a car is nothing like making a copy of a car. If you could just "copy" a car as easily as you can copy an e-book then would you still put the same value on cars? Would you still be willing to pay thousands for something that can be copied for less then $0.01?


Not true.

Research companies put out reports that cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars to purchase.

The value isn't in the medium where it only cost $1 for the duplicate CD, the value is the content of the research itself that took many hundreds or thousands of man hours to compile thus defining it's value.

Amazing how people that pay for those reports costing thousands of dollars tend not to pirate them just so their competitors can't get them for free either.

Sylver




msg:4274565
 2:00 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

The "copying costs nothing, so pirating is ok" crowd is simply trying to find reasons why they aren't criminals. And they just grab any semblance of a justification for their acts because they can't face the fact that they are stealing. Nobody wants to look in a mirror and say "Gee. I am a bit of a low-life ****."

Let's go back on the comparison with car theft for a minute. A typical car contains $500-2,000 worth of raw materials and retails for $15k to $250K.

That's quite a margin until you realize that to be able to produce a car, you have to spend hundreds of million USD on development, thousands and thousands of man-hours, and take advantage of past developments, without which it would be quite impossible to build a car.

In other words, the cost of the materials in a car is fairly insignificant, in the same way that the cost of making a digital copy of a song or an e-book is insignificant.

When you steal a car, you are not stealing 2000 pounds of steel and 100 pounds of plastic. That's almost irrelevant. What you are stealing is a piece of all the work/knowledge that went into making the car.

Same thing happens when you steal an eBook or a song. What you are really stealing is not a bunch of bytes, what you are stealing is a piece of the hundreds/thousand of hours the artist spent on creating the work.

If you feel that the artist's time and effort isn't worth anything, why don't you come over and work a couple years for me? I won't pay you, but you will have my appreciation and maybe if I like your work, I will recommend you to other people who might perhaps pay you, (or perhaps not, don't be too optimistic).

"I wasn't gonna buy it anyway, so it makes no difference"
Sure. So, if it makes no difference, how about you don't use it at all? Ah, but you actually want it, which means that to some degree, there is a market there. (If there is want, there is a market).

Look at the big picture. Millions of people download and use pirated works. But, if piracy was not an option at all, do you think that they would stop downloading music or reading books or watching movies? No. Instead, they would consider other ways of getting access to the stuff. They might not go and splurge on DVDs, but they might get some cheap subscriptions

"Pirated copies advertise the work, which results in higher sales".
There is a part of truth there, but it is offset by the fact that people who use pirated "free" copies will recommend their friends to do as they did, so it doesn't necessarily result in additional sales.

More importantly, every person who uses pirated copies gives a poor example to those around them. They make it look as if it was "OK". Why do people consider taking a car without paying to be theft but are "fine" if it's a song or a piece of software?

Simple. Because there is enough people doing it, thereby demonstrating that it is "all right". "Bob is a good, honest guy who wouldn't never steal and he downloads songs for free from the net, so it must be OK".

Not to mention that a regular guy can't "keep up with the Jones" when the Jones aren't paying for their stuff. Kid goes to school and everybody else has a thousand songs on their iPod, which they haven't paid for, of course. And now he gets the choice between spending his full allowance to get a few tracks or get songs "for free" from his friends and spend his allowance on things that require "real money".

The single biggest issue with piracy is that it creates a culture in which it's not only "ok" not to pay for the stuff you use, but it's even "the smart choice".

Buying software, music... is a cultural issue

"Get on with the times" say the pirates to the music industry, the software industry and the movie industry. "You guys need a new business model".
Aside of the fact that pirates tend to be short on advice when it comes to what the new business model will be, what they should really be worrying is that these industries will end up taking the advice at heart, and instead of letting you buy what you want (current system), they will either work out a way to get money from you indirectly or collapse.

incrediBILL




msg:4274578
 2:22 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

That's right boys and girls, while we sit here quibbling about whether piracy helps or hurts an author, Amanda Hocking is pushing to make a million dollars [webmasterworld.com] this year selling eBooks on Kindle.

Doubt she's even concerned with piracy because her low cost high volume strategy is paying off massively.

Demaestro




msg:4274645
 3:50 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

the value is the content of the research itself that took many hundreds or thousands of man hours to compile thus defining it's value.


Sure but that only speaks to the cost of creating the original. What I am talking about is the cost of copying that original.

In your example, if it takes $1,000,000 to research and author a report, then that report is worth 1 million + a profit margin.

So we have 1 paper costing 1 million dollars.

Now if they copy that report, said copy doesn't add to the cost of creating the report. The cost was still 1 million, but now there are 2 papers costing 1 million dollars, you now have double the inventory but no extra cost.

So we have 2 papers costing 1 million dollars to create.

Now what happens when the report is copied 1 million times? There are now 1 million copies that cost 1 million dollars to make.

If the market is big enough and you can sell 1 million reports what are you charging? What is the value of 1 of the reports? Is it $1 + profit margin or $1 million + profit margin?

That is why I asked this:

Would you still be willing to pay thousands for something that can be copied for less then $0.01?


When you build a car you can't copy the car for almost no cost... the cost to copy is real and so the car has a real value.

Mrs Hocking has it right... Penny Profit.... Million Volume. Cut out the publishers who do nothing but create copies.

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