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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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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
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.
No one apart from a few people with money at stake think that copyright infringement is theft.
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.
I know, most will say that avoiding the technology won't solve the problem; but still it will slow it down like crazy.
But in no way is a freebie of something a creator wants to sell a benefit to the creator.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
That's funny. Really. First how many authors do you know who have made lots of money from giving their creations away free?
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.
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.
When I steal Incredibill's car ...
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?