Piracy, the unauthorized use of copyrighted works, is a serious issue for publishers. Book piracy, whether in print or digital form, is costing publishers around the world billions of dollars annually. … Sharing illegal copies for free online means publishers lose out on sales and authors lose out on royalties. -–International Publishers Association
Google “book piracy” and you will see a host of optional sites from which to obtain books. Here’s a top contender: Merabheja.
And speaking of Google, I finally gave up asking them to respect my copyright.
Part of the problem is that these pirate sites don’t use the words “pirated” books, or “stolen” books, but they use the word “free” book.
Another part of the problem is that some people don’t seem to care that they’re actually stealing. Doctors and lawyers and other professionals are “reading before they buy” because they’ve bought some losers, and swear that if they like the book, they’ll buy it. Other people say they’re “putting it to the man”, although it’s unclear who the man might be. If the man is a publishing house, their margins are getting squeezed, and if the man is the author… well, you see my point.
“I’m too poor to buy books.” Say a lot of readers who download from pirate sites.
“How do you read the books you download off that site?” (Sounds like a good question to me.)
“On my iPad.” Oy.
Some author friends of mine have taken to going on attack mode. They’ve hunted down their pirated books, sent threatening emails, and pretty much wasted their time (like I was doing with just one pirate site, Google). Their passion has shifted from loving what they do to just being angry at the world, including readers.
Other friends have simply decided there’s nothing they can do about it, why worry, and elect to consider it publicity, thereby giving their tacit approval of the enterprise.
I’m in between.
I have a passion for justice, but I also know my own limitations and what I’m actually willing to do. For about a year, I’ve contracted with Blasty whose job is to track down my books and remove them from what I consider to be criminal sites. I receive reports from them telling me how many “blasts” they’ve made of my books. Is it perfect? Probably not. But it’s one thing I can do—a statement I can make—without running the risk of becoming angry with readers.
What about you? How do you come down on theft of intellectual property and copyright?
It’s all better with friends.