Piracy has taken a hit, but it’s always going to be a problem. It’s human nature to find ways around paying. – Jimmy Schaeffler
My first encounter with book piracy occurred when I lived in Taiwan in the early 80s. The large bookstores were stocked with inexpensive books—because many were pirated. I admit I didn’t think much about it at the time. I was more concerned about keeping my daughter in reading material. She’d go through books like I’d go through potato chips.
I’m also guilty of passing along favorite books to friends and family which I know deprives the author of royalty. So I guess you could say I should go around with an eye patch and say, “Arrgh, matey.”
However, I think the problem of printed book piracy pales in comparison to illegal e-book downloads. According to an article the Guardian.co.uk:
"A campaign is needed to educate the new wave of e-reader owners that downloading illegal ebooks from torrent sites is theft, amid signs that the piracy of books is increasing, authors claim.
“Crime writer David Hewson, author of the Italy-set Nic Costa novels, said a campaign along the lines of "People Who Love Books Don't Steal Books" was urgently required – because readers who consider themselves his fans are downloading pirated copies of his ebooks and audiobooks.”
The article goes on to say:
“Authors' incomes – never sizeable, except for a lucky minority – have been squeezed over the past two years, with the drop in publisher advances. Hewson said authors now face an erosion of their earnings from multiple directions, whether from the fact that library Public Lending Right doesn't cover the loans of ebooks and audiobooks, or the new practice of "Lendle-ing", joining ebook communities to take advantage of Amazon's US free loan facility on Kindle. "What we earn is being chipped away," he said. "I do know people who are thinking: 'Is it worth carrying on?'"
By the way, for those like me who didn’t know, “torrent,” according to eHow , is a type of computer file that usually ends in the extension .torrent and allows a computer to track files and download pieces of the files from other users across the Internet using a BitTorrent client. I understand you pay to join these sites and can then download books, music, videos and games without the author/creator receiving a dime.
An article in the wsj.com addressed the online clubs such as BookLending.com and Lendle.me saying:
“Previously, Kindle and Nook readers were largely limited to sharing e-books with friends because two users needed to know each other's email address to initiate a loan. The new sites give e-book readers access to a larger network of people and a larger selection of books.
“The lending sites have drawbacks. One is limited selection. Most major book publishers haven't made their e-books lendable, and the books can be lent only once and for only 14 days. That means that with every successful loan, the sites' available library shrinks unless new users with books to lend join.”
The article has a detailed chart showing how these clubs work.
Are you guilty of book piracy? Would you join an online e-book club? Do you consider piracy a problem for writers? Do you have any solutions?
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next week.
Tags: Jimmy Schaeffler, book piracy, torrent files, booklending.com, lendle.me