It is no secret that ebooks have grown in popularity, and with them comes ebook piracy. Granted, ebook piracy has existed since the internet and scanners were born, but now, with so many ebook readers out there, the dynamic has changed. People like Neil Gaiman have said in the past that ebook piracy doesn't effect sales and actually increases their popularity and bring sales up. Well, that might have been the case five years ago when far fewer people had ebook readers. At that point, people may have gone ahead and downloaded a pirated copy, read it at their desktop as a preview, and went out and purchased a hard copy if they liked it. Now, they can just load it on their kindle and never have to buy the hard copy. In the last two years, the dynamic has changed. Please, don't say that ebook piracy has no effect. Authors have complained, like this example here: http://anywherebeyond.livejournal.com/342581.html Now, if someone OUT RIGHT SAYS that they downloaded a book illegally that they wanted to read, than that person has just admitted to not buying a book because they could get an illegal copy for free. There is no way that doesn't hurt the author. Then there are the comparisons to free libraries, lending a book, or used book stores. Well, first off libraries BUY the books they lend out, and if a book is popular they will buy more copies of it, hence the author gets a cut. And, if it is popular enough, the author might get a library award and recognition and hence, higher sales...when has a pirate site ever given an award for something? In the case of lending, that is just ONE copy of a book that has to be given back, and the person who borrowed it will probably have to buy a copy if they want to read it again. In the case of piracy, the person downloading the ebook illegally doesn't have to give it back and just owns a copy. Plus, if I loan a book to someone, that's just one book. If someone puts a book on a illegal site, that book could be downloaded by thousands of people. In the case of second hand book stores, a lot of those used books are actually purchased from major chains or publishers at a discount after they fail to sell at retail, and hence they do give profit to the author. That, and again it is a limited number of copies, not the unlimited amount of free downloads. So, piracy is a different animal. My concern is this: Music piracy can only hurt musicians so much because they can always perform live to recover the losses. No one will pay big money to see me write. Authors can ONLY MAKE money off of the product, and if the product is comprised... I always wanted to be a professional author...when I was six, that was what I wanted to do when I grew up, tell stories for a living. Hell, all I want financially is enough to afford a one bedroom apartment, a new Jeep Wrangler, and have enough left over to go out on the weekends. I'm content to not make JK Rowling money from writing (not that I would turn it down if it was offered ) But, if ebook piracy becomes as much an epidemic as music piracy, will it be possible to make any kind of living off of writing in the future? I'm worried about it, but in the end I have one hope: that ebook readers will never get as popular as MP3 players did, and they probably wont. Ipods replaced CD players because Ipods were a superior product. They never skipped, you no longer needed to carry a bunch of CDs, they were smaller etc. Ebook readers are a different story. No one whined about the loss of a "feel" of CDs, but people all the time, including Bill Gates himself, say they can't stand ebook readers because they don't have the "feel" of a book. When Ipods first came out, what did everyone do? They downloaded there CDs to Itunes. Well, with an ebook reader, you could, CONCEIVABLY, scan all your old books in, but that is A THOUSAND TIMES more of a process than uploading a CD. Plus, most people don't need to have more than three books with them at any time, even on a long trip. The average person will listen to five albums on an average day trip. The reasons are numerous. Ebook readers will grow in popularity, but for a sizeable chunk of the population, they will still want paper books. My grandfather, a mechanic and WWII vet, told me that people said that automatic transmissions would replace manuals and that he had better learn how to fix them. Well, years later, and how many sports cars have manual transmissions? Or trucks? Or cars? Some people like the feel of a stick, even if it is a hassle...a lot more of a hassle than reading a paper back as opposed to an ebook. So, most people will stick to paper. But, will that be enough of a market to make a living off of? With maybe 30% of the population having ebook readers and having an option of going to a pirate site and paying zero for something that might be $5, will that 30% of the market vanish? It is depressing as hell to think about.