1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice

Pirated digital books

Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by GingerCoffee, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    188
    I would care about them too. I wouldn't expect you or anyone else not to. But according to the studies I've taken, it's up in the air about those people. There are people that are transient between being a pirate and a buyer, both back and forth. But they don't make up a major part of your buying base. This isn't a justification at all for their behaviour, but I mentioned earlier about a 'guilt complex'. When people have pirated books, they're more likely to recommend a good book they pirated as opposed to a good book they purchased. So in general conversation, word-of-mouth of your pirated book is more likely to come up as a recommendation, and maybe a new buyer. It happens on a large enough scale that it does result in a portion of purchases that can be less or more than the number of "buyer to pirate" purchases (but not zero, so it's not a whole loss). So ideally, their loss in buying results in your gain in purchases, or at least some of that loss back.

    Which is why I can't see piracy as the big boogeyman that it's made out to be. It's not a scary thing that's going to ruin your career as a writer, especially if you write well. Of course it'd be better without it, but hey, it's here to stay.


    I guess all I'm doing is 'soothing the savage beast' here, I'm not saying this stuff to say piracy is awesome lol! I'm saying it to reassure you that piracy isn't a big scary monster that spends it's every waking moment trying to destroy any chance you have.
     
  2. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    366
    Guess what? I base my opinions on what gets me results, and not random"up in the air" and "transient" buyers. You buy my book means I get $$$. I don't need you to soothe me, or assure me that privacy is AOK.
     
  3. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    188
    Woah, okay.
     
  4. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee In my defense, words are my weapons. Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    1,530
    Then call me Arya Stark.
     
  5. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,344
    Likes Received:
    1,888
    Location:
    Australia
    It's that same lame justification of: because I can I will.
     
  6. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,344
    Likes Received:
    1,888
    Location:
    Australia
    This mentality of "I want to have so I will take and I don't care what impact it has on anyone else" is literally why the world is fucked up and cannot be fixed.
     
    Tenderiser, Laurin Kelly and BayView like this.
  7. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    6,247
    Likes Received:
    5,751
    If anyone can show me a person who has internet access to pirate but doesn't have internet access to download any of the massive quantity of free, high quality reading material legally and easily available, I'll start listening to all the arguments about a right to an education and starving minds and books should be legally free.

    Until then? Guess what. Books ARE legally free. Thousands and thousands of excellent books, and thousands and thousands of crappy books, and thousands of books in the middle. The problem is that these aren't the exact book you want.

    Someone has taken the time and effort to create a book that sounds like exactly what you want, and you don't choose to accept substitution. I understand that. But don't punish that person by stealing their efforts. Pay them. And if it turns out the book wasn't quite what you expected? Oh well. That's life, sometimes.
     
    Lifeline, Laurin Kelly and Tenderiser like this.
  8. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    366
    As I don't read/watch Game of Thrones I have no idea what that means.
     
  9. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    366
    Look, I get that for you this is all a lovely theoretical discussion where you get to play devil's advocate. But for me there's nothing theoretical about it - my first novel is coming out next month and I'm well within my rights to be pissed off at anyone who thinks it's okay to steal it.

    I don't need to be "soothed" or "reassured". I resent the implication that I'm overreacting and need to be calmed down by some random dude on the internet. I'll stand up for my rights as an author as loudly and clearly as I like in a public forum, and won't be shushed by you or anyone else.
     
    KPMay and Tenderiser like this.
  10. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    UK
    This thing about literacy piracy is interesting, I`ve heard arguments on both sides. JA Konrath actually welcomes piracy saying that as long as people are reading his books he, in effect, doesn`t care. His reasoning is that if someone downloads a book and reads it they are more likely to buy another of his books because they like him a an author. It`s fans he is trying to create more than just casual readers. This is really impinging on the arena of marketing I guess, building up your name rather than just selling books. Thinking of it in the long term.
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,408
    Likes Received:
    5,552
    Location:
    California, US
    The key factor is the author's choice. He doesn't care for his books? That's fine.
     
    BayView likes this.
  12. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    UK
    Actually that`s not what I wrote. I said he doesn`t care if someone reads his books illegally, his concern was to build up a readership; a fan base that will, in the long run, bring in more sales. His point was to think in terms of marketing in the long run, anything to broaden your fan base.
     
  13. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    6,247
    Likes Received:
    5,751
    I agree with @Steerpike, though, that this is HIS (Konrath's) strategy, and that's fine, for HIM.

    But it's not my strategy, so I wouldn't want anyone pirating MY books by saying some other author doesn't care if HIS are pirated. I care. Go take his books, if you want, but not mine.
     
    Steerpike likes this.
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,408
    Likes Received:
    5,552
    Location:
    California, US
    Again, fine for him. Other authors take a different view.
     
  15. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    UK
    Of course. Marketing is a multi faceted thing, and difficult to predict. Everyone has a favourite plan I guess. Looking at the whole thing from the outside it all seems a bit of a mish mash of good ideas and not a few bad. There are so many books and strategies it`s difficult to know what might work. The only common ground seems to be that your work be your best.
     
  16. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee In my defense, words are my weapons. Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    1,530
    I don't think you're quite understanding them.

    Their argument isn't "Don't steal our books, because we make more money when you pay" its, "Don't steal our books because that is an amoral action that breaks this writer/reader relationship."

    Or at least, that's how I interpret their feelings on the matter.
     
    BayView likes this.
  17. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    UK
    I understood them, I just made a turn into the marketing field instead of stay on the whole illegal thing.
     
  18. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    6,247
    Likes Received:
    5,751
    And the marketing thing may be relevant, or it may not. I personally think JA Konrath does most of his marketting by courting controversy, so for him, sure, this might be another venue for him to make big announcements and get some attention to himself. But that doesn't mean it will work for everyone.

    And if it does seem like it will work, then we're perfectly capable of offering our work for free without the "help" of the pirates. I have some short stories and other little bits available for free as part of my marketting strategy, and I'm fine with that. But someone else deciding which of my books should be free? Nah. Not okay.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,408
    Likes Received:
    5,552
    Location:
    California, US
    Could be a decent marketing tool for some. I saw my children's book on some pirate sites. Didn't bother me. I made decent money on it--about ten times more than if I sold the same number of words for a pro rate.

    But a lot of people use it as justification for pirating. If a person has to come up with all kinds of rationalizations to justify what they're doing that's a good indicator they know it is wrong.
     
    BayView likes this.
  20. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    UK
    I`m not agreeing or disagreeing with Konrath`s point of view (and as far as I know he doesn`t endorse piracy in any form, just sees an upside to it) I was just pointing out another view on it. It would be nice if piracy didn`t happen but I don`t think you could ever stop that, not as long as the internet continues in it`s present form.
     
  21. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    9,502
    Likes Received:
    6,019
    I suspect, and I have no studies or statistics to offer, that piracy doesn't bleed away that many potential sales, because I think that the population that would steal a book, and the population that would buy a book, have limited overlap.

    However, that is only true as long as piracy is an illegal, shady tactic. As soon as it's kinda-respectable, more and more people who would have bought, will steal. So I'm completely in support of straightforward forms of piracy still being illegal and being prosecuted.

    However, I'm not in support of the level of penalties in existence, or the number of largely innocent acts that can be lumped in with the genuine theft. For example, if someone broke the copy protection on a file intended for the Widget reader, so that they could read it on their Gadget reader, and the only person reading was still the person who bought the book, I don't think that that should be a crime at all.
     
  22. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,658
    Likes Received:
    5,577
    Location:
    London, UK
    The only type of piracy I've ever engaged in is similar to that: downloading music to get it in a different format. E.g. when everything moved from cassettes to CDs, I did a lot of illegal downloading. I didn't think it was wrong because I'd paid for the song/album and wanted to listen to it on my new device.

    Now I think about applying that logic to books; say, illegally downloading an eBook when you've bought the physical book, or downloading an audiobook because you bought the eBook. My understanding is that would nearly always cheat the author out of royalties, since they would get one payment for the eBook, one for the physical, and one for the audiobook. And likewise different companies might own the rights, so the company you bought the eBook from is not the one who paid for the recording and distribution of the audiobook.

    I don't know if it's the same in music, but I know I couldn't justify it to myself these days.

    (I'm not sure if I have a point here, by the way. Just thinking out loud. Maybe that some piracy is from ignorance rather than malicious, and education is also important?)
     
  23. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    9,502
    Likes Received:
    6,019
    I'd say that the paper/audio/ebook situation is different, because they have different uses and because someone else did the work for the conversion. For the audio book, I'd think that it's actually a separate, if derivative, copyrightable creative work. I'm less sure about the ebook.

    I suspect that copyright, at least as traditionally interpreted, would not stop you from photocopying a book, let's say to size it up to a larger print size for easier reading, if the copy is strictly for your own use and you also confine the original to your own use.
     
  24. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,658
    Likes Received:
    5,577
    Location:
    London, UK
    I think an average member of the public with an average knowledge of publishing would just think of it as one entity, a story, and not realise that the different formats are essentially different 'things' owned by different companies. So they might think they're entitled to the story in all its formats when they've purchased one. I certainly felt that way about the music (and even now, I'm not sure if the cassette/CD/MP3 versions were all distributed by one company or not).
     

Share This Page