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Pirated digital books

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

  1. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Because the present day isn't packed with working libraries, public education certainly isn't free, and new and used bookstores are extortionate for the most part.
    I know that the things I ask for are not available, either through popularity or scarcity. My library is about 40 miles from a university campus with a functional library, I even visited there once, go me. But because it's a university campus, all of the documents I want are all out on loan or reserved. Now, if I try to reserve one, it actually costs me money and often takes a month or more to actually come into my possession. Therefore, the 'free' part of the library fails to apply to me.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is an extraordinarily bad set of funding decisions on the part of whatever governmental agency is making those decisions. I'm still not accepting that authors of books need to pay the price.
     
  3. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    To paraphrase BayView from earlier, the quiet acceptance of piracy is one of the things that allows the practice to thrive. Maybe, I don't know, authors might get to decide when enough is enough when it come to stealing our books?
     
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  4. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Now I'm lucky that I have time to wait for my documents to become available. I read to learn because I love it. Students though? They either pay £45+ for a single book that would cover a fraction of that semester's content, or pirate it. At which point, I could never say that piracy is the issue. It's the result of the ridiculous expenditures students are expected to pay. Unless you're from a well off family, you're stuck with nothing, hoping beyond hope your book hits your reserved listing before your year is done, or pirating the book.


    Now, to me, I find the pirating option okay for said students. The books were made to educate, the price got in the way of that. The books will be used for education, their purpose is not lost. Maybe when they establish themselves they'll write a compendium or two and sell it for a much more affordable price.
     
  5. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Relating to that though, I would also be okay with someone pirating a work of fiction. If only because of the reasons someone reads. I know I read because it's an escape. I can go wherever I want by reading a book. If I can't afford a book? I might pirate, but I find it unlikely. I have other avenues to escape, but for someone who doesn't? If it helps someone stay sane I'd be fine with it. Which is why I'm okay with some piracy, for certain reasons. Some are just insulting to the author though. And like I said, it does have an upside for the author. It's fundamentally not-a-good-thing but it isn't just a negative void that sucks everything into it and gives nothing back.
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Textbooks aren't just made to educate; they're made to make a profit. The government, IMO, should make them affordable, by helping students who can't afford the to pay for them, but they shouldn't be stolen. People researched, wrote, edited, designed, those books. Those people should be paid.
     
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are there also no used bookstores where you live? I just bought three paperbacks for less than three dollars apiece. They were, admittedly, quite old editions, but there are countless good old novels. Used copies of newer more popular novels might be twice that price or a little more.

    (Grumble. Network. This may double-post.)
     
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep, it double posted.
     
  9. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a couple of other suggestions for you:

    E: Reach out to your professor or college admin services for tutoring options
    F: Say eff it to free time for the rest of the semester and spend all of it trying to master the material
    G: Suck it up and take your below average grade

    "I'm not capable, but that's not going to stop me from passing"

    Not passing a class is hardly then end of the world. Even the most successful people fail from time to time. You can learn as much (maybe more) from failure as you can from success. No one is capable of everything they try.
     
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  10. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    I agree they should. But it stands the either students are the victim, or the author's are. From a purely fiscal view point, the students are the best not to be the victim. The author will still get paid from what books are sold, and that will likely be a decent sum to justify the effort, but if a student pirates it, they can afford to eat and study for their course. The author is out on potential sales, but the overall scales weigh in as morally right, not good or bad, the entire situation is bad, but it I'd say that if a student is choosing to pirate their course books so that they can stay healthy, that's the lesser evil over an author losing a sale. I can't see it ever being so bad that the opposite is true, where piracy means the author can't survive, because there will always be a portion of people that actively buy to justify the purchase, especially if it's a 'required material' for a course.
     
  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're assuming that the author isn't scraping by on just as lean an income as the student. That's not necessarily a valid assumption.

    My network continues to bounce up and down, and I've lost patience with it for now. If this thread is still going in a few hours, I will likely give in to the temptation to return to it. :)
     
  12. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    A friend of mine is studying maths for their childcare certification, she needs to pass her english, IT and maths exams. She's aced the english and IT, but was failing hard with the maths.

    Her course adviser told her to prioritise her courses, focus down one subject at a time and master it. She has online skill checks and such to work through. Her adviser quit a few months ago and none of that advice was 'officially documented' as it was conversational. The new adviser comes along, she asks to get some extra help with her maths. They said no, because she hadn't put much effort into maths. Because she prioritised one subject at a time. Which was what she was advised to do.

    So, now I'm tutoring her maths. It's fine for me, because I'm used to university grade mathematics, so working out the perimeter of a chicken coop isn't much of a challenge, but she showed me her online skill checks. They're the ONLY source of knowledge she has for the maths course because her new adviser basically told her to go suffer for taking the previous advisers advice. The skill checks are worded extremely badly, often have incomplete questions, have ridiculous tolerance levels for answers (For example, it would accept 4 x 6 but not 6 x 4 for one particular question, despite them being exactly the same) and are often broken to unusable conditions. One of them had an interactive protractor over an angle you could rotate over the angle so you could read it accurately. The next question wast the same, except the protractor was nowhere near the angle and couldn't be moved. She needs a 90% pass rate on the skill checks, and they're comprised of 6-7 questions. One wrong answer is a fail, even one by the system's standards. Luckily, they're repeatable, so for everything that could be taught through logic, I teach her, but everything else it's pretty much pot luck as to whether she passes it.

    Usually I charge £15 an hour for a tutoring session if I'm to come to the student, £10 if we do it at my place. For her, I'm giving her mates rates of 'FREE' because jesus, she has no hope of getting through the exam with the material they provide, and she can't afford to pay a personal tutor.

    So basically the only option she has out of that, save for myself, is G. Suck it up and take your below average grade, and lose your job, your only source of income because of a broken system.


    Incidentally, her exam is going to be taken with the exact same software, so I don't hold up much hope for her. She's capable, but that software is a handicap beyond reason.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  13. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Oh, my condolences on the network issues. Hmm, I do tend to think that authors of official recognised material for courses across the country tend to be okay for finances. Most usually they're paid a flat fee just to write the book so it can be sold, but I guess it could be true that they're paid on a book by book sale basis. If so, then they're suffering as much as the students.

    Also, in the UK, it's exceptionally difficult to be a working student at university. It's just that there isn't much spare time at all outside of studying. You finish your course, you go study, you maybe eat then get a couple hours sleep. Most survive on student loans, which are exceptionally finite. To be honest, that hones budgeting skills though, which prepares them too.
     
  14. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    Life is full of broken systems that won't be fixed anytime soon. Kind of like authors complaining about piracy. Or do I only get to complain when it's about things you think are unfair and wrong?
     
  15. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Haha, you're welcome to complain! Like I said before, I disagree with some of the views on here, but I don't hold any spite over it. How about we complain that we're not complaining about the same thing? Or is that what we've been doing all along ...... Mind. Blown.


    Or, maybe it's less disagree. I empathise with the opposing views, but I choose to see that it's not an entirely bad thing.
     
  16. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have no idea where you got this from, but from what I've experienced book deals are mostly based on royalties, i.e. a percentage of each sale. My book contract gives me only 40% of every book sold, so when you steal my book it sure as hell takes a significant chunk out of my earnings.
     
  17. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that when you are an author actively trying to sell a book you have a much different perspective than a consumer.
     
  18. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Mmm I hate to start this off again, but from what I've gathered through studies, most people who pirate and don't purchase later, are people who have no inclination to buy whatsoever, so you're not taking a loss. It's not "I've lost one buyer who decided to pirate my work" it's "I've not lost or gained anything".

    I'm not an author actively trying to sell, no, I want to be which is why I'm here - so I do lack your experienced perspective, but what I've said above leads me to a logic that says 'piracy isn't going to tank my book'. If piracy didn't exist it would be a wonderful world, but the current state of affairs and the near permanence of piracy means it's not going to change. But, every book experiences it, so it's not like you can't succeed because of piracy. If every book experiences piracy, then their success is in spite of piracy.
     
  19. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not interested in readers who don't buy my book and would never for any amount. Like you said, it's a zero sum.

    What I do care about is people who would buy the book but instead they found this nifty free download so why pay for it? I posted my novel for free on LiveJournal as a WIP until I got accepted by a publisher, and then I took it down. Who would buy my book if they could just go to LJ and read it for free?
     
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  20. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    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.
     
  21. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    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.
     
  22. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Woah, okay.
     
  23. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Custom Title. Contributor

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    Then call me Arya Stark.
     
  24. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It's that same lame justification of: because I can I will.
     
  25. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    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.
     
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