Pirated digital books

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

  1. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    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.
     
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  2. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    As I don't read/watch Game of Thrones I have no idea what that means.
     
  3. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    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.
     
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  4. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

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    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.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The key factor is the author's choice. He doesn't care for his books? That's fine.
     
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  6. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

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    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.
     
  7. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    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.
     
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  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Again, fine for him. Other authors take a different view.
     
  9. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

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    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.
     
  10. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Custom Title. Contributor

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    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.
     
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  11. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

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    I understood them, I just made a turn into the marketing field instead of stay on the whole illegal thing.
     
  12. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    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.
     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    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.
     
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  14. Krispee

    Krispee Active Member

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    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.
     
  15. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    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.
     
  16. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    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?)
     
  17. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    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.
     
  18. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    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).
     

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