Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Digital Piracy

Do You Steal Books? ~and~ Do Authors Care?


Back in the dim fringes of my always-right, exuberant, ill-informed past, I did steal a book or three.

That was well before the commonality of digital books. Now, folks can steal a book with three mouse-clicks.

I’ve written before about book piracy: Ebook Piracy ~ Not A Bad Thing?? and Free Books, Pirated Books, & Our Digital Age…, to name two.

I just read a letter from Brian O’Leary, publishing consultant, to the President of the Author’s Guild, author and lawyer, Scott Turow.

It’s called The Walls We Build Up and I’ll put a few excerpts here to encourage you to read the whole letter:

“Dear Mr. Turow,
Congratulations and best wishes on your election as president of the Authors Guild.”

“…the claims you make about piracy aren’t based on any real evidence.  I’d like to offer some data that argue for a different point of view.”

“…the greater threat to many authors is obscurity, not piracy.”

“There are no reliable studies of the impact of piracy in the book business.”

“The Government Accounting Office recently ‘assessed the assessments’ of digital piracy and found them all lacking.”

“So, here’s what I think you should do: ….work with authors to distinguish between the instance of piracy and its impact. A pirated file is not necessarily equivalent to a lost sale. Most authors want to make money, but I’d wager that all authors would like to be read.”

“We can do as the music industry did, presuming a single answer and defending an existing model.  Or, we can choose a data-driven, more flexible path.  I prefer the latter, and I hope I can convince you that you should, too.  Even with the best of intentions, the walls we build up can lock us in.”

Do you know an author who’s suffered from piracy?

Are you an author who’s experienced this?

What are your thoughts and feelings on the issue??
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