In the US, where the Kindle has been available for two years, digital book piracy is booming. The web has enabled thousands of sites to distribute pirated book content free. American publishers are estimated to have lost more than $600 million (£363 million) last year to piracy.British publishers are trying to stop piracy, but here on SFH we’ve talked about those efforts and the successes are small in relation to the number of e-book copyrights that have been violated. The article says that the Publishers Association has noted “more than 4,000 cases of online piracy by more than 40 publishers and has succeeded in taking down 2,638 illegal copies of books. Sounds like a lot, except when you also read:
Even before The Lost Symbol was published in September, pirated copies were circulating on the internet. Within a couple of days of its release filesharers had downloaded it more than 100,000 times.The thing that makes books so much easier to steal is the file size. “A film can be up to 1.5GB whereas the typical e-book is no more than 3MB, making it much easier to download.” Combine that with this statistic: “In the US an estimated 1.7 million people own one, and that number could rise to 4 million by the end of the year, according to analysts.” Then top it off with a sampling of the comments to this article:
Since digital books typically cost rather more than printed copies, I have no sympathy for the industry….Serves them right.It seems to me that people are looking at the publishing industry and saying, so what, they make millions. They should be looking at the everyday authors who are not making millions. Those who steal books might do well to wonder how they would put food on the table if they worked for ten months and profited barely a hundred dollars. There are plenty of authors out there who net that little after writing and marketing their book, not to mention getting their book in e-book format if they don’t have a publisher to do it for them. I also think that the big publishers who are now putting their print authors into digital form should give those authors a higher percentage of the profits.
Yet another rip-off industry squealing over problems that they've created.
It's farcical to suggest the inventors of these devices didn't realise this could happen. As for the fact that people can now read books for free surely this is a service libraries have offered for centuries.
What do you think?