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Tag Archives: ebooks

Casual Piracy is Total Nonsense!

There are some interesting points brought up in Jane’s article on dearauthor.com regarding the five main reasons that DRM on e-books won’t be abandoned by publishers anytime soon. There are a couple of things that make perfect sense, like price. If you want DRM free e-books, the price is likely going to go up, because the publishers and distributors won’t be as able to control what is done with the e-books. This is where I have to say again, that publishers need to make people see the value of e-books. They have to do something, whether it’s bonus material or sneak peaks at upcoming books, when there’s no physical copy involved, you have to make the customer see that it’s still work paying for!

I also like that Jane bought up ease of transfer. From a record company’s perspective, DRM free music is a little easier to swallow when they realize that anyone who buys a CD can put it on their hard drive in about a minute and do whatever they want with it. It’s a fight you can’t win with the physical format, so why bother fighting it with the digital format. When you have a book, as Jane points out, it’s a much bigger time commitment. You have to sit down with a scanner and scan each page. In reality, this could take hours, your average customer is not going to bother.

This is where the distinction between actual pirates and what the publishing industry is referring to as ‘casual pirates’ people who want to loan an e-book to their Mom, or their friend…the same way that *gasp* they would with a real book! This is where I think that the publishing industry has to take a step back and have a bit of a reality check. Loaning a book to someone is NOT piracy. If it were, libraries would have been shut down ages ago. Instead, this act is more likely to create word of mouth, and possibly gain the author a wider fan base.

For a really interesting perspective on the idea of lending and piracy, have a listen to what the amazing Mr. Neil Gaiman has to say here.

35 Year Old Lady Pirates? Oh My!

I completely agree with Eoin Pursell’s short article in response to some figures that were released in May and are stated in this article from the Telegraph  which stated that one in eight women over 35 admit to having downloaded and unlicensed e-book. Purcell points out that you have to consider that, perhaps, this is partly due to accessibility. If it was easy for these women to access the legitimate e-books then perhaps they wouldn’t be forced to download pirated copies of the e-books that they want. You can look to the Harry Potter series as an example of this. Illegal download was the only way to get the series, and it was pirated often because readers weren’t given a legitimate means to buy it. In this scenario, I’m sure that both the author and the publisher lost a ton of money. Let’s face it, making e-books more readily available, might actually bring the number of people using pirated copies of e-books down.

It’s interesting to note, as mentioned in The Telegraph, that a higher percentage of women over 35 are using pirated e-books than pirated music. I think this comes right down to accessibility, price and value. It’s inherently difficult to make people see the value of something that’s intangible, and I think it’s probably easier to convince someone to spend $0.99 or even $1.29 on a song than it is to get them to spend over $10.00 on an e-book. This is where publishers are going to have to get creative with e-books and make potential customers see that there is ‘worth’ to purchasing their e-books rather than pirating them.