ebook piracyAfter finally and begrudgingly accepting ebooks as a fact of life now, I though I would do a little investigation into the free ebook market. Now by free I don’t mean free as in the price being free. I mean free as in that a copyrighted book has been pirated.

A very cursory search (less than 20 seconds!) had me looking at lists and lists of pirated ebooks available for instant download in Kindle and ePub as well as of course pdf versions. On average, each pirated file contained approximately 1,000 titles ! Yes, hundreds of files containing thousands of titles.

So what can be done about this? Well, the answer is extremely simple. Nothing at all.

As was discovered very painfully over many years with music, there is no point fighting. There are so many forms, avenues and methods of pirating and distributing material on the internet that it is impossible to police, control or even restrict the activities of copyright pirates.

So will we now discover that digitised books follow the same pattern as digitised music? Will the iPod effect now become the Kindle effect? Where the device is loaded with 95% free (or pirated) material and only 5% of paid material.

And will $0.99 become the value of a legal copy of a book? I hope not, as even a CD of 12 tracks still fetches $15.00 as a legal downloadable file.

It seems though that the market decision has been made. An ebook is never going to be worth anywhere near the same as a 45 year old 45 minute digitised music album of The Beatles For Sale.

Oh well.

Books By Derek Haines
Derek’s Vandal Blog
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Ebook Piracy
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4 thoughts on “Ebook Piracy

  • 26/06/2011 at 5:55 pm

    Congrats on how well your ebook is doing.

    I am a reader not an author (nor do I wish to be) but I really dislike book piracy as well. It is just wrong. So I thought about writing on my blog what readers could do to get free ebooks without stealing them. I hope you don't mind me including my link to my blog but I have had some of my reader friends tell me that they have started using some of my ideas. Of course it will never do away with the pesky pirates but there are other options for readers.

    Take care, MichelleKCanada

  • 26/06/2011 at 6:02 pm

    There's another literary mugger in the ether Derek – Google. It's doing the same thing. Sadly once the product of all our hard work is published electronically, or otherwise, we lose all control over it.

    Still, never mind. At least someone is reading and hopefully enjoying that story we sweated blood over. :)

  • 26/06/2011 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks for your comment Michelle.

    It is interesting though to understand that the internet has an addiction to free. But as you say, this doesn't have to mean piracy. It took me a little while to adapt, but now I offer two of my books for free, (always on Smashwords and normally on Amazon Kindle when they are in a good mood) plus 2 books at $0.99 and the rest obviously at full price.

    I have also legally bittorrented my own music as this is available legally and free through Mininova.

    The other interesting part, is that since I made these items free and cheap, sales for my novels has increased.

    Thanks again for participation in the discussion. And no, I don't mind at all. Link away.

  • 26/06/2011 at 6:15 pm

    You know Jack, I fell for that trap. I uploaded a couple of my earlier books to Google Books some years back and was horrified some time later to discover that I couldn't take them out. No way do Google get a single word from me anymore.

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