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Accord64

Ebook Piracy: Can It Be Stopped?

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Posted (edited)

I ran across this article on eBook piracy that does a pretty good job of detailing a long-time problem:  

 

'I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds': can book piracy be stopped?

 

This part in particular shows how it's a multi-layered issue - dishonesty on top of dishonesty:

 

Quote

"Abena (not her real name) is one of millions of people who use book-piracy websites to illegally download work by authors they love. The UK government’s Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. Generally, pirates tend to be from better-off socioeconomic groups, and aged between 30 and 60. Many use social media to ask for tips when their regular piracy website is shut down; when I contacted some, those who responded always justified it by claiming they were too poor to buy books – then tell me they read them on their e-readers, smartphones or computer screens - or that their areas lacked libraries, or they found it hard to locate books in the countries where they lived. Some felt embarrassed. Others blamed greedy authors for trying to stop them."

 

 

Edited by Accord64

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Thanks for sharing this. I think I know which particular site has been making waves across the Internet this past week or so. They had a FB site which has since been taken down, but it was an eye-opener to read the comments of the fans who visited regularly to get stolen books.

 

I think the end of the article is correct: educating the reading public about how book theft affects authors could make a difference.

 

There will probably always be a hard core of IP thieves determined to steal, but I think a good number of people who use those sites haven't thought through the effects of their actions.

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On the bright side at least people are reading the book... maybe they will tell their friends and it will boost sales? 

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1 hour ago, Bob Leone said:

On the bright side at least people are reading the book... maybe they will tell their friends and it will boost sales? 

 

Yeah, that's similar to the view I've taken. You could bomb these sites with DMCA take down notices and it really won't make any difference. It's not like I'm losing a customer, because these people wouldn't likely pay for it anyway. I also don't see it resulting in a sales boost, because their friends would just snag a pirated copy (probably from the person who pirated the copy).

 

While it's a neutral impact, I'm concerned over how it has been growing. More and more people are adopting the mindset that they don't need to pay for books - just like music, art, or stock photos.

 

  

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15 hours ago, Accord64 said:

Others blamed greedy authors for trying to stop them."

 

Awww, that's my favorite excuse! Sheesh! :confused:

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Posted (edited)

Not to blame Millennials, since I have kids in that age range, but they are use to getting everything free or almost free.

They don't pay for cable anymore just using internet for free movies, free music, etc. 

 

I am more interested in the number of people reading a particular book, that's why I write for other people's enjoyment. But, I would like feedback on if they enjoyed the book and the number of people reading it.

Edited by Bob Leone
had new thought

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Posted (edited)

"Free" as in "paid for by someone else."

 

High-quality digital content is not the same as a cassette mixtape or a VHS copy of The Rocketeer with half the movie gone because the cat stepped on the cable box.

 

With my library card and internet access I can borrow new-issue e-books for 21 days, download 1 audiobook a week ( or five songs). I can stream thousands of movies.

 

In short, there's more content than I could ever consume. Add in the "free with ads" and the subscription services my daughter uses for the children....

 

"Greedy authors" work hard, and, like professional athletes, have short windows of opportunity.

Edited by EClayRowe
Egregious Typo

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2 hours ago, EClayRowe said:

In short, there's more content than I could ever consume. Add in the "free with ads" and the subscription services my daughter uses for the children....

 

Now this thought is not for the purist (sometimes things just pop into my head) what if instead of fighting the "free" mentality that is growing rampant we can use that by selling advertising on a blog or website giving our work away for free? The advertisers would pay (I know first you have to have an audience) and people would read your book. Plus you could offer the book for sale if anyone wanted to buy it. I know I am rambling, just typing my thoughts as they pop in. Sorry. 

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Well, we could do like the drug dealers. The first chapter or two is free, you have to pay for the rest.

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1 hour ago, zx1ninja said:

Well, we could do like the drug dealers. The first chapter or two is free, you have to pay for the rest.

 

Actually, most retailers already do this. Amazon calls it "Look Inside." Up to 20% of your book is readable from the product page.

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17 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

Ouch!

 (Assuming this was a reaction to the Look Inside) That's not a bad thing. It's basically the "drug dealer" approach that Z mentioned - whetting the reader's appetite. So it's very important that your book opens with a strong hook.

 

For non-fiction, I would suspect that the Look Inside becomes problematic. Just don't give away any important information in the first couple of chapters. 😩     

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I have a Kindle and download a lot of free samples before I order a book. I think it is a good idea. Although like Accord64 says on non-fiction books they sometimes give away all that I needed to find in the first part of the book. One self help book “the 24 laws of storytelling” the free part gave all 24 of his “laws”.  

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