Ebook Piracy? It is a thing! A horrible, terrible thing!

The 21st century brings on a new world when it comes to reading. There are now a multitude of delivery systems to connect readers to content. An obvious change in delivery systems also leads to a change in how we read. Now on the internet, if someone wants news all they have to do is log into twitter. If you want entertainment, you have youtube and tumblr and a variety of other sites to cater to this need.

This is also the case when someone wants to read a novel. Not only are there now a plethora of platforms dedicated to delivering ebooks that you can purchase online, but there are numerous downloadable files and torrents of books and novels. This is similar to the problem that was being faced by the music industry with torrented music. If someone wants a novel and doesn’t want to pay for it, all they have to do it type in the title+pdf into the Google search bar and within a few minutes can be reading it for free. That is book piracy!

Image by Jonathan Auxier of TheScop.com

It might sound great to people who don’t want to spend money on books that they can get them for free online, but hey, authors are people too. Stealing these books not only hurts the publishing companies, publishers weekly reporting that “U.S. publishers across all categories lose $80 million to $100 million annually to piracy”, but it hurts the people who are creating this content.

Some of the people committing this theft might not realize that it is a problem, but that is no longer an excuse. The internet has been around long enough for the public to be cognizant of piracy. In this same breath, good news is that the publishing companies are fighting back, especially Harper Collins, who is- in the greatest sense of the phrase- “Not having any of it.” In this past September, Harper Collins announced that it would be brandishing all of their ebooks with a watermark to fight piracy.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to worry about ebook piracy, but for now we will have to wait and see what happens.


Publishers Weekly: What YA Publishers and Authors Can Do to Fight E-Book Piracy:


HarperCollins fights piracy:


Sad but interesting article on ebooks: Piracy safer than Purchase?



3 thoughts on “Ebook Piracy? It is a thing! A horrible, terrible thing!

  1. Allison Miehl February 6, 2015 / 2:06 am

    It’s interesting that people look up books online when they can easily find them at their local library (usually). What do you think about people who do the same thing with textbooks? With novels, pirating the book obviously takes away from the author, who deserves full credit and compensation for his or her work. But for textbook writers– and especially publishers, who profit the most from charging outrageous prices– it’s a different story. I would personally never pirate a textbook, but I’ve talked to people who do look up the PDF online for free rather than pay several hundred dollars for a book that they’ll only use for one class and never look at again. And I can’t necessarily say I blame them, when I think about how much it costs to go to college these days. On the other hand, the textbooks do still have authors who deserve credit and compensation for their work, so it’s hard to come to a certain decision. So basically- pirating eBooks is bad; people do it with textbooks too, which is not AS bad but is still bad.


  2. nastashatorrez February 17, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    This is such a great topic and deserves much more discussion as it will be an ever present problem facing us in this life filled with multiple mediums of technology. This is something that is currently present at UCF, many students can’t afford to be paying $300-$500 for one textbook, and although there are some that are offered online, the prices don’t seem to match. I think one of the greatest ideas that I have read on the publishing culture wordpress is renting e-books. Like the previous commenter above me stated, students might not want to buy a physical or e-book for just one class where they will never use it again, by allowing students to rent e-books this could save a lot of pirating that is currently happening throughout the United States.


    • jesslangone February 18, 2015 / 3:36 am

      I actually rent the majority of by textbooks on my kindle app, and I think this is a great discussion. I also think sometimes students pirate textbooks online because it is way cheaper. How do you feel about that? I know that sounds like a great alternative to having to pay $300+ for a textbook, but what are the social implications of this act? Does thinking it is okay to pirate a textbook equal thinking it is okay to pirate all ebooks? I don’t think so, but we are (broke) college students. I don’t think it is moral to pirate textbooks, but some people just look the other way when it comes to that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s