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!
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?