ebook piracy

E-book piracy has been a big issue lately on some of the author e-lists I’m on. Children’s and YA authors are finding pirated copies of their books available as free downloads to people–sometimes when no ebook copy of that book has been available.

It seems that pirated copies are sometimes created by scanning the actual hardcopy of the book, then creating an ebook from the scanned text.

Some people think that reading a pirated ebook is just like taking a book out of the library. Other people believe that it is outright stealing.

The anonymous ebook pirater in this article on ebook piracy makes some interesting points, such as that not everyone who downloads the book would have bought the book. But does that give them the right to download it–illegally–for free?

Sure, not everyone who downloaded the pirated ebook would have bought the actual ebook or book. But some of them would. And that means lost sales for the author. Authors who work hard to produce powerful, creative books with soul.

If ebook piracy hurts authors, how can it be okay? Most authors barely make enough to live on (or just don’t) as it is. I think we need creative people. We need books, art that moves us. And to do that, we need to support writers. (And yes, I’m one of them.) So, if you want to read a book and don’t have the money, go to the library. Otherwise–please buy the book!

What do you think?

Check out YA author Laurie Halse Anderson’s great post on this issue!

Also read Sara Zarr’s response! (scroll to the bottom of the post to read.)

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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8 Responses to ebook piracy

  1. Jen Robinson says:

    I think it’s wrong, plain and simple. eBook piracy, like music piracy, is theft. It’s taking something that you want in a way that doesn’t compensate the creators or producers. I think it’s a sad commentary on our society that so many people truly don’t GET that it’s wrong. But it is.

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  4. I pay for my ebooks. All of them. And I want to be treated with reasonable fairness when I use digital media, with reasonable assurance that I do not end in some Kafka-like situation where I can no longer access any of the ebook I *paid for*.

  5. I’ve very glad to hear that you buy your ebooks! And yes, I very much understand wanting to always be able to access the content you pay for. I do, too.

  6. Creators deserve to control the distribution of their creations, and deserve to be remunerated for their work. What makes a journalist/accountant/tradesman/IT geek’s job more valuable than an artist? Absolutely nothing.

  7. Karen, I agree. Creators’ work is just as important.

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