Pirating e-books is not a new trend. Right after ebooks hit big time, torrent content became something of a norm, spoken about in hushed tones by readers the world over. ‘Read books for free’ became a cool thing.
I recently read this article from an author about her frustrations with piracy.
She questioned readers’ conscience: how could anyone steal from an author who has worked so very hard to write a book?
Not surprisingly, most authors defended her stand, and (some) readers defended themselves and the practice of piracy. The comments on the article are almost as enlightening and depressing as the article itself, for different reasons.
“Oh. You want stories in your favorite genres by your favorite authors and you want them today, without having to pay for them, regardless of their listed price. Yeah, that’s entitlement. And when you download them illegally from a pirate site or torrent, that’s stealing. Let’s just get the terms right, okay?
Come to think of it, the notion that books should be free might be a big factor in why many publishing houses are dropping their lines of cozy mysteries–they simply aren’t profitable enough, despite the existing fan base. Think about that.”
She’s made an impassioned plea on behalf of all authors: do not steal our work. There are various ways of reading books for free or for small change: libraries, Bookbub, Kindle Unlimited to name but a few. But like I said in a comment to her, writers will always be shortchanged because there are so many of us who will write despite being mostly underpaid or unpaid, for the passion of it. We end up ensuring that supply is always higher than demand, so we draw the short stick each time, whether as an indie or a trad-pubbed author.
If you’re an author, here’s a way to find out if any of your work is plagiarized or being sold or downloaded without your permission by people who want to read books for free.
What about you? Are you a reader, or a writer, or both? As a reader would you use torrent to read free books? As a writer, have you had your work stolen and or used in an unauthorized way? What have you done about it? Should people be able to read books for free, by essentially stealing them online?
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