2nd jan, 2010

Piracy a nessecary evil?

On CNN Tech there is a nice piece on e-book piracy. The e-book version of the new Dan Brown bestseller out sold the paper version the first few weeks and together with emerging reader devices as Kindle it heralds the breakthrough of the e-book. Along with success comes piracy. The same Dan Brown bestseller was to be found in pirated form only 24 hours from the launch of the e-book. 


The article continues to investigate the piracy fear held by both authors and publishers, one person citing the “open source culture of the Internet” as a threat. This is of course a misunderstanding since open source has nothing to do with piracy. What is meant that when things can be found online people expect it to be free (as in no payment). Nevertheless it´s interesting how open source is being dragged into the piracy debate…not a good thing if you consider branding of the concept. 


In the end of the article the piracy problem are put in perspective by statistics showing that people buying e-books are 3 times more likely to buy books that other people (this is the same in the music area). Therefore the e-books may generate more revenue after all, and piracy is a nessecary evil. This however does not remove the problem that 100.000 people downloaded the new Dan Brown book without him getting any money. 


The response of the publishers and authors is to improve the technology (ie. DRM) which has created much controversy in the music business. The likely move will be to tie each book to a specific reader and have the reader go online to check if the content is legal. This of course (and rightly) will generate protests from consumers who under copyright law have permission to lend and sell their copy to others.


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