Is piracy a bad thing?

Originally posted on irevuo:

piracyStephen King’s latest release, Joyland, is already “circulating” the web as a pirated e-book, even though the book was intended to be released as a paperback only. This is only one of the numerous examples of books becoming available for free on the web without the author’s permission.

Piracy has been around ever since the invention of the Internet, and yet many people opt to encourage it, especially when it comes to the written word.

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3 comments on “Is piracy a bad thing?

  1. Nice piece. I have always believed piracy to be a grey area. On one hand, like you said it can be used effectively as a marketing tool. For example Game of Thrones (the tv adaptation) is one of the most pirated shows ever. They are embracing this, using the virality of the content to build a bigger fan base and sell merchadise and other related products. Also, a famous author like King is probably making more cash selling his works as adaptations (he’s had a ton of his work adapted), so where he loses to book piracy, he gains an audience anticipating the adaptation. The issue with piracy for me comes in withe the new, struggling independent artists (whether writer, musician or filmmaker). It’s tough to catch a break when you’re not getting any returns for what you produce. This topic is so complex. Nice read :)

  2. I am strongly against piracy, but if more authors were to give their books away digitally, that fan base _would only grow with time. Then if he or she really wanted to sell something then there would be a base for it. It’s actually a great marketing idea. I think a lot of the stigma comes from publishing houses.

  3. Forlorn Hope says:

    I agree 100% with everything you said exceptfor the last part. Piracy is not sstealing. Stealing is a very specific thing. If I steal your watch, you will no longer have a watch, or at least you will not have that particular time piece. But if I take pictures of your watch and then make an absolutely identical watch down to the last detail, the you will still have a watch. If I pirate your book, you still have the original, you still have the rights to the book, or at least your publisher does), so what have I stolen? If every illegal download could be equated to a lost sale, you would have a point. But as you yourself have written, a whole lot of people reading the book would not have bought it in the first place. So in the case of a person reading a pirated book he or she would not pay for, then there’s no financial loss and, definitel, no stealing.

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