Monday, August 17, 2009

Internet Piracy of Books

Please stop internet piracy.

Copied from Karen Marie Monings Blog:

Lately I've been hearing from authors and publishers that internet piracy of books has become such a significant problem that it’s destroying careers. Midlist authors are losing contracts because so many people are stealing the book instead of paying for it. Great new voices are being lost before they even really get to begin. I may be a hopeless idealist, but I believe most people don't think "Gee, I'm stealing a book." Rather they think, "Well, if it was illegal, surely someone would stop me, so it must be okay."

Unfortunately the Internet defies anyone's efforts to stop it. For every ten illegal copies pulled down, a hundred more go up. Passing a book to a friend is one thing. We all do it. But uploading it so thousands, and in some case tens of thousands can copy it? What are these people thinking? Do they want the authors to lose their jobs? Do they think authors shouldn't get paid for their work? I don't get the mind-set. But then I've spent most of my life working two jobs.

I think people don’t realize the crippling impact of what they’re doing when they download an illegal copy of a book, so I’m going to share a bit of personal information.

At a single illegal download site last month, over 70,000 copies of three of my books had been downloaded. 70,000 at one site! Does it hurt me financially? Yes. Will I survive it? Maybe. It depends on how much worse it gets. (Then there's the whole emotional component: creating springs from joy; to watch what you've created get stolen nihilates that joy. It's a tough tangle of emotions to balance.) Will less-successful authors survive it? No, many of them won’t. Many of them will lose their contracts, or quit writing because they can’t afford it anymore, and some will give up the ghost simply because they can't bear to see their hard work stolen. It is theft.

I love libraries. I love used book stores. But uploading books illegally so hundreds of thousands of others can download them illegally is wrong. It’s a violation of copyright, it’s illegal and it must stop. Illegal downloads end up driving prices higher for the actual book, and consign wonderful new voices to oblivion before they even get a chance to perfect their craft. I don’t know which bothers me more: the idea that I could lose my job, or the thought that there are fabulous storytellers out there I may never get to read because their contracts get cancelled due to poor sales. I love you guys and know you aren’t the ones doing it.

What I’m asking is that you raise the awareness of someone you know that is doing it. Save the midlist writers that may be the next Stephanie Meyer or Stephen King, and give anonymous theft a kick in the petunia!

If you come across a site offering illegal downloads of my books, please let us know at manager@karenmoning.com.

4 comments:

  1. How do you feel about sites like www.bookmooch.com? Where people ship copies of books to each other for just the cost of shipping instead of buying books off sites like Amazon?

    I wonder how authors can change their business to use this to their benefit like the music industry had to do...

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  2. Thank for highlighting this post Evie...

    And I second tarasg voice - the epublishing industry need to come up with a viable solution and quick...

    E.H>

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  3. I love used books stores, libraries, library book sales and yard sale books. Plus, I use paperback swap. Everyone loans books to their friends and family. The problem is with uploading books illegally so hundreds of thousands of others can download them. Thousands per day. That's insane.

    I wish I had a cure all, but I don't. The only thing I'm certain of is I will definitely buy my favorite authors books, and if I enjoy a book from the library or pbs, I always buy it for my personal library because it makes me happy to see it on my shelf :D

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  4. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. I am glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose i am lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future…


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Thanks for the feedback. Be well, and happy reading!

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