Paulo Coelho Books Banned In Iran... So He Offers Them As A Free Download

from the good-for-him dept

There are few successful authors who have jumped in and embraced what the online world allows you to do more than Paulo Coelho. Three years ago, we wrote about his efforts to "pirate" his own books and how he found that it only served to help his sales. He's also talked up the importance for authors of setting ideas free to help them spread. He's also gone even further than that with cool experiments like having his fans make a movie out of one of his books, via a sort of crowdsourcing methodology.

Esahc points us to a recent situation in which Coelho heard that his books were suddenly being banned in Iran for no reason (despite having been published there for over a dozen years), and his immediate response was to rush to get versions of his books that have been translated into Farsi up on his site for free downloads. He also sought the assistance of the Brazilian government to find out why the books were banned (as he notes, nothing changed in the books, so it doesn't make much sense) and, eventually, the Iranian government claimed that it's not censoring his books, even though his official publisher in the country claims otherwise. Either way, it's interesting to see that his immediate response to being censored was to release the books for free as quickly as possible.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Joe Publius, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 6:13am

    Forcing Circulation with Free

    If he was really savvy, he'd have some friends start seeding the book in file sharing networks.

    You could block a single website, but once information is loose in distributed networks it's dug in like a tick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 6:24am

      Re: Forcing Circulation with Free

      he doesn't need to do that.

      once a good quality digital version of a book / movie / music / [insert anything you might want to share here] is found online it will spread like wild fire.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 6:28am

    banned is the goal

    Getting banned should be the goal. People will read your books more once they find out there banned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Nice Job

    He should add a link so people can make optional donations to him for the free book.

    Free = $$$$$

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mike, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    If he is the rights holder this has nothing to do with piracy. Anyone under copyright law is entitled to give their works away for free should they choose to do so.

    You are not, however, entitled to take them without compensation if that is instead their choice.

    It's about creator's choice. More of it, not less.

    Why is this concept so hard for some to grasp?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

      Re:

      It's because "giving away your book" isn't anywhere near as cool as "self piracy". That implies a whole bunch of cool-kids things like being on the inside of some sort of global organization.

      TD has a very hard time to see the difference between "I chose to give it away" and "a random fan decided I was giving it away".

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 20th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

      Re:

      If he is the rights holder this has nothing to do with piracy.

      It could be. I'm not familiar with the copyright laws in Brazil, but he may run afoul if he sold exclusive distribution rights to a third party. I know quite a few artists who have had problems with their publishers when they tried to give away their works for free, and I suspect that he might have a similar problem, especially if the US Government has helped Brazil write their copyright laws recently.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

      Re:

      Everybody is reading Paulo Coelho for free, people who don't hold the copyright for his work are distributing it and he is fine with that and making more money then he has before, what part of that you don't understand?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    He probably signed copyright to his publisher.

    There are few successful authors who have jumped in and embraced what the online world allows you to do more than Paulo Coelho

    Gee Mike, Lucky you dont write for a living !!!

    But you are right about one thing !

    There are few successful authors who have jumped in and embraced what the online world....

    yes, for good reason too..

    If he has had his book published by a publisher, then he no longer has the copyright to his own work, at least for the duration of the publishing contract.

    He cannot sign a publishing contract, and then go off and sell copies in competition with his self, or his publisher.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    freak (profile), Jan 20th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    I believe there's an error here:

    "He also sought the assistance of the Brazilian government to find out why the books were banned [...]" Should that be Iranian? Seeing as Iran was where the books were banned?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

      Re: I believe there's an error here:

      For the Brazilian government to use its diplomatic channels to probe the question with their Iranian counterparts.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2011 @ 1:32pm

      Re: I believe there's an error here:

      Nope I'm pretty sure it was the Brazilian government he talked to cause I just read that same thing on his blog.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    KB, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:34am

    I love the self-piracy bit.

    I also love the reason behind him doing this - someone can't get his books so he makes them available.

    Putting aside copyright and commerical issues, surely this is a great bit of PR on his part anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This