Book Pirates And The People Who've Never Heard Of Them
from the broad-brush dept
Found over at Geek.com is a column from someone who has been accused of being an “ebook pirate” for downloading scanned books. In his defense, he makes the very reasonable argument that he only downloaded books he already owned or out-of-print books. He also mentions that in the case when Stephen King released an ebook well before coming out with the printed version, he (and many others) went out and bought the printed version even though they already had the ebook. One of his “accusers” suggested that people downloading free ebooks take away the incentive for publishers to put old books back in print, but this argument is dissected easily. The vast majority of books are out-of-print and have no hope of getting back into print. Your best bet is to hunt around used bookstores for a copy – and if you find it, the end result for the publisher and the author is the same as if you downloaded the ebook. Of course, you could take this argument even further. By downloading out-of-print books, new readers can discover authors they like, and later buy their newer books when they come out. Those older books act as advertising for their newer books. It’s only those who look at these things in the short-term “must-profit-off-of-everything” way that don’t seem to understand the potential of using “free” items that cannot be sold any more as promotional items.