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.

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Comments on “Paulo Coelho Books Banned In Iran… So He Offers Them As A Free Download”

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18 Comments
Mike says:

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?

Darryl says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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”.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

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.

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