Thursday, May 19, 2011

E-Book Pirates, NellaBlue, and Something Called Demonoid

I've written a few posts about pirating e-books in the past. And I've personally come to the conclusion that the people who do it have their reasons, they believe in those reasons, and some are willing to justify those reasons. I've tried to remain objective with each post, hoping to understand the mindset behind pirating e-books...or pirating anything else for that matter.

And I'm going to remain objective in this post, too. I'm not going to make any personal comments or draw any personal conclusions. But I do know for a fact that many authors do have strong opinions about this, especially new authors. These are authors who are working full time jobs, juggling families, and writing books and stories in their spare time. They work long into the night. Editors work long into the night as well. It's not uncommon for me to get a revise for a new book at midnight. And these hard working people don't like to think they are working for nothing.

There are also a lot of readers who get annoyed at e-book pirates, too. I receive letters from them once in a while as well. These readers feel that if they can pay for the books they read, so should everyone else. And in many cases, the e-mails I receive about e-book pirating from readers who do pay for all their books are far more aggressive than the letters I get from authors. Readers are consumers, not just book fans, which is why I'm constantly mentioning product details about my own books here.

I often receive e-mails and private massages from other authors and readers informing me that my work is being downloaded for free at places like Demonoid. Here's one I recently received I thought I'd share:

Subject: Pirated e-books
Hi Ryan, I just wanted to give you a heads up. I don't know if you saw my recent post but someone named NellaBlue on Demonoid is offering four of your works for free download. I ranted about it on my wall but since the majority of the works listed are yours, I wanted to let you know ASAP.


I don't even know what "Demonoid" is. I stopped doing google alerts a long time ago because they crammed up my in-box. There's not much I can say in a reply to the person who sent me this message, other than thank you for letting me know. Evidently, the people who are reading my books on pirate sites are fans. If they aren't, I'd hate to think they are downloading my books illegally for any other reason.

To be perfectly honest, I can't say that I'm not flattered that some people are taking this chance to pirate my books. It's an interesting position for any author to be placed. But the fact remains...aside from my ego or anyone's opinion...that pirating anything on the Internet is illegal. At least it is as far as I know. I'm not talking about whether or not e-book pirating is right or wrong, or whether or not e-book pirating can be justified or not. That's an argument that will continue until the end of time. I'm just talking about the objective legal aspects here, not the emotional aspects.

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