Thursday, March 6, 2014
Illegal downloads are fine because...
___ authors understand that their real problem is obscurity, not the piracy of their books.
___ authors want, most of all, to share their work with as many people as possible.
___ some authors don’t mind illegal downloads at all.
___ some authors report increased sales as a result of the book being made free to anyone who wants it.
___ someone who illegally downloads a book and enjoys it will be sure to pay for the sequel, which will be published even if sales of the first book are low thanks to illegal downloads. So because of piracy, the author has gained a honest fan… somehow.
___ e-books can be expensive. If you consider things expensive, it’s acceptable to take them without paying for them.
___ only publishers are financially affected by piracy, and they’re all big corporations which can afford the loss. They probably use it as a tax writeoff anyway.
___ it’s not like you’re taking a physical copy, or something which can’t be replaced.
___ if you wouldn’t pay for the book under any circumstances, the author has no grounds for complaint because he wouldn’t have been paid under any circumstances, so you might as well go ahead and download it.
___ it’s like borrowing a book from a friend. The only difference is that with unauthorized file sharing, you get to have your own free copy. But otherwise, it’s just like sharing a book. Sharing is good.
___ people need to read the book for free to know if they want to spend money on it, and libraries aren’t an option here, for some reason.
___ people should have what they want, when they want it.
___ people are going to do it no matter what anyone says or does, so authors might as well accept it.
I've seen all these used in favor of illegal downloading, but this article by agent Rachelle Gardner is a good summary of what authors can do about it. Most of the time, I try not to think about my work being stolen. Today, though, I noticed a thread about the topic on Absolute Write and decided to list the reasons why.
But this is my single reason why not. I spent a great deal of time and effort on my books. I think I deserve to get paid for that. Unless it's by my choice, I don't think I deserve to have them downloaded without my getting any compensation at all.
And that goes for all authors, everywhere.