Originally Posted by Joykins
Short of the situationally unaware, we KNOW that downloading ebooks from the darknet is illegal. Which is what the original article is talking about and I don't believe that most people of my generation are so naive as to think otherwise.
And what I'm saying is that contrary to popular belief, The Darknet isn't LABELED "The Darknet".
I've never used torrent in my life, and wouldn't know where to start if I wanted to, but I guarantee you that if you google just about any book ever, you will find a site to download an electronic copy of that book within the top ten google results.
Here's an example of a book I want to buy in ebook form:
Is this site reputable? I have no easy way to tell. I CAN tell you that the price varies from $13 on Amazon for a mobi version (no longer available - why? Issues with publishing rights? Red flag? I don't know!) to $17 on ebooks.com for pdf to $68
dollars on B&N for epub!!
If I find a website hosting it for free, how do I know if it's a legal copy or not? The answer isn't immediately obvious - this PARTICULAR book is a quite literal "book of the webpage" that the author first published in paper form for people who wanted a hardcopy. I can easily imagine a scenario where the author put the ebook out for free download, seeing as how it's ALREADY available for free on his website because it IS his website.
I'm rather frustrated at this meme that pirated copies are clearly marked with a skull and crossbones image on the download page. If nothing else, there are a lot of "gosh, I thought this would be public domain" books out there (like "Brave New World") that actually - surprisingly in some cases - aren't.
If I was a publisher, I would not expect every person on earth to thoroughly research whether or not ebooks.com is a reputable seller or whether or not the "J.K" on Amazon who uploaded Harry Potter for sale a few years back is the real deal.
We need an easily accessible database, fed by the publishers, containing a list of their titles, whether or not they are legally published in ebook form, and (ideally) links to those sites. Until then, we shouldn't be surprised if people accidentally download illegal copies from Google and Amazon.
EDITED TO ADD:
And if that "Brave New World" copy I just bought on Amazon is an illegal copy, then Amazon is now officially The Darknet too. Please notify them so that they can incorporate the skull and crossbones into their logo.
The real question is whether or not the people who buy it from Amazon are guilty of anything. I suspect the publisher will feel differently than the readers/buyers.