Originally Posted by junkml
The people who would pirate a book when it's available as an ebook, probably were never going to buy it, anyway.
I would like to believe this is true but I'm a bit sceptical. I've met far too many people who see no reason to pay for their music when they can get it for free. They probably wouldn't have bought everything they downloaded if they couldn't get it free, but they would have bought some of it. This is especially the case with younger people. When ebooks become a larger market I'm concerned this may change. Maybe book culture is just different and people will show more concern for their beloved authors. After all, most of them make no other money from their writing but book sales. Musicians at least make money in other ways. It doesn't justify downloading illegally though I often hear it used as an excuse.
Also, right now most of the illegal copies of books available aren't very good and the community uploading them is more centered around the contribution of work by the individual uploaders. Scanning and OCR-ing is a big effort. Using a script to decrypt a book and post it isn't. It has no real value. Posting something that's available DRM-free is met with hostility because you're ripping off the good guys. If you want a good copy of something that's available as a commercial ebook, there's an incentive beyond respect for the author to actually pay for it. As the business of ebooks grows, this aspect of the culture may change. I
I totally agree with you that DRM is a bad idea. It will be broken and only punishes your paying customers. However, I still remain concerned about authors getting fairly compensated. I wish I had a good suggestion for how to do this but I don't. I hope that we can maintain that sense of community as this market grows. I want to believe that us book-lovers are special. Sadly, experience tells me that many people are willing to rationalize quite a bit when they can get something for nothing.