Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
Not sure about the statistics in Western cultures; it's why I referred to the Internet rather than to specific countries.
On the Internet, it's relatively easy to see how "free" e-books have gained popularity... whether you look at torrents, newsgroups, or IRC - the volume of available e-books of all kinds has increased substantially over the past few years.
But just because there is a culture of "piracy" in Russia/Argentina/Peru etc, why are the publishers in the Netherlands/US/UK harrassing their *paying* customers?
In software, Microsoft and the other big companies focus the bulk of their efforts where the "pirates" operate, and especialy where the *commercial* "pirates" operate. They throw out DRM measures to discourage casual piracy but DRM is not a foil for the commercial operators. Those they go after with private investigators, sting operations, police actions, lawsuits...
But publishing, instead of going after the sites profiting from "piracy", go after their own customers (one or twice removed).
And all without showing much evidence tying those buyers to the activities elsewhere. Which may not even be impacting *their* product.
The backlash should be more than political.
(The biggest targets of video piracy are HBO and Showtime, for example, yet it is the studios/networks with the crappy unpopular shows that whine the most about piracy. Makes you wonder if it's not all just a smokescreen to hide their own lack of performance, no?)