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Old 02-20-2012, 04:42 AM   #1
carpetmojo
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Question Ebook piracy = £/$'S ?? I'm puzzled...

I know we do seem to bang on about piracy of everything, and I'm sorry if this has been discussed before, but one thing that seems to set the ebook piracy debate apart from the Music example, is that, as far as I can see, is that nobody seems to be making a great deal of cash out of it.
One reason perhaps being that enough legal stuff is transcribed badly enough to make potential buyers wary of hookey sounding material ?

I admit to my lack of familiarity with the complexities of ebook piracy - apart from the fact that it happens, and that authors can lose money thanks to it. I don't, for example, see many bootleg copies being offered for sale at Boot Sales or in the local papers.
Nor do I see reports of factories being discovered producing thousands of copies of stuff to be sold cheaply somehow , or pretending to be the real thing (i.e. forgeries) all over the world.
Which, of course, was, and still is, the case with music, and the majormotivation for the upheaval in the music industry, and it's reluctant "embracing" of the fact that computers and downloads existed in the general populace.
And better to be inside the tent.....than outside.....

Now, having done a limited bit of poking around, I haven't yet come up with anywhere that actually sells digital stuff for readers etc...
I can see that some cash could be made through dodgy advertising, or smuggling a few things onto ebay and the like, but have I missed something basic here ? Am I simply too tech-ignorant or just naive ?

[ I'm not looking for a "how to" I assure you, but just intrigued... ]

Or do ebook pirates in fact make piles of illegal money ?
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:08 AM   #2
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I have been told that in the back alleys of some major Chinese cities you can buy p-books that are produced cheaply from the electronic version, so it goes from p-e-p before money is made. There are some sites out there (any link would be instantly revoked) that does provide e-pub formatted books for a cheap price, if you do a search for To Kill a Mocking Bird and e-pub you might just encounter such places.

In my endeavor to learn more about this I once downloaded a 4 GB torrent with books. It is simply too much to handle if you are only looking for a few titles, most of them were appalling in quality, formatting and proofing. And as you correctly stated, it is hard to see how the seeder could make any money from the torrent. My initial assumption was that this was done by book lovers who wanted to spread some love, but no true book lover would hash up a text like that. I got the feeling that it was done by some Chinese teenager who didn't have a clue as to what a header or footer is.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:00 AM   #3
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The seeder does not make money, perhaps they do it for bragging rights, etc. The torrent site does make money and the download saves money.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:04 AM   #4
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And there are some sites that offer access thousands of titles that are essentially cons, just giving lists of torrents once you sign up.

And then there are the &*@#!@$ who charge for drm removal tools that are freely available to any friend of Apprentice Alf.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:35 AM   #5
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Proof that knowledge is power.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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There's a site that charges a subscription fee for unlimited downloads, judging by the old copy of one of mine they have on there they get their content from usenet. People sometimes ask about it here, so they obviously think it's a legal service. Others ask for voluntary donations, but unless donating gives you access to extra features I can't see many people doing it. The only other way to make money would be through advertising, but I doubt an ebook only service would attract enough advertisers to cover hosting fees never mind anything else.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:25 AM   #7
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Mmmm... so it seems that, primarily, the motivation isn't profit .......... or at least, nowhere near the scale of music.

Bound to be a bit of the "see, I can do it so I will ", middle/two finger/s, up yours about it, or the true (?) agin authority revolutionary, but some of the ones I found on my delve were pretty professional looking jobs - but if you're handy with the technology, a website isn't the tricky part, I suppose .......
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:13 AM   #8
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There is a lot of money in ebook piracy but it is wrapped up in other digital piracy.
Just check out the MegaUploads stories to see how digital piracy is monetized; Google banners and ads are their primary revenue source.
Other sites are usually by subscription and often invitation-only and not limited to torrent or usenet content. Especially now that commercial ebooks are available. There are also places you can buy DVDs worth of DeDRM'ed commercial ebooks just as you can buy DVDs worth of ripped CDs and commercial MP3s and inkjet-printed replicas of commercial software.

Pbook piracy, like software piracy, is rampant in entire regions of the planet, not just China. It is less obvious because it is delivered in the form of counterfeits sold at bazars, flea markets, and small shops, many of which don't even realize/care they are selling unauthorized versions of books any more than they realize/care that they might be selling counterfeit shoes, purses, or even cosmetics.

The market for aspirational replicas of luxury goods (and make no mistake: books *are* a luxury) is enormous and it doesn't limit itself to ripping off just the big guys (Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Rowling...) and it reaches everywhere, even the US and Europe.
http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2012...t-windows-cds/
http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...rfeit_CV_N.htm
http://fashionmakesitpossible.wordpr...fs-and-britto/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfeit_consumer_goods

Rest assured that there is *big* money being made off piracy in all its forms.
But the extent of *losses* to the creators is open to debate; some of the buyers of the pirated content probably would not be able to buy the legit version, but at least some would. And, in fact, some actually *think* they are buying legit goods, deeply discounted.
It isn't just the creators getting ripped-off.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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Pbook piracy is a bit widespread in my home country, Perú. There is a great essay by Daniel Alarcón on Granta about it: Life Among the Pirates.

BBC (chat with Daniel Alarcón)
The Guardian (pictures to accompany the essay)
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #10
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Interesting.
It's been a while but last I heard Argentina was tops in latin american book piracy, both e- and p-.
http://www.infosurhoy.com/cocoon/sai.../26/feature-03

Note that the biggest targets are *local and regional* authors not geo-limited foreign content.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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somewhere theres an ebook tony montana resting his kindle on the back of a naked lady.


i say let counterfeit goods be. its common knowledge you're generally getting sub-standard goods so let the fool and their money be parted. yea those $5 diesel jeans may have been a bargain but don't come crying when they dissolve in the rain. caveat emptor.

of course counterfeit meds probably aren't a good idea but let somebody enjoy their $20 Rolaxe watch, chances are they'd never be able to afford a genuine Rolex anyway.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:13 PM   #12
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... so let the fool and their money be parted.
Ralph Nader just put a contract out on you.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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The Peruvians pirated a book that doesn't exist yet? How fascinating.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #14
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Because they think everyone and themselves are entitled to someone else's property (Which they aren't)

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Old 02-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #15
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The big boys are in the mix, too:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/464843...ossen_reports/
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