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View Poll Results: Ebook piracy and your thoughts
Who takes e-books for free, actually work for a living? 10 45.45%
Who works for a living believe they deserve every penny of what they get? 8 36.36%
Would you work for free if you won't be paid? 9 40.91%
Should strangers dictate author's wages? 13 59.09%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-11-2007, 12:46 PM   #1
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Ebook Piracy

Ebook piracy is a hot topic and a poll has been suggested, so here it is. You can select multiple options as you see fits the situation.
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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This ought to be good...
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:04 PM   #3
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The questions are poorly worded. A "checkbox" poll needs to have clear "I agree" answers; this poll does not.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:08 PM   #4
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Well, the problem is that these are all misleading questions, not really a poll that will reflect what people think about ebook piracy (and what constitutes it).

2-3 don't actually have anything to do with piracy except as a way of mispresenting demographics and the 4th is ultra-misleading in that - that's the way it is NOW. Strangers do dictate an author's wage, by voting with their pocketbooks on if they should or should not buy a book.

Although I think that the question is supposed to suggest a 'pay what you think this book is worth' method? Which, personally, is one that always strikes me as particularly bad.

I think the real questions center around:

1. If people believe format-shifting of ebooks is piracy or not.

2. What to do if there is no authorized electronic copy.

3. The 'is there a lost sale if I'd never have bought it to begin with' theory.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:09 PM   #5
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<snicker> I love question 4. I worked for the same company for 38 years, and strangers ALWAYS decided my wages. I expect most folks could say the same.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:10 PM   #6
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Do some of the Qs need clarification?

Q1 - don't most of us take ebooks for free (from here if nowhere else)?

Q4 - Authors get 'wages'? (In the UK, wages are payments per hour worked, that are usually paid to an employee once a week. They're generally decided by the employer (and union if relevant).)
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:13 PM   #7
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I don't like any of the options.

I don't see the point of the last one. It's a truism for most authors. Should strangers dictate author's wages? Most of the people who buy your books will be strangers, so the point is beyond debate.

I have better questions:
If a title is not available to buy in electronic form, and you download it; is it stealing? Would your position change if you own a paper copy?

What if the title is not available in any form (paper or electronic)? Is it still stealing? If so, how would you propose that it be paid for?
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:56 PM   #8
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My answer to all questions is "it depends". I thinkt it is strange if people can answer them. Are they formulated from an libertarian viewpoint? It occured to me that I might have been debating libertarians here without knowing it and since that is usually meaningless I always want to know in advance if this is the case so I do not have to participate in the debate.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:23 PM   #9
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I'd love to take the poll but I don't understand the choices. If you could reword them into complete sentences (questions), it might help.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:26 PM   #10
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I think these are what's called "leading questions". You're not supposed to answer them, you're supposed to read the poll and have a mighty sense of righteous indignation that anyone would consider depriving the poor authors of their 'wages' ;-)
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:34 PM   #11
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This poll makes absolutely no sense to me.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:50 PM   #12
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Heres my poll
This is this the worst poll ever? -click here 0
This is the second worst poll ever - click here 0


I think this poll represents a fair choice of opinions
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:31 PM   #13
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I'll answer the third item: I do a lot of work for free, with no expectation of compensation. For example, right now I'm running a web-based shop selling t-shirts and other swag for one of my favorite authors, Steven Brust, who's having some financial troubles. All proceeds go to him-- I don't take a penny, even though the designs are mine and I've spent many hours of work on them. The shop has been up for 3 weeks and is doing fairly well -- he'll get a nice check after the holidays. (See the shop at http://www.cafepress.com/dragaera -- international customers welcome!)

Mr. Brust has been kind enough to send me several autographed books as a thank you for this work, which I appreciate, but I didn't ask for this compensation and would have done the work regardless.

Now, should it be relevant that while I have Mr. Brust's work in paper (new editions when possible), there are no legal ebook editions, so I've obtained scanned versions of these books from "elsewhere"? My books are mostly packed in the basement, inaccessible in the small house I now occupy. These are books I like to re-read. Mr. Brust would like to make ebook editions available, but his publisher is Tor and the rights are in question. I don't have time to scan and proof these books myself-- I'm spending all my "extra time" running this web shop.

Anyone want to judge my morality?
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:37 PM   #14
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This has to be the most confusing poll ever posted on the internet...ever.
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:44 PM   #15
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Find out who has the rights to the books, Brust or Tor, and ask them whether the books were authorized to be scanned, and free copies given out. And you'll have your answer.

If I write a new novel, and I sign the rights over to a publisher who decides they will not authorize e-book copies, even I have no right to give you a copy. No one does, except the rights owner. If I retained those rights, I can give you an e-book without hesitation, whether the publisher likes it or not.

Whether you work for someone for pay, or gratis, they are not allowed to pay you or give you something which is not legally theirs to give.
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