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Old 07-02-2010, 11:00 AM   #106
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I'll definitely have to check out The Friday Challenge... before this thread, I'd never heard of it!
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:14 PM   #107
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Good luck Steve.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:47 PM   #108
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I think there is a generational problem with this conversation. I do think that a lot of those under, say, forty, don't have any idea that the paradigm they see falling right now isn't all that old. Many of the elements they cite as "new" are actually older models. What goes around comes around.

And I've also noticed among my students that ten years ago "Ooo, free stuff!" was in. But it's very different among the youngest generation. This group has seen a little of what happens when the economy suffers. They like open source, but they don't assume a free lunch. They seem to understand better that there is an economic cost to everything, even if they don't pay it directly themselves.

And maybe that's part of what is missing from this discussion. People talk about giving and taking as if one can happen without the other. It can't. They are flip sides of the same thing.

Camille
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:37 AM   #109
Over
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I believe the difference between now and then is just a matter of scale.

Before someone could lent his book to several friends and even sell it. Now he can share it with dozens and hundreds, even people he doesn't know about. Although consider that a book lent by a friend is more likely to be read, than just a download in the middle of a 100 in a torrent. I believe most pirates download just because they can, not reading 1% of what they download.

On the other hand, a writer can reach MUCH more people, easily and with less middlemen. Get more exposure, having a much wider profit margin.

Again, on the other hand, more and more authors try their luck. There's no market for millions of writers. And with forums, blogs and lack of proper marketing from most inexperient authors, the good are easily separated from the mediocre or bad.

That all just to say that the more potential, the more risks as well. Those who only worry about the risks won't explore as well the potential, the possibilities, sealing their own coffin. And then blame the pirates.

I truly believe that people will do the right thing, if they think it's good and fair enough. We live in times where everyone is trying to take advantage of the other. Where big compnies see the consumers as cattle, and just liek any cattle, it's meant to be controled and optimally explored.

The problem is that we're not cattle. We can't be controled. But you can court us, convince us
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #110
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Again, on the other hand, more and more authors try their luck. There's no market for millions of writers. And with forums, blogs and lack of proper marketing from most inexperient authors, the good are easily separated from the mediocre or bad.
It seems to me that, with so many writers, the good writers are NOT easily separated from the bad. There may be better resources for doing so in the future, but I don't see that working too well yet.

As far as people doing the right thing: It seems to depend on circumstances. People are more likely to do the right thing in public, especially among friends or stangers who may look disfavorably on them. Alone, or with people that they believe are sympathetic to their behavior, they are more likely to do whatever they think they can get away with. That's why piracy can be so pervasive, because it can be done privately, in forums filled with like-minded strangers, and no one nearby to condemn the behavior.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:50 PM   #111
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Although consider that a book lent by a friend is more likely to be read, than just a download in the middle of a 100 in a torrent. I believe most pirates download just because they can, not reading 1% of what they download.
That's the thing a lot of people aren't getting (most of them in the publishing industry).

If someone reads one book a week, which is probably far more than the average person does, that 100-book bundle is two years worth of reading (during which time, of course, they've more than likely acquired even more). I just went poking around some torrent sites (now I'm all sticky!) and bundles of 1000, 1500, and more seem to be a more common size. Also, those are the ones more likely to contain books by non-famous authors like Steve here; it seems you need a bestseller or two to merit your own personal piracy.

I did a bit of googling, and after sorting through hits on MobileRead threads, I finally found "Verdant Skies" on a torrent site. It's in a bundle of about 350 books, apparently an update pack for some bigger collection. (yes, I know that's undoubtedly only one of many, but this is the first time I've tried to find a pirated ebook, so cut me a break here) They're all PDF, by the way. Ick. Anyway, it's in a bundle with authors like Stephen King, Todd McCaffrey, etc. The chances that anyone who downloads that is going to read "Verdant Skies" are, frankly, slim to none (unless they mistake Steve Jordan for Robert Jordan). It's just stuck to stuff that people really want. In fact, the books in that bundle are so disparate that I found only a couple of dozen that I would read, were I to download them, and at least a third of those were books I already own on dead trees.

It goes back to the teenage warez d00d comparison: just because someone has the file (be it Verdant Skies or Photoshop CS5) doesn't mean they'd have bought it at full price, or at any price, if they couldn't obtain an illicit copy. That bundle of books I was examining would be seven years' reading for our "average" book-a-week reader. So if they download a similar batch of books just once a year, only one out of seven of the books in that bundle will get read at all. And the odds are pretty low that a book from some obscure author will be one of them.

P.S. Steve, you've got a pretty cynical view of life if you think that the only reason people will be honest is because they're afraid of being caught (legally or socially). You are extremely wrong about thinking that people are more likely than not to behave dishonestly behind closed doors. Were that the case, society would have collapsed long ago.

Last edited by Worldwalker; 07-03-2010 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:07 PM   #112
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It's a fabulous time to be a writer and I'm not going to complain one bit! Nowhere I'd rather be, no other way I'd rather being writing!!

(Thank God I don't have to use a typewriter. I edit faaar more than I write. Far more. There isn't enough paper in the world....)

Maria
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:20 PM   #113
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Frankly Worldwalker, I'll consider it a sign of success if anyone bothers to torrent my stuff. (As far as I know, the people doing torrents haven't noticed me yet.)

- M.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:22 PM   #114
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I'm only halfway through this thread, but I have to butt in now.

DRM doesn't work. I'll say it again. DRM doesn't work.

The computer game industry learned that in the early years of the home computer. Their disc protection schemes were broken within days of being offered. Even hardware schemes (creating hard bad sectors on floppys) were broken.

Every DRM scheme for ebooks has been broken. The only thing that has resulted is the aggravation of legitimate users.
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Old 07-03-2010, 02:09 PM   #115
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The only thing that has resulted is the aggravation of legitimate users.
as i said as i said as.... ah ok i haven't noticed the "halfway" maybe my post is behind this mark
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:24 PM   #116
Steven Lyle Jordan
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P.S. Steve, you've got a pretty cynical view of life if you think that the only reason people will be honest is because they're afraid of being caught (legally or socially). You are extremely wrong about thinking that people are more likely than not to behave dishonestly behind closed doors. Were that the case, society would have collapsed long ago.
What you call cynical... I call observation of human history. Go figure.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:00 PM   #117
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Look up the wallet experiment.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:24 PM   #118
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I'm only halfway through this thread, but I have to butt in now.

DRM doesn't work. I'll say it again. DRM doesn't work.

The computer game industry learned that in the early years of the home computer. Their disc protection schemes were broken within days of being offered. Even hardware schemes (creating hard bad sectors on floppys) were broken.

Every DRM scheme for ebooks has been broken. The only thing that has resulted is the aggravation of legitimate users.
Truthfully, if DRM did work, I'd use it for my books. I don't happen to think it works, so I don't use it. Do I think some people steal? Yes. Do I think some people steal for the sake of stealing? Yes. Do torrent sites hurt authors? I think so.

Do these questions have anything to do with whether DRM works? Not really.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:28 PM   #119
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P.S. Steve, you've got a pretty cynical view of life if you think that the only reason people will be honest is because they're afraid of being caught (legally or socially). You are extremely wrong about thinking that people are more likely than not to behave dishonestly behind closed doors. Were that the case, society would have collapsed long ago.
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What you call cynical... I call observation of human history. Go figure.
I think it is fair to say most people would say they are honest. The problem comes with the interpretation of the word honest. If people believe there is nothing wrong with downloading a copy of a book, song, movie or whatever for their reading, listening, viewing pleasure without paying for it, then they'll do it and think those that say it is wrong are mad. Those that think that this behaviour is wrong (and I include myself in that camp) need to change peoples views and explain why there should be payment for what they've received.

And I'm sure we can all think of many things that are illegal, but that people do, but also of things that historically were wrong but that society has now decided are okay and through changes of expectation and law this has changed.

One could argue that we are now at a (slowly changing) nexus with regards to the value of digital representations. And I have no idea which way it will go, or what the consequences of it will be....
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #120
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Look up the wallet experiment.
Nah. I'm on vacation. Otherwise, I'd give you links to any number of experiments that back me up.

Of course, those are experiments, carried out in controlled conditions.

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