When I first got my Sony Reader I had a list of books that I wanted to download. As I quickly found out most of the books weren't available in Australia in ebook format and try as I might I just could not find them elsewhere on the web. The pirates, I assumed, hadn't really taken to books in the same way they had to movies and music.
A few experiences recently, however, have made me suspect that book piracy is becoming more prevalent. Firstly, I thought I'd have another look for Cornelius Ryan's epic account of D-Day, The Longest Day. The Longest Day isn't legally available as an ebook as far as I know and yet there at the top of my "Longest Day ebook" search was a text version of the book. Next I had to read Shantaram for a book club meeting. Shantaram is a monster of a book and I thought it would be handy to have it in ebook format instead. Shantaram is not available as an ebook (again, as far as I know) but low and behold a pirate copy from India popped up near the top of the search. I had a similar experience with a few other books as well among them the incredibly rare and expensive and very controversial Devil's Guard.
Book piracy is going to become a bigger and bigger problem for the publishing industry. eBooks are typically very small and can easily be emailed around. Most books are less than the size of a photo or a song. You can publish books on the web with very little trouble at all.
The other problem is that it isn't always clear for a lot of books whether they are in copyright or not. Copyright laws vary from country to country. A lot of books that are still in copyright in the US are out of copyright here in Australia. With the death of Solzhenitsyn today I thought I'd reread A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. There is a link to this text at the bottom of the Wikipedia page. This book was first published in 1963. Is this book in copyright or out? To be honest I'm not really sure.
Has anyone else noticed a rise in the availability of pirate books recently?