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Old 05-12-2009, 10:09 AM   #31
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I was going to write a big blurb inprired by Paolo Coelho's attitude to eBooks, PirteBay and DRM, but then just thought it might be better to let Paolo put his views forward.

Check out his site and free eBook offers:

Also some other links on:

That last is a blog that supports internet sharing of his books and has little gems like the following:

This week we are going to have the final veredict on the Pirate Bay, the website that allows sharing contents in internet. Yesterday I was browsing internet on pirates, and this is what I found out:

“Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the “golden age of piracy” – from 1650 to 1730 – the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage thief that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda-heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: pirates were often rescued from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why? What did they see that we can’t? In his book Villains of All nations, the historian Marcus Rediker pores through the evidence to find out. If you became a merchant or navy sailor then – plucked from the docks of London’s East End, young and hungry – you ended up in a floating wooden Hell. You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, and if you slacked off for a second, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the Cat O’ Nine Tails. If you slacked consistently, you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains – and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century.” They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed “quite clearly – and subversively – that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal navy.”

The Pirate Coelho supports Pirate Bay!!!
Paolo has become a big proponent of "piracy" in the form of file-sharing via bittorrent as a means of marketing his eBooks. He seems to be a practical kind of guy, and he can see that regardless of the meagre efforts of crappy systems like DRM, eBooks will be stripped of this and shared whether he and his publishers want it or not. In addition, he claims to have actually improved sales because of file-sharing his books via bittorrent. Check out this article (quoted below):

Paulo Coelho Supports The Pirate Bay

If anti-piracy lobbyists are to be believed, all content creators hate The Pirate Bay and other torrent sites. The truth is obviously more balanced. In fact, some of the most creative minds are BitTorrent users themselves, including best selling author Paulo Coelho, who offered to travel to Sweden to testify in favor of The Pirate Bay.

Novelist Paulo Coelho has sold millions of books, including the all time bestseller “The Alchemist” that sold more than 65 million copies worldwide. It is less known that he is also an avid BitTorrent user and that he admitted to pirating his own books.

Coelho believes that file-sharing is a good thing that can be used as a means of promotion for writers like himself. To put his money where his mouth is, he volunteered to support The Pirate Bay when they were up for trial. So, where the prosecution had to beg for support from artists, The Pirate Bay is backed by one of the greatest novelists.

“I am openly supporting their site. I even volunteered to travel to Sweden to discuss the case of open contents, but I never got a reply from them,” Coelho told TorrentFreak. It is a shame that his email went unnoticed, because it could’ve been of great help. Coelho believes that sharing is in people’s nature, and that it’s not something that has to be stopped by law.

“Since the dawn of time, human beings have felt the need to share - from food to art. Sharing is part of the human condition. A person who does not share is not only selfish, but bitter and alone,” Coelho told TorrentFreak in an earlier interview, explaining why he decided to share his books on sites such as The Pirate Bay.

Publishing his books on The Pirate Bay worked out really well for Coelho. He actually sold tens of thousands of extra books because he shared them on BitTorrent. “I do think that when a reader has the possibility to read some chapters, he or she can always decide to buy the book later,” Coelho said, and he is not alone in that assessment.
And this one for more info:

Alchemist Author Pirates His Own Books

Paulo Coelho, the best-selling author of “The Alchemist”, is using BitTorrent and other filesharing networks as a way to promote his books. His publishers weren’t too keen on giving away free copies of his books, so he’s taken matters into his own hands.

Coelho’s view is that letting people swap digital copies of his books for free increases sales. In a keynote speech (embedded below) at the Digital, Life, Design conference in Munich he talked about how uploading the Russian translation of “The Alchemist” made his sales in Russia go from around 1,000 per year to 100,000, then a million and more. He said:

"In 2001, I sold 10,000 hard copies. And everyone was puzzled. We came from zero, from 1000, to 10,000. And then the next year we were over 100,000. [...]

I thought that this is fantastic. You give to the reader the possibility of reading your books and choosing whether to buy it or not. [...]

So, I went to BitTorrent and I got all my pirate editions… And I created a site called The Pirate Coelho.

He’s convinced - and rightly so - that letting people download free copies of his books helps sales. For him the problem is getting around copyright laws that require him to get the permission of his translators if he wants to share copies of his books in other languages.

So is Coelho just seeding torrents of his books? That’s just the beginning. He took it one step further and, as quoted above, set up a Wordpress blog, Pirate Coelho, where he posts links to free copies of his books on filesharing networks, FTP sites, and so on. He says it had a direct impact on sales:

"Believe it or not, the sales of the book increased a lot thanks to the Pirate Coelho site…"

In his speech he talks about how the Internet is changing language and books, and how online “piracy” and BitTorrent have helped him not only be more widely read, but also sell more books! It’s a must watch.
If more writers like Paolo took control of their eBook destinies we might all be better off. What's that they say, when the revolution comes the lawyers will be the first ones lined up and shot? I hope it's the music, movie and publishing industry lawyers.
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