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Old 09-23-2017, 08:40 AM   #1
PandathePanda
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EU Piracy Report

Quote:
For other industries, where sales were not found to have been displaced or were positively affected by piracy, consumer satisfaction with pricing was greatest.

“For books, music and games, prices are at a level broadly corresponding to the willingness to pay of illegal downloaders and streamers. This suggests that a decrease in the price level would not change piracy rates for books, music and games but that prices can have an effect on displacement rates for films and TV-series,” the study concludes.

So, it appears that products that are priced fairly do not suffer significant displacement from piracy. Those that are priced too high, on the other hand, can expect to lose some sales.
https://torrentfreak.com/eu-piracy-r...arency-170922/
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:55 PM   #2
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That has always been a factor on anything.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:16 PM   #3
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The article linked in the first post has a link to the original report, but in case anybody's wondering:

Full EU report
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:16 AM   #4
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Of course, the number of sales lost to piracy tends to be a purely speculative venture. Way back before linux first came out, I knew a guy who wrote a unix like shell for windows. It was actually a very clever piece of coding. He didn't sale much of it though. He was absolutely positive that everyone and his brother was pirating his program, but the truth is that as clever as the code might be, it only had a very limited market.

Marketers tend to blame piracy when they don't get the sales levels they projected, but I suspect the real issue is that they misjudged the market. Of course, it's pretty hard for many people to admit they made a mistake, so they look for rationals. In general, piracy is common in groups where the idea of copyright isn't accepted - kids and teens, many non western countries. Pricing is rarely a factor in such cases. They want it free, or they want to make money by selling it to other people.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Of course, the number of sales lost to piracy tends to be a purely speculative venture. Way back before linux first came out, I knew a guy who wrote a unix like shell for windows. It was actually a very clever piece of coding. He didn't sale much of it though. He was absolutely positive that everyone and his brother was pirating his program, but the truth is that as clever as the code might be, it only had a very limited market.

Marketers tend to blame piracy when they don't get the sales levels they projected, but I suspect the real issue is that they misjudged the market. Of course, it's pretty hard for many people to admit they made a mistake, so they look for rationals. In general, piracy is common in groups where the idea of copyright isn't accepted - kids and teens, many non western countries. Pricing is rarely a factor in such cases. They want it free, or they want to make money by selling it to other people.
I think there is no 'one size fits all' model for piracy. Some don't want to pay at all, some can't afford, some can't get a product legally for whatever reason, etc. Probably there are as many reasons for it as there are people doing it.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:50 PM   #6
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One reason some people pirate is because they cannot get the eBook legally. It's either not available due to geo-restrictions or it's not available as an eBook at all.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PandathePanda View Post

from Panda Quote:
"For other industries, where sales were not found to have been displaced or were positively affected by piracy, consumer satisfaction with pricing was greatest.

“For books, music and games, prices are at a level broadly corresponding to the willingness to pay of illegal downloaders and streamers. This suggests that a decrease in the price level would not change piracy rates for books, music and games but that prices can have an effect on displacement rates for films and TV-series,” the study concludes.

So, it appears that products that are priced fairly do not suffer significant displacement from piracy. Those that are priced too high, on the other hand, can expect to lose some sales."

Prices do matter!
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
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from Panda Quote:
"For other industries, where sales were not found to have been displaced or were positively affected by piracy, consumer satisfaction with pricing was greatest.

“For books, music and games, prices are at a level broadly corresponding to the willingness to pay of illegal downloaders and streamers. This suggests that a decrease in the price level would not change piracy rates for books, music and games but that prices can have an effect on displacement rates for films and TV-series,” the study concludes.

So, it appears that products that are priced fairly do not suffer significant displacement from piracy. Those that are priced too high, on the other hand, can expect to lose some sales."

Prices do matter!

I suspect that availability matters even more. I would wager if you looked at the demographics of illegal downloaders (depending on how you actually define that term), you will find that the biggest predictor is culture. People who are in cultures that don't respect copyright and intellectual property tend not to see piracy as a big deal. The example that I would put forth is teens and young adults in the US.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:51 PM   #9
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One reason some people pirate is because they cannot get the eBook legally. It's either not available due to geo-restrictions or it's not available as an eBook at all.
Hmm.

If not available as a legal eBook, how is it available as an illegal eBook? I guess it may be available as an uncorrected scan, but most people wouldn't read that.

As for geo-restrictions, I have on rare occasion been hit with this on books with small US sales potential. I can't see that as a significant factor in piracy.

I can see people, in nations lacking freedom to read, downloading popular books sometimes banned, such as Jung Chang's biography of Mao. But I consider that a case of evaded censorship rather than piracy.

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Prices do matter!
I think that the first book pirated might have a relationship to price. But once someone gets used to piracy, they would stick with it regardless of price.

And the price relationship exists for anything comparable. If taxes were lower, people would be less likely to become habitual tax cheats. This tells us nothing about what the tax rate (or book price) should be.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:24 PM   #10
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Hmm.

If not available as a legal eBook, how is it available as an illegal eBook?
A lot of older books aren't available as ebook from any legal source but are available as pirated books. These are books people have scanned, proofed and corrected, more than once. Later if they do become available as Kindle books the quality of the pirate copy is often, even usually, better.

Barry
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:06 AM   #11
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A lot of older books aren't available as ebook from any legal source but are available as pirated books. These are books people have scanned, proofed and corrected, more than once. Later if they do become available as Kindle books the quality of the pirate copy is often, even usually, better.
That is absolutely so. Rightly or wrongly there are some dedicated people out there.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:16 AM   #12
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Hmm.

If not available as a legal eBook, how is it available as an illegal eBook? I guess it may be available as an uncorrected scan, but most people wouldn't read that.
People do scan books and share them and have for some time. I haven't come across any recently but in the old Palm Days it was quite common for books to circulate in text format and be corrected by multiple people, even showing a version number. I recall reading somewhere that Harry Potter fans had actually typed out one or more of the Books, presumably before they were officially available as ebooks. Given the internet and social media groups large tasks can easily be divided between multiple people.

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As for geo-restrictions, I have on rare occasion been hit with this on books with small US sales potential. I can't see that as a significant factor in piracy.
It certainly is in countries other than the US.

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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
I can see people, in nations lacking freedom to read, downloading popular books sometimes banned, such as Jung Chang's biography of Mao. But I consider that a case of evaded censorship rather than piracy.
It is still piracy, no matter how good the cause. I won't ask you if you condone such piracy, because you could only answer no without breaching the forum rules.


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I think that the first book pirated might have a relationship to price. But once someone gets used to piracy, they would stick with it regardless of price.
I once had a fascinating discussion with a stranger in an airport lounge who basically bought Indie ebooks at cheaper prices, but routinely pirated Big 5 ebooks, even the cheaper ones. I make no secret of my distaste for the price fixing conspirators and their decades of price gouging, but she was truly angry and out for revenge. That is one extreme. But I doubt piracy is addictive. I suspect that there are many people who obtain a pirate copy of an ebook not available to them without becoming wholesale pirates.

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And the price relationship exists for anything comparable. If taxes were lower, people would be less likely to become habitual tax cheats. This tells us nothing about what the tax rate (or book price) should be.
I think the point you are missing here is peoples perception of overall value, including convenience. In music, for instance, ITunes has massively reduced piracy by making it affordable, convenient and trivially easy to purchase. Likewise but to a lesser extent with Amazon and even Kobo, at least for ebooks where prices are not controlled by greedy publishers with an agenda to preserve print as much and as long as possible.

As I have said before on these forums, what is amazing is that there is a thriving book business when it is so trivial to obtain a pirate copy for free. People choose freely to pay, but will consider other options where they perceive they are being gouged, or that they are not getting sufficient value for their hard-earned money. This should be taken into account in any price setting exercise and can be ignored only at great peril.

Last edited by darryl; 10-23-2017 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:58 AM   #13
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<snippage>



I think the point you are missing here is peoples perception of overall value, including convenience. In music, for instance, ITunes has massively reduced piracy by making it affordable, convenient and trivially easy to purchase. Likewise but to a lesser extent with Amazon and even Kobo, at least for ebooks where prices are not controlled by greedy publishers with an agenda to preserve print as much and as long as possible.
I wanted to comment on the "...greedy publishers" text.

A decade ago, I would have thought that yes--publishers charge too much, they gouge us because they control the book, etc.

That was before I worked through 3500 books, with their author-publishers. My understanding of what an actual publisher goes through, just trying to put out ONE SINGLE BOOK, in a decent, readable fashion, is now far greater and deeper.

Yes, I know--there will be self-pubs here who will object. "Oh, no, I write my books, design my own covers (or pay for...) and upload my own book. I do everything!" And yes--hundreds of thousands of you, clearly, exist. But so do the other kind of authors--those who in their hearts, really wanted to be PUBLISHED by a BPH (Big Publishing House) and who are loath to do any of the publisher's tasks, themselves. I've learned the real costs, of JUST answering an author's emails, during the production of one lousy ebook. I can't even fathom what it's like for an actual publisher, taking an author from contract to published book status, over the course of 18-24 months.

Our typical first-time author will emails us FORTY TIMES (40), over a two-week production period--and 99% of those emails have absolutely nothing to do with us, or what we do. (For those who don't know, I own/run an ebook production business.) Those emails range from "do I need an ISBN" (no) to "do you know someone who's good at marketing?" (no). I've lost count of the books I've seen that need editing; I can probably count on two hands the number I've seen that don't. (Out of over 5,000 books that I've quoted).

I work with a large number of traditional print-layout houses, where the production of a print book, with an author-pub client, will take months--typically, 6 months to a year. That's JUST the print layout and an edit, possibly. That has nothing to do with everything else that goes on around a book being produced for publication.

I talk to those folks all the time, and hear what they go though. I've seen many finally pubbed books that take years--just to get through the print-layout process. JUST to do that. Granted, in trade publishing, the publisher owns the rights, and controls that process to a large extent--but still. I'm boggled, quite truthfully, at the difficulties inherent in this intersection of business and creatives.

Flatly? There is no amount of money, on earth, that could convince me to ever--ever--become a publisher. No, thanks. (Not to mention, of all the trade-pubbed authors I've known, not ONE was ever satisified with "what my publisher did for me." All of them think that their publisher ripped them off, or didn't do enough marketing, or, or or....

Moreover, all of you--all--have now seen what agents and publishers have been seeing for years. Now, it's published, but before, only they saw them. The manuscripts that nobody in their right mind would publish; the ones where you'd shut it, before you finished the first paragraph. Now they're books.

You think that Publishers have some unlimited budget, to sit there and plow through submissions, like what you now see as published dreck, on Amazon? That they have a "gem" rate of 10%? (One out of every ten has something?). Of course they don't. Their rate is probably closer to 1%, assuming their rate is anything like what we're all seeing.

Hell, it's probably LESS than that. The old ways--silly things like writer's groups and critique groups, etc., seem to have utterly fallen by the wayside. I can now tell, with a few thousand words, which writers that come through our shop have had CW courses, or been in a critique/writing group. There's just something that you can sense or feel or know. (Probably the simple quality of the writing--that experienced hand.) The "instant gratification" mode seems to have completely taken over publishing, as well. ("We don't need no stinking writer's groups!") I pity the slushpile readers at publisher's/agents, I truly do.

I've got more respect for what they do, and how they manage the losers and the winners, than I did 10 years ago. Honestly, I don't know how they keep their sanity, much less their profits. Greedy? Not hardly, from what I've seen.


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Old 10-23-2017, 05:33 AM   #14
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@Hitch. Good post. You do have a point and I should probably have left out the adjective greedy which added little if anything to the arguments I put forward. If I really had to use an adjective in that sentence (and I did not) there are more applicable ones I could and should have chosen. I do not intend to imply that publishing is not hard work nor that there are some very good publishers around. And there clearly are many self-published books which are simply not up to scratch. Whole threads have been devoted to the task of picking books in this brave new world. My comments are essentially about the Big 5 and their setting of ebook prices since they so painfully wrested control of that privilege from Amazon.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:36 AM   #15
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- books only available pirated sites.

Way back when, before the Sony and Amazon ebook stores, there were very few books that were available for purchase as ebooks. In the US, there was peanut press and Microsoft, so if you wanted an ebook you had to "pirate it". (When people read pirate, they tend to think people selling something they got illegally, but I never saw anyone try to charge for scanned ebooks).

Back then, the dark web was the usenet groups rather than what we have now. There were groups dedicated to spreading scanned ebooks. Most of those ebooks were scanned by multiple people, and then edited by multiple people. The best were better quality than most of what one pays for with pre computer back list ebooks, or at least truer to the print edition. The last Harry Potter book was famously available as an ebook before it hit the bookstores.

Certainly the quality varied quite a bit, usually depending on how popular the book was and how many people were willing to edit and make corrections. As I said, the best was very good, the worst was pretty bad.

Once Sony and Amazon opened their stores and started to develop inventory, people shifted to those. I think that I bought my Sony PRS-500 as a Christmas give to myself in Dec of 2006, the first book that I bought at the Sony ebook store was Dragon Riders of Pern. I bought my kindle as a birthday present to myself in September of 2008, the first book I bought was Dorsai Spirit. Since then, I've lost track of what's going on the dark net, but back when I first started to buy ebooks just before 2000, there was Baen Books, Guttenberg and the darknet.
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