A surge in book piracy has followed hot on the heels of the growth in ebooks, the New York Times reports. Publishers trying to stamp out unauthorized editions online say the ease with which books can now be copied online make their efforts little more than a game of "Whac-a-Mole," and hope to learn from the lessons of the heavily pirated music industry.
Unbelievable, eh? Who ever would have thought it?
Several publishers declined to comment on the issue, fearing the attention might inspire more theft. For now, electronic piracy of books does not seem as widespread as what hit the music world, when file-sharing services like Napster threatened to take down the whole industry.
Publishers and authors say they can learn from their peers in music, who alienated fans by using the courts aggressively to go after college students and Napster before it converted to a legitimate online store.
From the NYT.
Tomorrow, we hope to be publishing the full report of Copycats? Digital Consumers in the Online Age. A major review of online behaviours and attitudes and their implications for Intellectual Property. But the bottom line is that the sweetshop is always open; and its been created by a consumer electronics industry - hardware and software - that makes searching, copying, sharing and saving a one-click operation for all half-way savvy digital consumers in the age (except perhaps for Rupert Murdoch) of "free things". If Pirate Bay, then what about Google? If RapidShare then what about DVRs and Sky+? The UK IP Minister, David Lammy, talks of "one in four" having file shared (our report highlights 29 ways that we found to file share, it's not just P2P). That's 10 million people in the UK.
Much more tomorrow when our commissioning body, SABIP, launches the full report. Return here for the link.