On book piracy.


Book piracy. It’s a topic open to lots of debate, and today I’m going to offer up my two cents.

I understand why people may feel the need to pirate books, I really do. After all, books can be incredibly expensive and to some people buying them just isn’t an option. That, however, does not make piracy acceptable.

Every time somebody pirates a book, part of that book dies. Do you want to be responsible for book deaths, you murderer?

Piracy is the reason libraries must never be allowed to become extinct because without libraries the number of people who can read – and regularly read – drops significantly. It’s the reason why library funding and funding for literary projects is so important, because it is scientifically proven that people who read are more likely to vote, exercise and engage civically and culturally.

Many authors have to work second and third jobs to allow them to do what they love. By pirating books, you’re completely disrespecting them. There isn’t a lot of money to be made in writing and the way royalties work mean that it may take many years for an author to make any money after the initial payments. Pirating means that you’re lowering the chance of the author getting any royalties in the first place, and increasing the time it will take for them to earn those royalties.

There are so many other options: visiting your local library to take out books, second hand bookshops, borrowing from friends, trading books. The difference is that all the books have been paid for beforehand in some form and so, whilst you’re not contributing directly, you’re still supporting the author. Feel bad? You can help the author even more by leaving reviews on websites and talking as much as you can about the book via social media and offline.

Most people wouldn’t go into a shop and walk out without paying, so how is a book any different? It’s not. Piracy is theft. 

What are your thoughts?

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  • Reply
    22 June, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I completely agree. I think a lot of people don’t realise that they’re stealing when they download ebooks and that they’re actually committing theft. Hopefully people will realise how wrong it is and rather head to the library or second-hand bookstore.

    Great post!

  • Reply
    Giselle @ BO-OK NERD
    22 June, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Great post Lucy! It’s true that books aren’t cheap and if you’re a teenager with no job then pirating books is theft. You’re stealing the author’s work and the publishers and all those people who have worked on that book. I find it terrible that people share those links around. I’ve even seen people ask authors where they can get their book for free. The audacity some people have. Yikes! People now-a-days will resort to just about anything to get things for and it’s a sad sad thing when it hurts the people who work so hard.
    Giselle @ BO-OK NERD recently posted…Blog Tour: ‘The Vast and Brutal Sea’ by Zoraida Córdova Review and Contest GiveawayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Algel Crestfall
    22 June, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Although this has always been an issue.. This post is just in time! Great post, Lucy! People can always save up money to buy books so they don’t have to pirate them. Even a dollar or two everyday makes a lot! I wish they do realize how bad this is especially for the authors who worked hard for their books.
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  • Reply
    22 June, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I see your point and I agree that illegally downloading books are a form of theft. But isn’t torrenting movies / series /downloading music illegally is basically stealing as well? ((take note this is not aimed to anyone but a reminder because I do not tolerate hypocrisy: don’t go around telling people about ebook piracy when you yourself tolerate watching movies on illegal websites and torrenting them. Think before you speak. It clearly defies your stand in fighting ebook piracy when you pirate movies/series/ music yourself. Again this is just a reminder and not meant to point a finger to anyone)
    Anyway to me, I can tolerate if you’ve downloaded an ebook illegally AS LONG AS YOU WILL STILL CONTINUENTO SUPPORT THE AUTHOR AND PURCHASE A COPY OF THE BOOK ONCE YOU HAVE MONEY TO DO SO. And not by just that there are other means of supporting the author.

  • Reply
    22 June, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Isn’t it just the same as illegally downloading music! Yet authors don’t make half as much money as music artists! I don’t really agree with it and will always pay for what I read.

    • Reply
      23 June, 2014 at 2:22 am

      The point is, it’s theft. You pay for what you read but you don’t pay for the music you listen to? Not all music artists earn the same amount or bigtime like some authors are. That doesn’t make you any less of a good person who’s all out against ebook piracy but tolerate piracy of the music you listen to or the show you’ve just recently discussed but is a torrented copy. Piracy in general is bad.

  • Reply
    Georgia (The Bibliomaniac)
    27 June, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Really well written post, Lucy – Completely agreed! It is really sad and disrespectful to authors, especially when there are libraries available and many other ways to enjoy a book without buying it full price, ie audiobooks & kindle books are normally cheaper.
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  • Reply
    Weekly Recap| Jun 22-28, 2014 | Oh, the Books!
    29 June, 2014 at 6:04 am

    […] Lucy says book piracy is responsible for book deaths. […]

  • Reply
    5 July, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I’ve never thought of book piracy before, so this post has opened my eyes. To be honest, whether I sound really stupid here, I had no idea it goes on – or, at least, I didn’t want to think it could. You should respect the author and all their hard work. :O

    Great post!
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  • Reply
    5 July, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Great post Lucy!

    Book piracy is a very hard one, especially because *looks shifty* I am a big downloader. Not of books – I’d never pirate a book, but I would a TV show or movie I can’t wait for. And while I could rant away and probably win a debate for the argument of online downloading, book piracy drives me up the wall, but then I stop and think – I’m doing the same thing to another form of art, and I feel caught between a hard place and a rock.

    I think though, books are so much easier to come by. Whether its through your library or a friend or saving your pennies each month (I have to do that now, a book quota each month), there is no excuse for book piracy. ESPECIALLY when I see on facebook an author who posts that her book has only been on a site for people to download for review for three days and ALREADY it’s on piracy sites. That is not on at all.
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  • Reply
    La La in the Lbrary
    6 July, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I stumbled across a pirating site when I was looking for the correct spelling of a location from a book for a blog post. Author Lauren DeStefano is very involved in anti-piracy so I tweeted her and asked if I should email the link to the author or the publisher. She said the authors can not do anything about it, so my best option was to contact the publisher. I was glad because I didn’t want to upset the author. The publishing house responded right away and thanked me for the link.
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