Thursday, February 11, 2010

E-Book Piracy to Follow MP3s

With the cost of e-books rising from Amazon's former $9.99 standard, the only logical result will be a burgeoning and thriving piracy culture, the same that exists for music mp3s.

Some e-books are priced near $15 for the Kindle edition, and many people just won't pay that and will look for alternatives, either a pirated edition of the same book, a different but cheaper e-book, or no e-book at all.

A Wharton professor is quoted in a recent news article that "I would be scared to death about a culture of piracy taking hold. I wouldn't mess around with price increases."

But book publishers aren't listening, and from what I've seen at recent BookExpo America conferences, they aren't rational about the entire issue and are heading for a massive pushback that they will quickly regret.

Piracy is the biggest threat to the book publishing industry. What is being done to thwart it or even consider what might be done about it? And here it comes with those higher prices publishers are demanding without thought to the consequences.

The book publishing industry, with MP3s in mind, locked up the e-books with DRM. But that's like Prospero trying to lock his abbey from the Red Death.

Anyone can quickly and easily digitize a print book and make that file available on the internet. Happens all the time, and it's coming to a bestseller near you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just started pirating books in March, in response to higher prices. I will never pay a price for an ebook that is higher than the price for a paperback. It's ridiculous. I think publishers are trying to use high prices to kill the ebook in protection of their higher-profit hardcopy books, but not only will they never kill the ebook, they will indirectly promote piracy as rapidly as possible. In a year, I think ebook prices will have moderated, but by then so many people will have discovered how to get ebooks for free that it will be impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.