Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thoughts on Digital Piracy (Revisit! Reecho)

Sometimes back, I posted my thoughts on digital publishing and piracy. Now I guess it is time for another such post or echo them again.
  • I really don't believe that piracy can be eradicated.
  • I really don't believe that there cannot be an effective efficient fool proof technology to prevent piracy.
  • I am also not a big fan of currently available DRM solutions whatever that I am aware of.
    • More especially the ones that tells you can read the content only when you are online
    • The ones which says you can read the book only on this device and on another or restricting to few platforms
      • It is more similar to saying, you can buy this TV, we will install it in your house, but you cannot take it to your new house. To make it more apt, you can buy the DVD but use it only at your home but definitely not in your neighbors home
      • You can buy this physical book, but you cannot lend it resell it to anyone.
      • Digital books should be treated similar to the way the physical books are treated.
Having said all the above, let me tell you where the problem starts. Not all customers treat the digital books as they would treat the physical books.

They may lend a physical book to a friend or two, resell it again or give it away to library. If they want they may buy the book in bulk by paying and give it to others.  Have you ever seen anyone photocopying a book and sharing it across? No one can buy one physical book and make it available to scores of people free in one single second!

At the same time, when it comes to digital book, one single mail, one single upload, they make it available to 100's or 1000's or 100,000's of people at the same time.  (Makes me to rethink my principles and stand on DRM)

This is not a unique phenomenon to one part of globe or country or region. Pirated books, software, movie and music are available all over the world. If you want to find them, you have to resort to torrents, or some sites where people would upload or share under anonymous names.

No one ever puts out this pirated copy is brought to you by so and so. Please do send your thanks to this email id or send a Christmas card to this address!

Wait a minute, why this post ? Happened to see a FB group, which asks people to share the Tamil e-books that they have. Worse, also saw one very good and interesting book of leading Tamil Publishing house translated by the Publisher itself!

I am not sure, whether the guy who uploaded the file in FB knows, it is possibly a punishable offence.

As I said in the old post, unless people are aware that violating copy right and intellectual property is a punishable offence. (If I had understood and read the law, one can be imprisoned anywhere from seven days to three years and fine of INR 50,000 to INR 200,000 rupees)

Coming back to piracy, what would really stop it? My firm belief is, it stops only when the guy who commits the act of piracy decides to stop it! Also check out other factors in my old post.
For further proof here it from the horse mouth! The confessions of a Book Pirate!

Oh BTW, Both my books can be bought as eBooks here

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