The Cost Of Book Piracy
A campaign is needed to educate the new wave of e-reader owners that downloading illegal ebooks from torrent sites is theft, amid signs that the piracy of books is increasing, authors claim.
Crime writer David Hewson, author of the Italy-set Nic Costa novels, said a campaign along the lines of "People Who Love Books Don't Steal Books" was urgently required – because readers who consider themselves his fans are downloading pirated copies of his ebooks and audiobooks.
Hewson's latest hardback The Fallen Angel was available online on torrent sites within a week of its publication in February. His agent, Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann, confirmed that "every day without fail" she receives Google alerts of pirated editions of her authors' work. "It's like a war on many fronts," she lamented.
Victoria Lustigman, spokesperson for the Publishers Association, said there were signs that copyright infringements of books, though not on the scale of those in music or film, "are on the increase". The PA has issued "thousands" of take-down notices to ISPs each year, she added, "with success in the majority".
Hewson, who said he has seen a "dramatic" increase in book piracy over the past year, argued that publishers and authors need to tell the readers with new devices they've been given for Christmas, "Authors do this for a living, and if you take their work for nothing you are depriving them of a living."